Saturday, June 14, 2014
I was part of a conversation recently in which a woman was talking about issues involving the care of her dog. Another woman in the group prefaced her reply with, "I'm a cat person but I think....." Earlier, a friend gave the opposite answer in a conversation about pets: "I'm not a cat person." It's odd that people define themselves this way, kind of like identifying with one member of The Odd Couple ("I'm a Felix", "I'm an Oscar") My opinion is that if you don't like cats, you don't know cats. Same thing with dogs. I've had one dog, two cats and one dog in a cat suit. (That would be Floyd, who had many of the qualities normally attributed to dogs, including being loyal and unabashedly devoted to me, but somewhat less so to personal hygiene.) I was reading an article in Psychology Today about the difference between dog and cat lovers, and there was one sentence that brought me up short: Single women are more likely to be cat lovers. Nothing like being a stereotype. But I take solace in the fact that some of my favorite writers were cat lovers and, notably, not single women. One of them was Raymond Chandler (shown above looking writerly), who once said, "A cat never behaves as if you were the only bright spot in an otherwise clouded existence. This is another way of saying that a cat is not a sentimentalist, which does not mean that it has no affection." Another favorite writer, Mark Twain, was famously a cat lover but clearly had a soft spot for dogs, judging by this quote from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: "Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."