We went to Barnes and Noble today, to buy books and speed... er, uh, I mean Starbucks. While my husband sat nursing some huge coffee drink, I wandered around. And I noticed something...
In the "animals" section, there were two whole bookcases devoted only to dogs, but not even a shelf devoted only to cats. Cats were mixed in with the other animals.
Now, at first I was highly offended by this. The last time I checked cats were just as, if not more popular than dogs, thanks to more people living in apartments and condos, where dogs aren't allowed. So, why aren't more books being written about cats?
Then it occured to me that you could have thousands of books just about the different types of dogs. Yes, there are many types of cats, but cats aren't as different as dogs.
I mean, a cat is a cat pretty much. Some are fairly small, and some are fairly large, but you just don't find a domestic cat the size of a great dane.
And, cat care is pretty much the same for all cats. Yes, some have special needs, like hairless cats need to be kept in warmer dryer places than cats with hair. Long haired cats need to be brushed more than short haired cats. But, cats are cats. They don't make "large cat" formula in cat food. They make kitten food, adult cat food and older cat food. But this covers pretty much any kitten, any cat, any old cat.
And a cat pretty much looks like a cat. Which I've always loved. Sure, Siamese cats look more exotic than... let's say my cat Goten, but you still look at them and go, "It's a cat!" And even if you took someone from another planet and showed them Goten and a Siamese cat, they'd probably still be able to conclude they were both these creatures called "cats." Even those persian cats, that try desperately to look like pug nose dogs, still look like cats. Sure, they look like cats that got on the wrong end of someone with a shovel, but they still look like cats.
Now, put a wire haired terrrier next to a St. Bernard and I'll bet our person from another planet might have a bit of trouble figuring out if they're from the same species or not.
I'm not knocking dogs, but in some ways, dogs are too specialized. Sure, we have muts running around, but even muts can vary so much in size, shape, and temperment. Cats... well, they have a consistant quality. And they're always cats. Some might be more affectionate than others, some might be better hunters, or lazier than your average cat, but cats pretty much share many similar characteristics.
A cat won't come when you call her, unless she finds it worthy of her. And who can judge when a cat will find it worthy? I have found shaking a box of dry food is more likely to attract her attention than calling from.... let's say the bathroom while running water into the sink.
Cats will always find the most comfortable place in the house to sleep. Even if it's right where you want to sleep.
Cats will always have the ability to make you feel that it's an honor to let you pet them. Even Zaphod, who was the most insecure cat I ever met in my life, could give me that look that said, "Oh, you are petting me, you are such a lucky human!"
Basically, if you decide you want to get a particular type of cat, chances are it's more of a decorator choice than a personality choice. "Oooh, we have cream colored furniture, let's get a dark cat, to make sure the shedding shows up really bright!" Sure, some folks say, "Persians are generally more friendly!" But trust me, spend 20 minutes observing a bunch of cats in a shelter and you'll find a friendly non-persian pretty fast.
Yet with dogs, I hear all the time about how certain breeds have certain personalities. "German Shepards are great protectors. Golden retrievers love kids" And having worked in a vet's office when I was younger, I know that different breeds of dogs have different needs. Yeah, dogs need to have a lot more books devoted to them. Sporting dogs, big dogs, medium sized dogs, attack dogs, you name it. Every type of dog, every breed of dog probably has at least one book devoted to their type and their type alone.
Yes, there are books devoted to specific types of cats, but really a good book in basic cat care, that covers all cats is pretty easy to find.
Not to mention, it probably does those poor dogs with their "need to be loved" fragile egos good to know that two whole bookshelves at B&N is devoted only to them. Cats on the other hand, don't need that much of an ego stroke. They already know they are the most wonderful divine, creature on the planet.
But only them. No other cats apply.
And it's that snotfull of ego attitude that makes me love them so much. No one has the self esteme of a cat. Even the insecure ones I've known, have always had some inner knowlege that they were the best thing since... well, the best thing ever, because as far as a cat is concerned, nothing in this world mattered until they came along.