Those who loath cats do so out of ignorance, intimidation and misunderstanding. Cats pose an interesting and challenging relationship. Dogs simply fill a lonely soul’s need. You don’t “choose” a cat. If on the other hand you decide to possess a dog, you go out and pick one, like apples or a couch. You can’t do that with a cat, no one actually possesses a cat. A proper relationship with a feline must begin with the animal seeking you out, not the other way around. Go looking for a cat and it will forever view you as weak, needy and pathetic, like a dog owner.
During the initial meet-and-greet, when the cat needs you most, it is imperative that you take advantage of the power imbalance. In that rare moment, you forever and firmly imprint on the animal the fact that it came running to you and not the other way around. Throughout the life of that newfound relationship, you and the cat will be constantly jockeying for superior position, you in order to keep that power, and the cat, in the never-ending struggle to wrench it from you.
All relationships are like this. We are perpetually in a state of trade-offs and consolations of either being in control, being controlled, (or God forbid, being out-of-control.) The healthiest human relationships hover around a ratio of 50-50 in who controls what, but how many relationships are healthy? And while it might initially feel good to have a 95-5 control advantage over your cat or your lover, neither will tolerate that level of helplessness and imbalance for very long. While even-steven might make for a happy human relationship, that power imbalance over the cat needs to be comfortably in your favor but not slavish.
Cats are natural born killers, only seemingly domesticated by virtue of their own willingness to play nice. Google “cat fights” if you need convincing that the line is scarily thin between purring, loving lap warmer and flesh-shredding bloodletting killer of the first order. While cats try to satisfy their blood lust with birds and rodents, make no mistake, with one hit of acid, exposure to rabies or a brain aneurism, your apartment could become a major crime scene, with you the victim of a thrill killing courtesy of Fluffy-the-Feline Assassin. Afterwards, the cat would sleep peacefully without a tinge of regret.
As a counter to that possibility, all cats should be out-door cats.
By letting the cat out, you are saying, “Go ahead, go, do as you please, take your chances in traffic, tease the dog or skunk, eat from the garbage, live it up, decide for yourself between water and anti-freeze, have a completely unsupervised free-for-all ball. When you come back, you’ll tell yourself it is only for the food, but we both know the truth.”
Cats have conquered even those who truly hate them. Think about all of the laws, ordinances, rules and regulations concerning dogs, requiring leashes at all times, a total lack of freedom and hyper supervision. Dog parks? Please. Cats have the run of the planet. There are no cat-controlling laws because cats don’t play by any rules. Recognizing this, authorities didn’t even bother to try legislating cat control.
Cats are the Hell’s Angels of the domesticated animal world, true one-percenters flipping off everyone while purring a pretender’s song. Dog owners carry poop-bags and collect hot feces as their reward for taking Bowser for a walk. Incredible that “Man’s Best Friend”, demands of his partner the manhandling of his crap. Some kind of friend.
Cats take a dump in the neighbor’s flowerbed, kick a few claw fulls of dirt in the general direction and calmly move on to return to their neighborhood patrol duties. By killing a chipmunk and depositing it on your door mat, a feigned sign of submission which every cat fancier mistakenly takes as the highest form of praise, what fluffy is really telling her person is, “This could be you.”
As a mature man with decades of experience, I know that convention today portrays cat fanciers in the exclusive domain of lesbians, crazy old ladies and the homeless. While Bowser the Buffoon is tangled up in his owner’s legs, leash wrapped around his head and poop-bags flailing, my little cat is doing her own thing while I do mine. While my macho friends reinforce their tenuous manhood with large dogs, long trucks and loud motorcycles, I sneer at this obvious sign of their sexual “short-comings”, clearly demonstrating an over-compensation mechanism that sadly still has them falling short.
One of my lady friends was telling me how much she detested cats. For her, it is an instant deal-breaker once she learns of a potential date’s fondness for felines. Given her record of accomplishment regarding relationships, I’m thinking she ought to veto Danny the dog-lover and experiment with men who are comfortable in their own skin and don’t feel the need to compensate by way of distraction via shiny, loud objects, spray-on tans and fake boobs.
I like pink shirts, cool shoes and cats. I don’t feel the need to compensate or explain myself, it ought to be self-evident, real men like cats. The companionship of a cat requires from both human and animal the loving toleration of each other, yet a mutual agreement to keep a respectable distance, both physically and emotionally. Recognizing and appreciating that balancing act is the essence of understanding ourselves and our abilities to cope in a complex and amazing world. Cats keep us humble while we suppress the killer hiding inside that purring, loveable ball of fur.
Dogs and their “owners” on the other hand are needy co-dependents.
If this is all odd, confusing and maybe even insulting to you, enjoy a lifetime supply of warm feces, twice daily, a few millimeters of shopping bag plastic the only barrier between your fingers and Fido’s feces, courtesy of Man’s Best Friend.
The cats I know would never demand such demeaning actions from their human companions. There are rules of common decorum for god’s sake, even amongst killers.