I think most people tend to have strong feelings when it comes to dogs and cats. God knows my father-in-law does. Hates them both.
Me, I’ve always grown up around both species and I love them both. I’ve always been aware of the “surface” differences. I think the exerpts from the diaries illustrate it better than I ever could…
Excerpts from a Dog’s Daily 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 – Milk bones! 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 Daily Diary:
Day 683 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 floor.
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. The audacity! 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…
I mean seriously, doesn’t that just sum it up perfectly?
But it occured to me today, that the differences run a little deeper than slobbering ecstacy versus conniving evil.
I think dogs can tell time.
And cats are masters of human observation.
Let me explain.
What made me notice today was, every day when I leave my office for lunch, my dog, Maxx, gives me this look like, “you gonna?” and, when I enter the kitchen to grab something to eat, he immediately trots to the patio doors. He knows what time it is. Because if, for any reason lunch is delayed, then he comes down to the office, sits, and stairs at me. I’m sure if he could, he would tap his foot and look at his wrist…well, if he had a wrist.
He does the same thing in the morning. If I’m not vertical by 7:00, Maxx is sitting at my side of the bed, chin propped on the mattress, looking at me. And shifting uncomfortably. I swear I’ve received mental messages along the lines of, “Dude! Really gotta GO here!”
Again, in the evening, I don’t even need to look at a clock to know when it’s 8:30. 8:30 is when Maxx seeks me out wherever I may be in the house, then sits beside me, looking at me. And shifting uncomfortably. If I leave it too late, he works in a little added incentive of some particularly spectacular smelling dogfarts. That’s something special that money can’t buy, let me tell ya.
Then there’s the two cats. Patch and Noots. Now, before I get shot, Noots should actually be “Newts”, but dammit, it’s my blog, so I’m spelling my way. Anyway, these two cats share approximately one brain cell between them. But hey, they’re loveable.
However, what I’ve learned from watching them is that they seem much less time sensitive…they’re more in tune with what I do, not when I do it. Here’s an example. Let’s go back to Maxx at lunch. He knows it’s noon, so he knows it’s time to go outside. Patch and Noots on the other hand, don’t make a move until I slide the patio door open. Then Noots is all what’s going on outside? And Patch is all I wanna get outside! I wanna get outside! And Patch constantly tries to follow Maxx out the door. I never let him.
So, you’d think, once the patio door is closed, he’d still hang out by it, right? Wrong. Because he knows the next step.
Everytime Maxx comes back in, I give him a treat (makes it easier if he ever gets loose…”Maxx wanna treat?” and back in he comes). Of course, I can’t just give Maxx a treat, so I give the cats a treat too. So, once the patio door is closed, with Maxx still outside, they know the next stage is treats. So Patch assumes the position in front of the cabinet door where the treats are stored, and Noots takes up position on the same kitchen chair every time. And there they stay until the door opens, Maxx comes back in, and all get their treats.
Want more proof? Everytime I have a shower, when I’m done, Patch saunters into the bathroom. As I put in my contacts, he hops up on the bathroom counter. Then he sits and stares at me until I get a thin stream of water flowing out of the sink for him to drink. Every damn time. No matter if I have a shower at 5:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. And he doesn’t do it with anyone else in the house. Just me.
In fact, if someone comes anywhere near the bathroom, he immediately bails and runs like hell. Why? Because my wife hates him up there and beats his ass until he gets down. So he’s avoiding the beat down.
So, basically, the dog watches the clock. The cats watch me.
Me? Hell, I’m just the one that got trained by three animals to hand out treats.