Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

In Saturdays WSJ, Joe Queenan bemoaned the fact that the country is going to the dogs:

People get all weepy when they tell you that their dog just died. They expect you to be compassionate and understanding, as if they'd just lost four sons at Bull Run. Not me. "Valjean did have 17 kinds of cancer and was deaf and blind before you finally had the common decency to put him down," I point out. "So get your chin up, buy another dog. It's not like the dog store's running low on inventory."

When I first moved to my cute little town, it was filled with big, stupid mongrels with loads of time on their hands. They would lie in the sun, snooze and mind their own business. Now my town is filled with Patagonian snow bitches and neurotic dogs that get carted around in iPad cases. Pretty soon you won't be able to live here anymore.

And don't get me started on people who talk about their dogs as if they were children. Nobody ever drove 400 miles round-trip in a single day just to have lunch with their dog on their birthday. And nobody ever spent $200,000 to send a Pekinese to Princeton.

My mom had a cat that lived 15 years. I loved that cat because for 15 solid years it stayed out of my way. We had a good working relationship: You're a pet; I'm a human. Let's keep it that way. Cats get the big picture. Cats stick to the agenda. Cats keep a low profile. To paraphrase Bob Dylan: Cats don't need you and, man, they expect the same.

Just for the record, my mom's cat was named Tom.

The truths that Queenan speaks cannot be repeated enough. The whole "dogs as children" thing has gone too far and for too long. They're animals people. Just animals. Please get some perspective here.