By Dane Parsons
In most things, there are two types of people in the world. Whether good or evil, Democrat or Republican, to some, the struggle becomes most significant between cats or dogs as a domestic pet. My father liked to claim he was an anomaly—that for him no pets was the best option.
He eventually caved to the constant pestering from his three kids and our mother, and our family welcomed the first (of many) pets which would populate the Parsons’ household. We have had cats, dogs, hamsters, fish, parakeets, turtles, hedgehogs and even opossums. All of this is to give you, dear reader, a good look at the kind of household I grew up in, to hopefully have a better understanding as to my perspective on this issue: one that has plagued our world for generations, the fight between the feline and the canine. It is a truly absurd war when you think about it, being forced to choose between two very different types of animals with different temperaments who could suit people differently depending on their personality type and living situation. But the war rages on, and still we find the divide growing stronger between them.
My goal here is to look at the possibility as to why this divide between people and animals has been created and see if perhaps there can be some reconciliation between these two fronts.
In my own personal experience, it seems to me people are more likely to be judgmental towards cats. Now one might ask where this resentment was born from – but I think all of us have had that one experience with one bad cat. You know, the one that lives at your great aunt’s, and who seems to be the antichrist only contained by a layer of fur and hates everything good or nice in the world. And the thing is, most cats are not like that at all. Though cats perhaps do not crave as much attention from people. In fact most cats still enjoy human affection on a less extreme basis then dogs. So why is it wrong for people to prefer a when it could be a better fit for them personally, regardless of which animal is “better” in their opinion?
On YouTube, a three-part video series made by Fatawesome called “Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend” humorously explored what it would be like if your roommates acted like a cat and a dog, overexaggerating on both sides of the spectrum. In the YouTube comments I noticed there was a significant reaction against how cats were being portrayed, complaining about how your cat shouldn’t hate you. There was also a great number of comments about how people shouldn’t fight over which animal is better, and how both animals have good aspects about them.
In closing, I would just like to say whether you are a cat person or a dog person, to recognize it’s okay to accept that not all animals might be right for you or others. It also could be good to think about the qualities as to why someone might prefer one animal to another, and hope live in harmony over this issues. That one day everyone could say every pet has their upsides and downsides. Unless, of course, you’re my dad, who still vehemently argues that all pets only have downsides.