Dogs versus cats

On the differences between two types of "companion animals"

| Mar 8, 2011

Whimsical story illustration found at post office today.
We had a sleepover last weekend our friends’ cabin in Allenspark — with a cat. Nice enough I suppose, and very pretty, with tan and white tiger-stripes and a generally agreeable though standoffish personality . . . by day.

Daytime found this animal poking its nose against mine and excitedly chasing my belt when I flipped it around on the carpet.

Then came nighttime. The others had retired. We were alone. I approached said cat as he sat regally on “his” towel on the back of a chair. I got close, just planning to say a friendly hello and maybe scratch his head.

Suddenly, in that semi-dark room, his jaw flew open and he issued forth a second-long hissssssss right into my face. At that moment when his mouth was open, I stared at it, and it looked not unlike that of a hissing rattlesnake — same shape, same sound. Ugh. It was then that I knew we were not to be friends.

Later I thought about my black Labrador back home (well, having her own sleepover at a friend’s house). I thought about her undying, unwavering friendship (forgetting, for the moment, her hostile barking at visitors to “her” home). And it reminded me of the following little piece of prose, derived from a forgotten source and written by I know not whom. Doesn’t this just about say it about cats versus dogs?

Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Scooby Snacks! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary

Day 983 of my captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am.


There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move.

My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…