Cats and Dogs

Above is a picture of me and a cat.

As you can see, like most living things on this planet, it loves me. If you really made me choose I would probably call myself a “dog person.” I’ve always loved dogs and there’s a much better chance that I become a dog owner before I become a cat owner.

But I do like the cat in the picture. She is not my cat, but she is pretty fond of me. And she does seem to get excited when she sees me. Plus, I’d like to think that I deserve credit for teaching her how to play fetch.

The term “dog person” is a loaded term. It implies that the person doesn’t like cats. And that has way more to do with our society than it does with dogs or cats. We live in a country where we have more freedom to be individuals than just about any other people in the world and yet for almost every aspect of our lives, we need to be apart of certain groups that agree with us on those aspects. And the existence (and membership) of those groups is validated by an opposing group that disagrees with us.

And so there are cat people and there are dog people. And a lot of us choose to ignore the middle ground. There is no logical reason to gloss over the fact that kittens and puppies are probably equally adorable and these two animals pretty easily win the contest of two most suitable species on the planet to serve as pets. But, rather than acknowledge that, we choose to separate personalities based on whether they like cats or dogs.

Let’s not beat around the bush. I’m going to be honest, if you don’t like dogs than you’re just weird. They’re awesome. That’s not opinion, it’s fact. But if you don’t like cats then you’re just stubborn. Put a cat in a room with a cardboard box and just watch. Then talk to me in five minutes. If you still don’t like cats then you will be put at the bottom of my list of backup emergency contacts because I simply don’t trust you.

But despite the obvious awesomeness of these two animals, cat people and dog people remain largely divided. I can’t tell you how many dog people I’ve been around who upon hearing anything positive said about any cats, angrily state that dogs are better. Is that even relevant? What does it have to do with anything? If you said something positive about your dog, wouldn’t you find it strange if I got in your face and yelled, “hippopotamuses are better!”?

But sadly, the cat/dog division of our country has less to do with the animals than it does with the people who support those animals. It just takes one or two obnoxious cat/dog people to turn you off of the whole species.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If a “cat person” friend of yours makes an angry Facebook status about how stupid dogs are and how they should be out of office   be put to sleep, then it might make you upset. But it doesn’t mean you should hate the cats who friend is choosing to represent. Or if a ticked off “dog person” you follow on Twitter tweets about how snooty cats are and that they don’t care about the lower class rarely maintain eye contact, it doesn’t mean you should like dogs any less.

The point is that dogs and cats both have great qualities. They both might do things that you might not appreciate, but that doesn’t mean you should just assume they all have bad intentions.

Sometimes certain cats might act superior to everything around them just because they were born into a life of Fancy Feast and belly rubs. They think because they catch a mouse every now and then they deserve their life of luxury more than all the animals that are out on the street trying to get by. But they’re not all like that. Most of them aren’t.

And yes, there are certain dogs that are extremely fat and don’t do anything productive with themselves. They are just looking for a handout treat from their owner who encourages their laziness. But not they’re not all like that. Most of them aren’t.

You can rave and rant all you want, but at the end of the day, no matter if you are a cat or dog person, you would rather be in a room with either a cat or dog than be in that same room by yourself.

Cats and dogs can both surprise you. So don’t waste so much time and energy saying so many negative things about the other one. If you would rather own, support and take care of one species than more power to you. It doesn’t mean you have to slander the other one.

Same thing goes for donkeys and elephants.

So keep that in mind tomorrow night and the days after. A lot of people are going to be upset no matter what. There are certain things you can do that are productive. Name calling and generalizing typically help your cause approximately zero percent of the time.

If every thing I’ve written sounds like the incoherent rambling of an idiot then here’s a video of the cutest thing you’ve ever seen so you don’t feel like I have completely wasted your time.

-Jonathan Auping

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