I like animals. (Well, except for birds. I loathe birds. I’m pretty sure that’s a deep-seated hatred instilled from my experiences as a child at my Grandma’s house. Her feathered devil incarnate, Petey, used to dive-bomb me all the time. It was like that little cockatiel shit knew I was afraid of him and he wanted to keep it that way. So when he was let out of his cage, that little plumed bastard would invariably swoop at my head. Godblessit, I hated that thing! But, I digress ….) I really like most animals. I love dogs and cats.
I know a lot of people don’t like cats because they think they’re snobbish. They don’t like the indifference that cats exude. The I-don’t-give-a-flying-fart-what-you-think-of-me cattitude. Or maybe they’re put off by the I’m-going-to-pretend-I-can’t-hear-you-and-stick-my-butt-in-your-face thing. It’s kind of like the feline middle finger. As if they’re saying “What’s that? You want me to get off the couch? Well, how about you talk to the brown eye?! Huh? How about that?” Cats are sassy in a totally chill kind of way.
That’s what I love about cats. I admire their lack of concern about what anyone thinks of them. There’s no anxiety about pleasing anyone. No worrying about whether or not we like them. Cats are like the Fonzie of the animal world. They walk into a room, any room (well, except the vet’s office, no animals like the vet, right?!) like they own the friggin’ place. They are confident and cool. Pretty badass, I think.
Dogs are completely the opposite. Where cats don’t wonder how you’re feeling or seem like they give two shits whether or not you’re happy, dogs live for that. They want us to know that they like us and they’re happy to see us. When we come home from work or school or the quick trip to the grocery store, they wiggle and wag and show their full-bodied elation. (Growing up, we had a dalmatian that would actually smile when he was excited. Cutest. Thing. Ever. And, seriously, regardless of how bad a day you had, how could you not smile when your dog is smiling at you??!)
Dogs’ enthusiasm for nearly everything is visible. “You wanna go for a walk?” No mistaking the answer–jumping up and down, running around the room, waggling all over so that you can barely get a leash on the collar. “You wanna go outside?” Bark! Bark!! Bark!!!!!! Bark! Bark!!!!! Ruuuunnnnnning to the door!!! Um, that’s a Yes!! “Where’s your ball?” Oh. Em. Gee. Let’s hope that there are no small children in between the dog and the ball because it’s on like Donkey Kong!
In our house there are three things that can muster interest from our cats: the sound of the can opener pressing into a can, the sound of a new bag of food being poured into the canister, and shaking their bag of treats. All related to food. (I totally get that, btw.) They don’t come running for any of those things, though. They’ll mosey to the kitchen like little kitty cowgirls. Calmly ambling over to their food bowls. Sometimes meowing, but not out of excitement so much as pressing and saying “you called us in here … so where is it?”
I want to be like a cat. Chill. Laid back. Cool as a cucumber. I want to do my thing and not be concerned with how well it goes. I want to write a blog post and just feel good about it, not wondering what people think.
Instead, and in spite of my desire to channel my inner feline, I am a dog.
Hell, I’m not just a dog, I’m a puppy.
I am bounding all over with wobbly legs and giant paws and I’m so excited. I want people to like me and I’m wiggling and wagging and enthusiastic. I write a blog post and get so excited I want to carry it around and show it to people. I want them to pet me and say “good girl.” I’m giddy when I see replies that someone liked what I wrote. When someone comments after a post to say that they can relate or found my writing funny, I’m running around the house with a proverbial ball ready to play and have fun.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and put it all out there. I don’t hold back and I’m not great at filtering. If I’m thinking it, I’m probably saying it.
I’ll keep loving and admiring cats and their indifferent style. I still aspire to live the feline way, but until I figure out how to do that, I just need to embrace my inner puppy.