The bottom line on people

I decided last night at 1:27 in the morning that people generally fall into two categories: cat people and dog people.

I don’t mean people who like either dogs or cats, but that they are like cats or dogs. And before you laugh, I once wrote a list of ’20 people you’re likely to have at a conference’, comparing them to animals. For example, the hedgehog – someone who sees the light and curls up in a ball all prickly.

Cat people and dog people. I’m a dog person. Mostly. It’s possible that we swap, depending on our relationship with someone. I can think of a time I was a cat person, but it isn’t very often.

Cat people:

aloof, deliberately whimsical, like their own space, want to come in when THEY want to come in.

If you live with a cat person, you will find that they come to you when they want, rather than when you want. They like a bit of petting, but on their own terms. Mostly, that’s in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep. They like luxury but will gladly piss where they sleep if they don’t have to clean it up. They might be fighting machines but they still like to sleep in the warmest, most comfortable spot and luxuriate. Girl cats take very good care of themselves and like to preen. Boy cats like to strut. Cats are hyper-intelligent and a bit wild. They have the ability to completely manipulate dog people. For instance, if you find yourself getting up to get their breakfast at 6:00 a.m., you’re a dog and they’re a cat. If you put a plate of food aside for them, you’re a dog and they’re a cat. A cat might go a little crazy from time to time, but mostly they are uber-composed. They’re cruel sometimes and they can be mean, but they do such a good job of looking cute that you’d forgive them for eating that butterfly and tormenting a mouse. You can’t put a cat on a lead (or if you do, it just looks peculiar!) because they aren’t meant to be collared. They’re the dom. You’re the sub. Got that?

They like to be independent and would rather hang about alone. They might have a little friend or be forced to live with other people, but if they’re being cute, they’re doing it just to trick you. One of those cats will be more like a dog, I promise you. They’ll be a scaredy-cat.

Cat women are fierce about their children, even if their children are feral. Cat women can quite easily hang about with other cat women, as long as the order is respected, otherwise, claws are out. They are perfectly good at ganging up on innocent victims and terrorising them. They kind of hang about out of a loose sense of needing someone to hunt with from time to time, rather than out of loyalty.

Cat men are used to being loners. They might find a cat pack who’ll let them rule for a bit, but they know their rule is only as long as they’re allowed to hang around. A show of weakness and that’s it. They’re forced to prowl alone.

Dogs are the opposite of this. Dogs like to be in a pack. Dogs are loyal and friendly in a kind of senseless manner. It’s easy to trick a dog. You can pretend to throw a ball and a dog will run after it. When they come back, they look at you as if to say: “Hey?! What happened?” You can be mean to a dog and only when it’s very, very threatened will it attack you. Dogs like to be with other dogs and they like company. Dogs eat a lot and they don’t care what they eat or when. Dogs are also a bit needy. They need someone to look after them and clean them up. Dogs are helpful. Cats wouldn’t herd sheep, now would they? Cats are too busy plotting the downfall of mankind to herd sheep.

A dog will always be happy to see you. A cat will pretend you’re not there. And when they are forced to acknowledge your presence, a cat will say: “Oh… it’s you… have you been somewhere?”

If you leave a cat, it will rub its paws together and say: “Oh, goodie. All night singing with my friends… I can go prowling again! I can eat mice and leave bird wings on the doorstep.” A dog will say: “Don’t go. Why are you going? Where are you going? When are you coming back? How long will you be?”

Dogs can be terribly clever but also very stupid. You come across stupid cats, like the one we rescued and now belongs to my sister, but he’s stupid with sharp claws and an innate ability to attack you whilst you sleep. A stupid cat is still a dangerous cat. A stupid dog is just funny.

Dogs get giddy if you give them a present. A free bone from the butcher’s is like a gourmet meal. A ball is as good as a Ferrari to a dog. If you get a cat a present, it probably won’t like it. It might toy with it a little. It’d rather play with a paper bag or a box. Dogs get giddy about walks, cats, postmen, strange noises, other dogs, getting up, going to the door, their tea. Cats get giddy about cat nip and that’s only because it’s a drug.

Dogs will lie on the floor or in a pile of dirt and not care. They like it a lot if you let them sit with you, but that’s not because it’s more comfortable, but because they are near you. A cat will sit where it likes and if you have to sit somewhere else, so be it. If you go off and do something, a dog will want to know what you’re doing and follow you. A cat won’t even care.

Dogs are so full of emotion and perplexity that the years have enabled them to develop eyebrows. Every dog has sad, expressive eyes and looks permanently baffled by life when they aren’t with you. A dog can guilt you into giving them space on the settee or letting them get into bed with you. A cat will bully you into it. Cats haven’t developed eyebrows because they are emotionless like Mr. Spock. Humanity fascinates them and interests them a bit. If they had eyebrows, they might be permanently raised, but that would imply some kind of reaction to the world around them, and they can’t have that. Cats have poker faces so you don’t know what they’re up to, and only if you’ve really studied them can you tell their feelings. A dog has a great big tail to give themselves away, and a pair of eyebrows. Dogs are that easy to read that nobody is in any doubt what a dog feels.

Dog people are fine to live with other dogs, as long as they’re clear what their role is. Dogs are fine to live with cats too. Dog people get on with everybody and like to be social. If dogs are neurotic, it’s usually because of the company they keep. Cats can be neurotic, but more often than not, if they have a personality disorder, it makes them psychotic. Think Hannibal Lector. Cat person. Expressionless. Well-groomed. Predator for sport kills. Dogs’ tails and eyebrows and growls and barking give them away. If a dog is going to attack you, you know it.

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