Each to their own

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

Are dogs bet­ter than cats?

That is like say­ing men are bet­ter than women (well, only ever as a joke), choco­late ice-cream is bet­ter than vanilla ice-cream, or the Hur­ri­canes are bet­ter than the Blues (please let it be so this year). It is all a mat­ter of opin­ion. I love dogs. I ad­mire cats. I find it fas­ci­nat­ing that they have both etched their ways into our lives and yet are so com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

Cats, of course, were revered as gods in an­cient times, as­so­ci­ated with the oc­cult for their mys­te­ri­ous pow­ers and cer­tainly have never re­ally been owned by hu­mans.

Dogs on the other hand, are man’s first do­mes­ti­cated an­i­mal, his guardian and best friend. We have played around with their gene pool to the point some are hardly recog­nis­able as dogs out­wardly, but in­her­ently they are the same loyal, trust­ing, com­pan­ion­able crea­tures that we first re­lated to 15,000 years ago.

There are so many won­der­ful bumper sticker say­ings about cats and dogs and most of them are so true. Some of my favourites

Cats and dogs have to­tally dif­fer­ent traits but we can’t seem to get enough of ei­ther. in­clude: Dogs are so­cial; cats are so­ciopaths. Dogs teach us pa­tience; cats test our pa­tience. Dogs have own­ers; cats have staff.

Don’t get me wrong. I think cats are fan­tas­tic. I love their in­de­pen­dence, I love their purring and there is some­thing very en­dear­ing in their aloof­ness and in­tel­li­gence.

They are great pets, the per­fect com­pan­ion for the busy in­di­vid­ual of to­day.

Cats have vir­tu­ally none of the dog’s won­der­ful traits but they also don’t have all those an­noy­ing dog habits of bark­ing, slob­ber­ing, and stick­ing their nose into the groin of the un­pre­pared vis­it­ing aunty.

With dogs, their de­vo­tion is sin­cere and they truly do love to be loved. This is be­cause they are so­cial crea­tures like us. They have a range of emo­tions so we know when they are happy, em­bar­rassed, ea­ger, or dis­ap­pointed. They also have been shown sci­en­tif­i­cally to be able to read our emo­tions. As so­cial crea­tures, a dog will live any­where: arc­tic cold, trop­i­cal jun­gle, ur­ban apart­ment, if they and their hu­man pack lead­ers stay to­gether.

Cats, hon­estly, would be on the first train out if the salmonflavoured food runs out. Which­ever you pre­fer, it doesn’t mat­ter. They are both spe­cial for their own rea­sons. Some peo­ple are dog peo­ple. Some are cat peo­ple. I en­joy be­ing a dog and cat per­son.

(Ex­cerpts taken from Why Dogs are Bet­ter Than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive).

Dr Ian Schraa is an ex­pe­ri­enced vet­eri­nar­ian and the owner of Rap­paw Ve­teri­nary Care.

Odd cou­ple:

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