Annie Dear: Dogs, cats and the company they keep
“Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.”
Are you a cat or a dog person? I’m ambidextrous in that I love both, but I must confess I have a leaning for the feline.
I’m not sure why. After all, dogs love you unconditionally, where cats can be a tad standoffish. But then again, cats are incredibly clean and with almost frightening regularity – according to Sir, who has the job of emptying it – use the litter box. With dogs you have to wander around with what seems to be a permanent blue or green bag attached to your person.
Dogs require walkies. Cats require absolutely nothing as they seem to portray. Actually, cats lie. They do want love and affection, but only on their terms. Get upset, and a dog will be right there at your side ready, willing and able to proffer comforting snuggles and wise counsel. Get upset around a cat, and it will look at you with absolute distain, giving you a “get over it” look.
Dogs will happily sleep at the foot of your bed, rarely encroaching into your space unless encouraged, and unless it’s a great Dane who doesn’t understand the concept of size. Cats will sleep on your face, tread on a boob or two, and decide that your feet make excellent play things at 3 a.m.
My dear Sir, a self-avowed dogophile, has always professed to loathe cats, his having been attacked by a deranged Siamese, but he can now be seen happily chatting away to our two, and can even be spotted holding a lengthy conversation while playing with them on the stairs.
My darling Madam, an unashamed felinophile, has discovered what I consider to be one of those most charming retail establishments in Sydney. It’s called Catmosphere, subtitled “Sydney’s original cat café – book meow.”
It caters to every form of cat lover. From those who want one but can’t have one due to housing rules (i.e., Madam and her cat loving husband, Beau), to those who want to adopt.
You can wander into this charming Surry Hills terrace house, enjoy a tea, coffee or mocktail, and commune with the rescue kitties the shop has claimed. Or if you are extremely brave (Madam and Beau evidently not among the counted), you can enter an Aladdin’s cave of purrfect examples of potential adoptees.
It even has a Catflix Cinema where for a small fee you may enter a room holding no more than five people (social distancing at its best), sit in a floor-level recliner, cuddle up to your provided fleecy blanket and rattle your small bottle of cat treats, and welcome cuddles and purrs from the denizens of the theater while you watch a movie.
What a delight to find such compassion, whimsy and a sense of humor in these days of what seems to be permanent and interminable angst.
Here’s the zinger for me – from H.P. Lovecraft: “The dog appeals to cheap and facile emotions; the cat to the deepest founts of imagination and cosmic perception in the human mind”.
See? There’s my reasoning. I knew I had one somewhere.
Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.