Cats get a bad rap.
Not that they aren’t cherished. They’re probably more celebrated today than they ever were in Ancient Egypt. But there’s been (a really stupid) battle between owners of dogs and cats over the years about the superiority of their animal.
And I must say, dog owners have been owning this fight…especially with recent evidence supporting dogs “loving their owners” far more than cats. (Apparently there’s some chemical release in the blood when the emotion of love is felt, and dogs have an abundance of it when around owners. Or some shit like that.) There’s most certainly problems with that evidence, and I could probably put together a Searle-Ian “Chinese Room”-like argument to challenge it….by saying something like “output we receive from the machine (or the dog) might be perceived as genuine love, but where in the machine (or the dog’s mind) is there actual love? The animal (or machine…or Chinese Room) is simply following a set of procedures to produce a desired response from the owner, which the owner perceives as love therefore reciprocating the feeling but nowhere in the animal is there “actual feeling of love”, just like the man in the Chinese Room doesn’t actually understand Chinese”….or something like that. ANYWAYS. We could probably use that as an argument against “love” in general, but with dog’s over-the-top response to their owners, it’s probably safe to assume they actually have genuine feelings for humans.
Meanwhile, cats with their apprehensive nature, are perceived as being deceptive and secretly trying to kill their owners. They don’t love their owners and use their cuteness to get food and warmth. Their “love” is not genuine. Additionally, because they’re generally smaller, furrier, and fragile, people use “feminine” as a pejorative to describe cats…they’re nowhere near as cool as dogs, completely ignoring the excessive neediness of canines. Cats therefore get an undeserved bad reputation while ignoring how deceptively badass they are.
In fact, I’d say that the felidae family of species is the most badass on the planet.
I should probably mention that I grew up with both dogs and cats, so I have a love of both. But hatred for cats is far more prevalent than hatred of dogs. While owners of cats, especially a large number of them, are thought of as being cooky and otherwise strange…owners of dogs don’t have the same sort of stigma. I should point out that MOST people that own these animals do so because “that’s just the thing to do”…but “dog people” don’t get called out for their bullshit, at least not on the order that “cat people” do.
What I find most disturbing about the exclusively dog people is the borderline psychotic need for discipline from their animal. Assholes like the so-called “dog whisperer” popularized the idea that the owner must demonstrate “alpha male” tendencies to their pet if they are achieve any sort of discipline. “Don’t let your dog walk in front of you when walking them “, “Don’t walk around your dog, make your dog move!”, “Send your dog to a training school”, etc, etc. Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds? Why have an obsession with having a “well-discipline dog”? Do you own a pet for companionship or to fulfill your overbearing desire for control? And few people seem to bat an eye when “dog people” do this shit. To me, that’s just sociopathic behavior. If people did that to their kids, I’d just think they’re an asshole.
You can counter by saying “it’s for the good of the dog because it allows them to understand you.” Fine. They might “respect” you for being the “alpha”, but how is it for their benefit? Which dog do you think is happier…the one hopping around, wagging their tail, and licking (and possibly annoying) everyone? Or the dog that’s well behaved and only does things on command and therefore doesn’t bother and lives in fear of their owner? Face it, if if this is how you treat you animals or kids, you need to go see a therapist.
But this is why some “dog people” don’t like cats…they don’t bend to our will as easily. If you piss off or scare a cat, you’re gonna have to do a lot more to regain its trust. While the evolution of the domestic cat hasn’t been untouched by humans, domestic dogs meanwhile are totally a human perversion of wolves. Behavior that we found acceptable prevailed and characteristics we didn’t like died out. Thus we get the modern dog. Cats have grown accustomed to us, but dogs have totally evolved to be of service to humans. Unlike most people, I don’t take awe in human achievement. In fact, I think most things we touch turn to shit. While I love dogs and don’t think they’re “shit”…cats on the other hand are objectively FAR more badass and you have to EARN a relationship with them. If you treat them like shit, they’ll say “fuck this” and do everything they can to avoid you.
Dogs, on the other hand, will love you unconditionally…even if you treat them like shit. A dog’s love is given.
There has to be something in it for the cat. You’ve got to respect them and let them live their lives the way they want to. For a cat…their love is EARNED. And which love is more rewarding? The kind that’s programmed into the animal to depend on you? Or the kind that’s deserved because not only do you provide for it, but you also show it respect? A relationship with a cat must be mutually beneficial.
Owning a pet simply to emotionally and physically dominate it is not “mutually beneficial”. And it’s far easier to dominate a dog in this way than a cat because THEY DON’T PUT UP WITH THAT SHIT. Try yelling a cat and see how far that’ll get you. Cats have far more respect for themselves because their existence is not dependent on US.
So c’mon, let’s give cats some fucking respect.