Appreciative, but still not a cat person - Tactical Ninja
Jun. 5th, 2013
09:27 am - Appreciative, but still not a cat person
Urk. I've been wearing my long black coat these last couple of southerly days, and I just realised that it's made of the perfect worn suede look fabric to replicate the Renegade's Coat. A sensible girl would not cut up her winter coat to make cosplay she'll never wear. A sensible girl would go and try to find something similar in shops, then stomp it around in the mud a bit till it looks worn, right?
Am I a sensible girl?
Mum Wheel came and took the cats home last night. They seemed somewhat unperturbed by their sudden swooping and depositing into cages, and this time they didn't have to share a cage so they were probably quite a lot happier.
Meanwhile, as a lifelong dog person who's had the occasional cat but never quite so intensively, I thought I'd have a bash at reviewing cats in apartments as pets.
Pros: They are entertaining, especially when you give them drugs. However, dogs don't need drugs to be entertaining, they are generally high on life. I guess the difference is that with cats, you can switch them off quite easily, and because they are basically lazy, they don't require exercise and don't get all annoying and insistent when you just want to sit on your arse. Instead, they will sit on you and enable your own laziness with their furry contentment. They are also warm and soft to stroke and unlike dogs, they don't leave quite the same film of themselves on your skin wherever they touch you. And, having a cat around is kind of like having the smell of coffee or baking bread in your house - it makes it kind of homey.
So that's the good stuff. I'll miss them for this.
Cons: Litter boxes. Ew. Especially ew if you have extra taste buds and thus can't ignore the smell when they take a dump first thing in the morning, just before you get up - so the start of every day is dealing with litter boxes. And then they go "Ooh, clean litter box!" and use it again because it's clean. Picking up dog poo is much drier, more sporadic, and less in-your-face because it's outside. Next on the con list: fur. Frodo as a standard tabby wasn't too bad but Derpy as a Persian appears to grow it twice as fast and shed it twice as fast, and because of his deformed face he can't clean himself properly so it comes out in clumps and gets on everything. Like, in my mouth while I'm sleeping, and on clothes I haven't even pulled out of the wardrobe since they arrived. Add to this that one of my closest friends is allergic and this in itself would be enough for me to veto having cats on a permanent basis. But the fur OMG THE FUR! On EVERYTHING! Did I mention how the fur got on everything? Seriously, starting this evening we will be washing all the cushion covers and blankets and bedding, then having the carpets and upholstery steam cleaned. Because FUR! And general cat miasma. Even us who are not allergic found ourselves with generally stuffier noses this month.
And yes, dogs shed fur too, but I have nearly always had outside dogs, and even when I lived with grist and we had two dogs inside, I could keep First and her excessive undercoat away from my wardrobe, out of my bed and separated from my tonsils. Dog fur doesn't float in the air like cat fur does - it'll get on your clothes if you cuddle them and on the floor and their bed, but not in your dinner.
Another con, which is also a bit of a pro I guess, is their entitlement. I really dislike when animals try to beg food when I'm eating. This stems from having been a shepherd with 6 dogs, and having my cheese sandwich on a hill somewhere with a dozen eyes following my every move and half a dozen mouths drooling incessantly - I learned very quickly to teach them a command that means "Fuck right off over there and don't even look at me till I tell you to." Cats, on the other hand, seem to take my desire not to share my lunch as a personal affront, which requires more insistent behaviour. Frodo in particular thought the had a right to not only see what I'm eating by being up there with me, but to check out my finished plate as well. I taught him not to, but at cost to our relationship. Dogs do not take it personally when you don't let them scarf your food out from under you.
The upside of this is that Frodo at least was talky. He had a vocabulary of about half a dozen different meows, that he'd use to communicate different things, and that was kind of cool.
Finally, scratching. Sure, we could have got them a scratching post, but I've seen how some cats prefer the carpet and the furniture anyway, and it's just something I'd rather not deal with. I think our carpet isn't too badly damaged, but even after several clear explanations of why that behaviour is unacceptable, both cats would blatantly do it in front of us anyway. Little shits. Yes, dogs tend to be diggy, or have other natural tendencies that are frustrating to deal with (for First it was her inborn OCD about watching, which led to tracks being worn wherever she'd pace back and forth). But dogs at least have the decency to look guilty when you catch them at it. Cats are all like "What do you mean stop tearing up the carpet? Why the hell should I?"
Don't get me wrong, I like cats and I will miss our two. They were nice to have around and in the future time I would like to have a cat again - in fact, I would like to have two, because two seem happier and are definitely more entertaining. But it'll be at a time and place where they can go outside, and where I can control how much of my life is filled with their fur. Apartment cats, in my opinion, are lovely to see and touch, but unlovely to hear, smell and taste. Their miasma and general presence is too invasive when you can't get away from it, and I would eventually start to dislike them for something they can't help.
It's also made me think twice about my desire to own a whippet. Whippets are indoor dogs, and I suspect that having any animal as a permanent indoor one would make me resentful eventually. Hmm..
tl;dr: Dog person spends a month living with cats, decides dogs are still better, explains why. I've no doubt lots of people disagree.