After a recent study supposedly proved that owning a cat was akin to living with an apathetic criminal, I thought I’d set the record straight.
The cat and the cat owner have often gotten a bad rap. One is warned off people who own cats because they are “crazy cat people”, usually “crazy cat ladies”, and straight women are warned off certain men because “he owns a cat, you know”.
Cats themselves come under fire for being “aloof”, “jerks”, and an “environmental disaster”. To an extent, I understand these criticisms. As a cat owner, cats are aloof jerks who would tear any living creature apart if given enough opportunity or brass.
One Vox article says that cats “do not love their owners back – at least not in the same way that dogs do.” And to that I ask, so what? Any cat owner can testify that a cat – for all its pride and aloofness – will come for a snuggle and for some love. No one can tell me that when my big, fat, three-legged monster comes at me, grinding its face into my knuckles because it feels good, purring all the while, and insisting to be near me at all hours of the day, that this is not love?
And guess what? Cats recognise their owners’ voices. They just don’t respond the same way dogs do. They know you were gone, they just don’t need to thrash about, extolling how much they missed you. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shit out of dogs and I love their reactions to pretty much everything. But just because my cat is unmoved by my returning home, doesn’t mean he doesn’t give a shit. He lets me snuggle him in what, for him, must be the most demeaning manners. Because, once again, he doesn’t care to stop me.
That’s, in a sense, love.
The problem isn’t, in fact, cats. It’s us. We let them roam free in our back yards, knowing full well they will maim and kill. My friend’s cat learned how to hold onto the bell around its neck so that it could hunt silently.
Take a look at iizcat.com‘s story of 20-year-old Dexter, showering its adoptive family in affection. Are you going to tell me that this is, in fact, some sociopathic monster?
Dogs aren’t all that different in their habits, by the way. Do you know what a dog is doing when it takes up its favourite toy in its mouth and whips it back and forth? Yeah, it’s practicing breaking a small creature’s neck.
The problem isn’t, in fact, cats. It’s us. We breed too many pets. We don’t spay and neuter our pets. We set them free – by accident or on purpose – in the wild, leading to the deaths of many animals. We let them roam free in our back yards, knowing full well they will maim and kill. My friend’s cat learned how to hold onto the bell around its neck so that it could hunt silently.
We have to accept the fact that, if we want to have outdoor cats, then we need some kind of netting. These are natural predators. They hunt. It’s what they do. Their behaviour in that department, I agree, is sociopathic.
My parents’ dog learned how to hunt from cats and used to catch birds and deliver them, just as their fat tabby Max would.
Don’t tell me cats are the problem. Humans brought these little perfect predators across the globe because, for more than 10,000 years, we have lived alongside them in some form of love/mutual usefulness or another. The story of dogs is pretty damn similar.
And guess what? Your dog hates it when you hug them. But they let you do it, no matter how much distress you put them in. Just like when I manhandle my cat for fun. Cats are just more willing to strike out in a “fuck off” than most dogs are. Or, more to the point, when a dog does, we put them down.