Monday, February 14, 2005

When The Cats Are Gone Will I Become A Dog Person?

Today has been a dreary Valentine's Day. I am still feeling yucky, but managed to get to work and put in 8 hours. I am not sure I produced 8 hours worth of work, more like four! After 8 hours, I dragged myself home, and joined my other half in a light supper. In my dazed state, I started thinking about some bizarre things. Bizarre things like "how much longer will my cats live?" and "when the cats are gone, will I become a dog person?"

I actually love dogs. I even like big dogs, but I don't like big dog poop and slobber. So, I guess I like small to medium dogs, and it's okay to like big dogs if they belong to someone else. Part of this train of thought probably stems from the dogs shows I have recently watched on the cable channel "Animal Planet"--one I watched tonight.

Cats are usually more aloof than dogs. Well, actually that is not entirely true. Our Siamese, Koko, wants me to sleep all day and night with him so that he is warm... As I type this he is trying to convince me to go to bed by sitting on my keyboard. He also likes to guard me when I take a shower to make sure that I don't drown. But I don't know that he is the norm, and certainly his personality is mostly the responsibility of my four children. They always treated him like he was another sibling, and (being the smarty cat that he is) he thought that was just fine with him.

Ok. So back to the dog thing. We have neighbors who currently have two adorable Pomeranians. They previously had one that died from eating the fruit of a nasty palm tree that likes to grow here in Florida. The two "replacement dogs" are not nearly as smart, but they are very cute and well loved. Anyone would be thrilled to have such adorable dogs. When they were puppies we called them "hamster dogs" because they were just that size! The man of the house is very good with animals, and I think that any dog he owned would be wonderful. If I were to get a dog I would definitely secure his help in training them. So Pomeranians are definitely on my list... They are very cute with a short cut for our warm weather.

Hmmm. What else? Whippits. I like their shape and sweet faces. They are not too big, and I could actually walk one and not be dragged all over the place. Chinese Crested? Well, they are very unusual looking and cute and would certainly have less of a shedding problem. But I bet they are very expensive. There is always the choice of getting a rescued dog. Sometimes they are the best pets. I do have many choices.

OK, so now we get down to the nitty gritty of the thing. You don't have to walk cats. I am not a great early morning person so being awoken by a dog needing to go out is something to consider. On the other hand, I am looking at living in a condo, and a stinky cat box does not appeal to me either. I don't care what you say, cat boxes stink, and if you don't have a special place for them, you are going to notice the smell. Currently my cats have access to their respective cats boxes by going through a cat door into the utility room. That works for me. Maybe a dog would turn me into a morning person? I will have to think about that some more.

Dogs are more easily trained to stay off the kitchen table and counter tops. Cats are a bit more stubborn about those things. They usually feel... no BELIEVE... that they should be able to be wherever they want to be. If you have ever lived with a cat, you understand this very well.

You can take a dog to the groomer. Can you take a cat to the groomer? Maybe, but have you actually ever seen one that advertises for cat clients? Nope. I bathe my cats. They put up with it... Especially the 15 year old Siamese. He is not happy about it but understands that if he cooperates he is out of there that much sooner. He doesn't even venture one yowl any more. Scud aka "ten-watt" (he is not very bright) is not so sure. He is certain that on occasion I get this psychotic need to torture him. He also takes forever to dry and insists on going from one piece of furniture to the next so that every seat in the house has a wet spot. I have learned to confine him as much as possible, so I can attempt to dry him with half of a linen closets worth of towels. It also helps to have a runner to bring him back each time he escapes. Yes a dog groomer would be a good thing.

I could never live in a place that would not let me have a pet, so I will have to look for a condo that allows for them. To be kind to my neighbors, I would have to make sure that any dog I have would not yap at every person walking down the hall. I would also like to think that I would live near a dog park. I live about a mile from one now and love to go see the dogs and their owners. I think that having a dog and going to a dog park would be fun... and probably fun for the dog as well. Around here it has become a place for the yuppies to show off their purebread dogs who they have in place of children, and for the more typical family and their mutt to interact and have fun. In that atmosphere, dogs don't care about much but having fun.

Well, Koko is 15 and should be around for a few years yet. He is still very spunky and lacks the usual grey hair that goes with his age bracket. Scud is much younger, but I don't think his lifestyle lends itself to the same type of longevity as Koko seems to have. So maybe in ten years I will be seriously considering a dog... or maybe sooner so that the transition is easier.

And then again, I might just get another cat.


Ron Southern said...

My post for tomorrow (16th) was written before I read yours today. I had checked your blog earlier in the day before the dog/cat thing was posted. Will anybody notice that neither of us posted about pet rats?

Ron Southern said...

Any reason you know of why my email to you is kicking back as "undeliverable"?

Rhodent said...

Probably not, Ron... not unless they read your comment and think about it! Most people just don't seem to care much about rodents unless they get into their abode.

Rhodent said...

Undeliverable??? No, I don't. These last two from you came through so maybe whatever it was is straightened out. Hope so.

Rhodent said...

Hmmm, Just realized you wrote "email" not comments. The email address should be

L said...

cats rule, dogs drool!

(although dogs are still Cute :)

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

I enjoyed this interesting post. I'm a dog person, b/c I'm so highly allergic to cats I can't have them as pets. However, I adore painting (on canvas, not the animal! lol), pet portraits.

On my site there is a recent post of a painting of my Siberian Husky.
Siamese cats are absolutely gorgeous. I will be posting a commissioned portrait I did of one.
Meanwhile LOL to L's comment. I visited her site b4 returning here, and she's responsible for keeping me up late reading, so send her to her room!!!! ;)

happyandblue2 said...

I'm a dog person but you make a pretty good case for cats.

Rurality said...

I used to be a dog person, then became a cat person. Now we have a dog but no cat - for the first time in many many years. We'll be getting a kitten soon though I hope.

Oh I don't recommend a Great Pyr for the great indoors, LOL.

frustratedwriter said...

I have both, a dog and two cats. The cats are great but do hold to the aloof rule until cold weather sets in. The dog...(whimper) the dog (sniffle) the dog is a black lab...who can not only destroy anything he can get his mouth on, but can escape from any fenced area. He is great to take on walks (okay, I walk the four miles, he runs up and down the country road for about 40 miles...) until he gets into "Hey, let me slobber all over you to show you my love..." mode. So which do I like better? Dogs are great for excercise, cats are great for humility...but there is a pet!

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