I had always thought that dogs were the most popular of pets and that cats were a distant second. I was surprised therefore to learn that, in American households, cats outnumber dogs by a ratio of three to one.
3 t0 1 ! Who would have thought it! In the active adult community that I live in, I see my neighbors walking their dogs morning and evening but I cannot recall even one who has a pet cat. It may be that cats are indoor creatures who rarely venture out but still… I find it difficult to believe that there are so many of them around.
Most people like either cats OR dogs because their personalities are so different. Dogs crave human companionship and are eager to please. Cats, on the other hand, act aloof and give the impression that they couldn’t care less about their owners. Don’t buy it! It’s all an act. I don’t know whether their behavior is because of their sense of dignity or because they want to play hard to get, but they do care for their owners. While I can’t provide any scientific data for this assertion, I’ve read enough to know that it’s correct. I’m sure that all of us have read stories of house cats that had been left behind when their owners moved and somehow hiked half way hundreds of miles to their owner’s new homes, even though they had never been there before. I also read of one pet cat who was only too aware when her owners were about to go on vacation leaving her behind. She would run off and hide in the bushes only to emerge after they had left. Even when they returned from vacation she would ignore them for a couple of days. Only gradually would she ” forgive” them and allow herself to be petted.
I am one of the few who likes both dogs and cats. I like dogs because they are so affectionate and loyal, always ready to rub up against one. Sometimes however, their need for affection becomes too much for me. I like cats because of their innate sense of dignity and their independent spirit. When they finally deign to allow themselves to be petted or scratched behind the ears, it feels like a small victory. And , of course, cats are much much easier to take care of.
When I was growing up, our household usually had a dog as a pet, only once a cat. In my adult life though I’ve never had a pet, either a dog or a cat. Initially, it was because of the problem of what do with a pet when we went away on vacation and because we were too busy with the kids and the commuter life. Now, it is because I couldn’t stand to see a pet grow old and pass away. The loss would be too much to bear.