Reporters debate cat vs. dog
Two reporters. One is a cat person; one a dog person. Normally, they refrain from baring their teeth and bringing out the claws. But, recently, they got together to debate the merits of their favorite pets for this space.
Christy Chalmers: I don’t hate dogs. I just know cats are better. Before I elaborate, I have to mention one disclaimer. I have two cats and a dog, and my dog is an exception to the general oafishness of her cohorts. Even so, her brilliance isn’t quite enough to brighten the general dimness that seems to permeate the dog world.
Merrie Leininger: Dogs are not only better than cats, cats are not even in the same league.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate cats. Some of my best friends are cats – well, that’s not true. In fact, I find it very difficult to be friends with a cat. Cats are snobs. I don’t like people who are snobs and I don’t like cats. Cats are only your friend when it will benefit them. You got a can of tuna or some catnip, they love you. Otherwise, you’re on your own.
Christy: They’re sophisticated. They don’t just take anything you give them. Dogs are like the Fox TV of the animal world. You just go for the lowest common denominator, and that’s dogs. They’ll take anything from anybody. Cats, though, they’re more like A&E, they appeal to a more sophisticated taste. They know what they want from life and that’s what they get.
Merrie: They’re snobs. Dogs, on the other hand, are man’s best friend. I know my dog is even more than a friend, he has been a part of my family since I was 12 years old. And dogs are friendly. They like to be around you. They like to play with you.
Christy: That’s because they have no other life.
Merrie: Cats are boring. They don’t do anything.
Christy: They would if they were outside.
Merrie: If they go outside they kill everything that is smaller than them.
Christy: No, just what they can catch. Just what can’t get away from them, and you know, that’s just Darwin at work. Now, about this dog following you around when you were sick. When I was sick a few weeks ago, my cats stayed with me the whole time. They might even have arranged for emergency help if it had come to that.
Merrie: No, no, no. Cats have never saved a human life. I suspect your cats stayed by your side because they enjoyed watching you suffer. Dogs are repeatedly in the news because they’re like Lassie, they always want to run and help people. Dogs are used to herd sheep, find missing persons, discover contraband at the airport and protect policemen. Cats could care less about a human being and that’s why they’re not used in any of those things.
Christy: That’s because cats are smarter than going into a dark building where some psycho might be waiting. There was a woman in Carson City a couple of weeks ago who had a snake in her house. The cat cornered it and alerted her. She might have gotten bitten if that cat had not pointed it out to her. It was on the front page of the paper. Front page news, I tell you, that’s how cats are. They’re very helpful and heroic when they need to be.
Merrie: I have helped many cats when I worked at the Humane Society and my job was to clean the cat room. I left that cat room every day covered in scratches. I tried to be nice and let them out of a cage for a little while and run around. They are not grateful for anything. They just scratch you.
Christy: That’s kind of an unfair comparison. That’s like saying prisoners are not very nice. They’re locked up, they’re unhappy, they want to be free. Of course they’re ungrateful. I would be ungrateful, too.
Merrie: Even though they are prisoners at the time, it still shows cats’ nature. Whenever anyone came into the room, they were smiling and meowing and trying to look as cute as they could. But as soon as you open the door, they were gone.
Christy: They take advantage of the opportunity.
Merrie: They take advantage of people.
Christy: No. My cats never take advantage of me.
Merrie: Your cats have you trained. You said just the other day that if a cat is in your lap and won’t move of its own accord, you won’t push it off your lap.
Christy: It takes a lot to get a cat on your lap. They have standards, you know.
Merrie: Because they don’t like people.
Christy: They just want you to appreciate them. You can move a dog from one end of the room to the other all day and they won’t mind. With cats, they get real tired of that after the second time and they’ll look at you like, “Why?”
Merrie: Is it a disdainful look? Is that right?
Christy: Yeah. Because they have better things to do with their time and they don’t like to waste it. Sometimes I’ll be sitting there and a cat is walking across the room. When I go, “Hey, come here,” she’ll look at me like, “I don’t have time for that,” and it’s true because she had something else she was going to do in another room. They always have stuff to do and they’re always going some place.
Merrie: Cats don’t have anything to do because they expect you to do everything for them. They live in their own little world in which they are the masters of everything they survey. Telling a cat to “Come!” is like telling an attorney to “Cut the crap!” Neither will understand what you are talking about and probably aren’t listening to you anyway.
Christy: Maybe you’re a little envious that they’ve figured out how to run the world on their own terms?
Merrie: People who are described that way are called dictators. Cats running the world? No thank you. Nicky and I will go somewhere else.
Christy Chalmers and Merrie Leininger are staff writers for The Record-Courier. They like to chase cars and scratch the furniture in their spare time.