Cats or Dogs?
There’s no competition. For me, dogs are way more understanding, cuddly and lovable than cats.
This bias may stem from a weird childhood encounter with a graphic novel, or as we called it then, comic book. In the story, the spirit of a murdered mob-boss enters his pet black cat, which then exacts revenge on all his murderers in graphically gross ways. I read the book all the way through, and then dreamed about that scary cat for two nights in a row. Since then, every black cat inspires terror in me, and even white, fluffy cats look devious in my eyes. Kittens I love, but then, who doesn’t?
I’m not sure why this one fictional cat made such an impression on me, when I’ve had scary encounters with real-life dogs. A neighbour’s dog bit me when I was three, and my own (late) German Spitz was so irritable and snappy that she bit me at least twice a month–I still have a couple of scars to show for them. Maybe I don’t fear dogs because I don’t have any memory of the former and no grudge against the latter. Also, my Labrador Sherlock is adorable, intelligent, and very, very non-scary.
So yes, dogs any day.
PS: This post answers one of my own questions that I put up for my Liebster Award nominees a few days back.
This week’s Creative Writing Challenge is to talk about a character in my life; to make this person real for the readers. The post said nothing about pets, but Sherlock is the first person whom I based a fictional character on!
Sherlock is a two-and-almost-half year old yellow Labrador Retriever (yeah, yeah. I know that Sherlock is an awesome name for a Lab!) who first came to us in a cardboard box two years ago. Much training–he has trained me very well to feed him regularly and play with him when he tells me to–and almost 32 Kilos later he has turned out to be a little-too-friendly (according to visitors) and slightly overweight (according to his Vet) but adorable dog. For about 6 hours after getting a bath, Sherlock’s coat is of various shades of cream; he has almost white paws and a camel colored tail, of which body part he is unusually protective, by the way. His weird dark brown-pink nose and his half-cocked right ear set him apart from other Labs.
When Sherlock greets me after being separated from me (whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours or 5 days, his enthusiasm is always the same) and wants to be petted, he has this habit of rubbing against my legs. And he has another feline trait: he licks his paws after eating, much like cats clean themselves! I’m not sure if that’s common in most dogs or whether it’s because Sherlock was friends with a kitten when he was 6 months old.
Mealtimes are his favorite times of the day, of course. Except when it’s time for a walk. Or to play catch (his version of catch is where he runs with a ball/toy in his mouth, and I try to ‘catch’ him). When he was 5-6 months old, he thought his name was ‘food’; that’s the word he responded to, instead of ‘Sherlock’. As he grew older, this changed to ‘good boy’ and then to ‘biscuit’. Now he responds to ‘Sherlock’… if he feels like it!
Last year my mother added a small lily pond to her beautiful garden. But we live in a tropical climate and Sherlock loves the water. And lily pond + hot summers + Sherlock = Disaster! No sooner had Sherlock seen the pond that he’d jumped in the muddy water full of pretty flowers. Mom lost both her temper and her precious lilies that day, and Sherlock lost his romp-in-the-yard-without-leash privileges for a couple of weeks.
Sherlock is my best friend, my little brother (you’d think he’s higher in the family hierarchy than me, the way he orders me around!) and absolutely the most favorite person of mine. But I wish I could understand even half the things that he tells me. After all, he understands everything I tell him.
Sometimes I wonder whether we really are the ‘most intelligent life form on Earth’.