The house is a little quieter since we lost Casey, our little Cocker Spaniel. Our other Cocker, Sadie, is still wobbling around but, like Casey, she’s older so we know that not far down the road she’ll be gone too. We do have two other pets in the house. Those would be the ones that our daughter left behind…the cats.
Cats and dogs have fundamentally different personalities. You can love either one but you can only trust a dog. You simply can’t trust a cat. Dogs are honest and straightforward. If a dog likes you, then you’ll know it instantly. If a dog doesn’t like you, that’ll be obvious too. Cats are treacherous. They’ll rub up against anyone who comes through the front door and purr. Then, as soon as the human turns to walk away, the cat will bite their ankle.
Both dogs and cats have very rigid rules about what is and isn’t acceptable human behavior. The difference is that with dogs there’s no pretense about the penitence. Offending a dog is a death sentence to your favorite shoe. It’ll find the shoe, chew it up and drop the tattered remains at your feet. Then it’ll lock eyes with you with you in an icy stare. If you look behind those canine eyes, it’s easy to imagine the dog saying, “This time it was a shoe. Cause me grief again and the next time it’ll be something more personal.” Dogs aren’t big on subtlety.
Cats on the other hand are sneaky. If you do some that irks a cat, they’ll smile at you with that cute feline face, purr a few times and then silently slip into your bedroom and pee on your bed pillow. Then they wait. That night, when you jump out of bed with a wet ear, you’ll find the cat sitting on a nearby dresser. They’ll smile at you with a sweet, innocent grin and purr again. Behind those feline eyes is a different message that goes something like, “Your pillow is wet? That’s horrible! Who would do such a thing to a nice person like you? Fortunately, I just saw that JC Penney is having a white goods sale this week. You should probably buy a few pillows. You know how difficult it is to get the urine smell out of foam and who knows how many more times this might happen. Ta ta now. I’m going to make a trip to the litter box and then I think I’ll walk on the kitchen table and a few counters.”
Our cats are old too, so soon we’ll have to make a decision about whether to get another pet. If we do, it’ll be a dog. We both like Cocker Spaniels, but after thirteen years I’d kind of like to try another breed. I thought about a low riding Welsh Corgi, but I don’t think that we have enough running space in our yard to keep one happy. Beagles are nice, but boy do they like to bark. Lately, I’ve been looking at Boston Terriers. From what I’ve read so far, they’re energetic, but not too energetic. That’s perfect for an aging engineer like me. By all reports they’re good with children, which bodes well for the grandkids, and they seem to have a comical personality which fits Linda and me pretty well.
But there’s time. With a little TLC, Sadie will be with us for another two or three years. By then I’ll probably have considered and eliminated another fifty breeds. We’ll probably end up with another Cocker Spaniel though or maybe just a cute little rescue mutt. That’s not the worst fate in the world for us or the dog. Pets in our house, cat or dog, live a good life.