Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cat person or dog person?

Most people claim to be either a cat person or a dog person. For as long as I can remember, I have loved animals, in all shapes and forms, with the exception of spiders (but that's an entirely other post). I feel a deep empathy for them, and I feel guilty about the way the whole of mankind treats them. It is their world too, but we feel we must reign supreme over them because we are supposedly much more intelligent and much higher beings. Huh. We cage them, we tame them, we make them work for us, all in an attempt to feel superior. We are polluting their world, we are infringing more and more on their territories and distroying their habitats because we are so selfish. Just look at the offshore oil leak. Who can forget the pictures of majestic pelicans reduced to an oiled covered blob?

Well, I feel we owe animals big time. Especially dogs and cats and other domesticated pets, who get bought, then abandoned at the first sign of a problem. I volunteer at a shelter, so I have heard it all. I see so many animals come in, who in spite of being abandoned and even abused, still look at you with loving eyes and still trust humans. How remarkable. This one cat in particular would literally give all the volunteers hugs, while purring ever so loudly. And so many dogs, who wag their tails as soon as you walk into sight!

They could be bitter, but they choose to forget and to continue trusting. I adopted a cat who was abandoned in a cardboard box in a parking lot, very pregnant. She was bounced around until she ended up in my foster care, but not before being exposed to a cold like virus. As a result, all the kittens (8 of them!), who were born healthy, caught her virus, but being so little and defenseless, they all died, one by one. We went through a roller coaster of emotions, from watching the miracle of their births to seeing them wither away...I hate her previous owners for first of all not spaying her, then letting her roam outside and get pregnant, and then, as if that was not enough, abandoning her for being pregnant even though it was their fault!

Well, guess what. She is the best cat in the world, she purrs so loudly you can hear her through the house! Their loss. Our wonderful gain.

We also have a cute little dog who has a personality as big as the sky. We adopted her at eleven weeks, She is now eleven years old, and there are no sad story about her, just a good loving, normal life, which is the way it should be.

So when you ask me if I'm a dog person or a cat person, I reply, "I am both". We don't have to choose. You're allowed to be both, and you're even allowed to be an all emcompassing "animal person"!

So go ahead. Love an animal. Love them all.

"To err is human, to forgive is canine." - Anonymous