Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 43

Meow.

I wish the world did not have to be divided into dog-people and cat-people. All creatures should be loved and treated with respect, simply because we all share Mother Earth. However, since this debate isn’t about all animals, I shall not digress.

I’ve had dogs and cats as pets before, although not at the same time. First-hand experiences with their very different characteristics and habits have helped me vote objectively.

A cat is the simpler-to-keep pet of the 2. 99% of cats are equipped with self-cleaning skills and basic toilet-training. They do not poop where they eat and they do not eat where they poop. If the cat starts pooping outside of their litter-box, it means it’s time to “flush” its toilet. Cats are known to be clean.

It took me 2 weeks to toilet-train my first puppy. After which, he would still occasionally forget. A dog’s need to poop/pee is not just because of the digestion process. It is also their way of marking territory and perhaps, communicating with a fellow dog. You’ll need to walk a dog or they will not leave you in peace. At a specific time, every evening, Jojo (my poodle) would bark at his leash and run around in circles excitedly. Of course, I enjoyed those walks with my dog, but I felt guilty for the few times I was just too tired.

Cats are independent creatures. They come and go as they please. I can relate to that attitude. They’ll meow if they want a cuddle or food. I love it when they purr while sitting on my tummy. It is the most relaxing therapy. My cat, Capucine, used to jump on my laptop and tease my face with her tail while I was working. The other one, Albator, would sit on top of the TV and wave his paw in front of the screen. Both cats knew how to get my attention. But during prime-time TV, they would either fall sleep on the sofa or wrestle with each other in the kitchen.

My dog was fiercely loyal and practically stuck to me. He followed me everywhere in the house and whined whenever I left. Dogs need much more attention. Their total devotion and obedient loyalty makes it all the more attention-deserving. But I find myself not being able to reciprocate in the same manner, given that my other commitments pile up as I get older.

Dog or cat, they either chew or scratch. Chewing toys and scratching posts have been invented for the purpose of saving pet-owners’ furniture or favorite shoes. Whichever pet we choose or have is the most adorable one and they give us so much love.

My verdict comes to this heart-breaking story I read about an abandoned dog whose owner had moved away and the house left empty for months. The picture of a sickly dog, starved to bones, is deeply etched in my mind. He was discovered by a passer-by who immediately wanted to take him to the vet but he refused to step outside. So he fed the dog through the iron-grilled gate. This poor dog had refused to denounce his loyalty and, unaware of his owner’s desertion, stayed within the old house, pining for their return. It does not take an animal-lover to wonder how any human being could neglect their pet to such an extent.

With this, I have to say that cats are survivors; smarter and more adaptable to change. There are so many cats in my neighborhood but they’re not abandoned strays. On the contrary, they are loved, well-fed, given the freedom to roam and do as they please. Each one is somebody’s favorite pet.

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