In Defense of Cats

Whenever I hear a self-described "dog person" talk, there's an inevitable "I hate cats" thrown in. This is because cats and dogs love in very different ways. Dogs are stage 5 clingers: Think Taylor Swift, a typical Bachelor contestant. My parents' dog greets me like the President every time I come visit, but that enthusiastic love grates in a matter of hours when I can't go to the bathroom without her.

If I'm eating, the Oscar moment starts: She looks at me like she's never eaten before, and she will never eat again. Is this charming? If you did this to anyone, even once, you'd be banished.

I'm a self-described "cat person." Before the scoffing starts, let me explain why. I understand them. They want space; they don't need you constantly; their love is transparent (feed me and I love you). They also don't eat to the point of gluttony. I've always thought this was a marker of intelligence. Dogs will eat their weight if given the opportunity (Why do you think the Tumblr "Dog Shaming" is viral?). You can leave a cat for a couple days without it having a panic attack.

My cat is willful, independent, and makes clear that he will love on his terms. I've always been this way: give me space and I will come closer. As a kitten, he would wait for me to return home from work daily by sitting at the door. On nights I returned late, I'd find him sleeping at the door. They have a sense of loyalty and love, but it's a subtler kind.


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