Why People Like Cats
An essay by Melanie LeMay
After having lived with two cats that have taken a liking to me, I think I have finally discovered why it is that people love their cats. This whole concept has always been a mystery to me, since my loyalties lie with our canine population. I suspect many of you are like me in your preference for dogs,, so the responsibility falls upon me to share my insights.
First of all, let's consider the average house cat. Who could love a creature that turns his back when you get home, refuses to walk on a leash, turns his nose up at dried food, stares daggers at you if you ask him to come to you, and regularly regurgitates disgusting hair balls on your new bedroom carpet?
Given all that, it's evident that liking cats is an acquired taste. At first, you may simply ignore them, and the'll give you exactly the same haughty treatment in return. If and when they do approach you, it will probably be due to food somewhere in your vicinity.
Even if you call him every day for a month, a cat will usually ignore you and go right on grooming itself and taking long naps in your favorite chair. Until one day, you wake up and find a large ball of fur rolled up into the space between your body and the crook of your arm. Such unlikely cuddling may even happen a second night, or a third.
Soon, you'll find the cat sleeping with you on a regular basis, and you will be proud to a ridiculous extent. Certainly, you know what's required to get a dog to come sleep with you. Call him and pat the bed and he'll leap up, turn around in ten circles, and finally settle himself beside you, sighing deeply with content that he has finally been allowed into your bed.
But the cat? Ah----a different story altogether. When you wake up with a cat beside you, you know it's not just blind loyalty that inspired this feline presence. No, you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this cat has CHOSEN to be with you.
It's a tiny mirror to the concept of free will. You dog is likely to snuggle with anybody who seems friendly and welcoming. Your cat is so discriminating that breaking through his barriers is a major triumph. In short, the cat's stamp of approval is so rare that it must be treasured, especially since it is so fleeting.
A word to the wise, however: Remember never to be taken in by your cat's apparent acceptance. He may withdraw his approval at any time and return to his previous dismissiveness. If you have enjoyed the freely-given approval of a cat for even a moment, however, congratulate yourself. Mankind has never lost its sense of adventure for the hunt, and, finding feline apporoval is one of the few remaining ways a man can satisfy his need to capture something that has eluded him for centuries.