I am an animal lover, to the point that Sir has often dubbed me Snow White, expecting a bluebird to land on my outstretched index finger as I smile sweetly at the bunnies, chipmunks and ducks sitting lovingly at my feet.

I do draw the line at spiders, and I’m not wild about snakes, but I will confess I was mighty impressed with the video I saw the other day of a good Aussie Sheila bravely attempting to drag the 20-foot python out of her garage. To say the snake was just a tiny bit reluctant would have been putting the case mildly, and it took our Sheila and I would guess her son a great deal of muscle power to bring the snake to heal, so to speak.

But, as Mae West so magnificently put it, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” Over the years my tastes have changed. As my level of energy has waned with the increasingly autumnal annals of time, so my appreciation of cats has increased as exponentially as my adoration of all things canine has decreased.

Cats are so much easier to deal with than dogs. Feed me, pet me occasionally but only when I ask for it, clean up that hairball, and we’re good. That’s a cat’s motto. A dog’s, on the other hand, is feed me, play with me, look at me, pet me, take me for a walk, clean up that mess, feed me, play with me, leave me to chew up the furniture, look at me, look at me and above all love me at all times regardless of my transgressions. This requires way too much energy in my book.

The other thing I like about cats is they’re generally very quiet. Oh sometimes you’ll hear the yowling of a cat fight, or a Romeo cat smitten with his Juliet – both sounding remarkably similar – but other than that they’ll give a little mew now and again to let you know you’ve made a feline blunder somehow, but you are in fact magnificently and quite regally forgiven.

Now I love a good, hearty, glad-to-se- you type woof like the next guy. But I mean “woof” and not “yap.” I’m afraid my tolerance of small, yappy dogs has reached the region of zilch, and so it is not with an overly generous heart that I listen every evening to one such animal being let out the back to yap his way hoarse for approximately three and a half hours. I am so glad I don’t live next door as neighborly relations might be hitting the skids right about now.

Small yapper is accompanied by what sounds like a Rottweiler on steroids, so it becomes a cacophony of thunderous snarls intermingled with I think, when last I counted, 8,432,561 hysterical yips and yaps – every night.

No – give me a cat any day. As one wit once said: “Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” Cats are very cool.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.