For sometime today, I paused to think of this. Here I was, lover of all beings furry, four-legged and instantaneously lovable - and every time I am subject to this maddening question 'cats or dogs?', I can't help but be at a loss for words.
We were at over a friend's place, sipping on a drink, when the topic shifted to our love for animals. I admit, not particularly a topic anyone would want to debate on at 12 p.m. but with the alcohol working its magic into the conversation, an intense, unworthy exchange of mindless logic was inevitable. Then this girl, holding a glass of whisky in one hand and stroking her sleeping retriever with another, vented loudly, 'I love dogs. You know...I'm such a dog person'.
I suppose she had done well for a conversation starter, for there was an immediate chorus from a few others from the room; 'Me too, I love dogs. I'm such a dog person' - 'Really, I hate cats... I'm so not a cat person' - 'I love dogs too, my sis and I are dog people'. Erm. Amused, I asked the girl in front of me 'So, have you ever owned a cat? Why do you hate cats so much?'
'Yuck. I'd never own a cat. I hate cats, they're sneaky and cunning. They're not like dogs', she proclaimed, 'I am not a cat person at all'.
Interested, I asked, 'So you hate cats without ever owning a cat as a pet?'.
I tell you, the density of human intelligence. Sigh. Anyway, I was thoroughly interested in small entertainment. I went on, 'Well, I think it's pretty silly to hate something you know nothing about. I have dogs, but I also have cats, and they are as lovable.'
Clearly, I ruffled a few feathers. The girl in distress quickly looked about for some support. The guy near me, visibly gearing up for an ode to canines kept this drink down, and said matter-of-factly, 'I can't stand cats. They are such sneaky, sly creatures'. Turns out, not only has he never had a cat at home, he had barely touched a dog in his life. Even better, all the supposed canine lovers complained that 'cats climbed tables', 'they scratch', 'they aren't loyal', 'cats like to steal'.
Half-way through this mumbo-jumbo I asked the girl with the retriever if she liked dogs simply because they were obedient. I proposed that if she adopted any animal, and cared for it enough, it usually did the same in return. 'No,' she dismissed, 'I like dogs because they like us back'.
Humans, I believe, are a half-witted creation intended (quite literally) for the amusement of some deity. We seek love and acceptance in the strangest ways and still don't realise what a lot of horse-crap we talk about nature.
This post is dedicated to my family and all the animals who are a part of our crazy lives. Mr. Bugs, my meat-eating rabbit, my numerous dogs- Bertie Wooster, Coco Chanel, Moti, Snoopy, Humpty, Dumpty, Jack, Jill, Apple, three nameless rabbits, the guniea pigs that we hid in the freezer of our broken fridge, the squirrel family that live in our living room shelf, the squirrels that eat Vadai in our garden everyday, the bulbul family in the first lightbulb, the three lovebirds, the numerous peacocks who come home to eat during the day, puddytat - the smartest stray kitten we adopted, Cat- the little bundle of joy from blue cross and her many kittens, esp. Max orange one and two, and little Curry bean and finally - Mushu, my baby turtle, I'm sorry I had to give you away.
A snapshot of one of the baby squirrels that come home to eat vadai everyday. Erm. Terribly greedy Tamilian squirrels with an appetite for South Indian snacks.
A peacock sneaks his way to find some food in our garden during the day. He often visits with all his girlfriends...
His girlfriends for some reason like huddling over our compound. Oh well, women.
Coco Chanel, who has successfully spent the last ten years watching the world go by. She barks only when she gets grubby or needs a belly rub.
After all, that's all we need don't we?