Being a Cat-Person in a Spirit Dog World

The fast approach of Valentine’s Day has me thinking about compatibility.

Two categories people seem to take as definitive indications of compatibility are Dog-People and Cat-People. It’s one of the quick, up-front questions in a lot of online dating profiles. Essentially, the thought is that Dog-People are loyal and outgoing and social and needy, and Cat-People are introverted, moody homebodies who need their space. As usual, Buzzfeed is here to break it down for us.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a Cat-Person.

My questions is why is it acceptable to openly hate cats, but not dogs? People view cats as a nuisance. I’ve never heard stories of people drowning a bag of puppies in a river. The general opinion seems to be that it’s normal to hate cats, but there is something inherently wrong with a person who can’t love a dog. (I feel like this somehow relates Susan Cain’s book Quiet, which was really big when it came out, where she talks about how Americans now worship extroverts, aka Dog-People.) And why is there no such thing as the Crazy Dog Lady? Only the Crazy Cat Lady?

People love to say that their dog is a great judge of character, that they don’t trust a person their dog doesn’t like.Funny-memes-suspicious-of-people

You know why you’re suspicious of the people your dog doesn’t like? Because dogs are stupid and will love just about everyone or anything. I prefer a more discerning pet. (Pete Holmes knows what I’m talking about.)

One of my favorite bits from Parks and Recreation is when April spent the day assigning spirit dogs to everyone in the department.

barks_and_recreation_
Why doesn’t Ben get a spirit dog?

Initially, April couldn’t figure Donna out and thought she might be a poodle. So wrong. Then she puts more thought into it and realizes Donna doesn’t have a spirit dog, she has a spirit cat because she’s loyal but her trust has to be earned. There was probably something in April’s reasoning about attitude and grooming too.

It’s untrue that Cat People and Dog People are incompatible, and yet we’re using that as a way to judge potential partners. Dating profiles, and dates, for that matter, should include better compatibility questions: Hemingway or Faulkner? Beer or milkshake? Salt-and-Vinegar Chips or Ranch Chips? (I think we all know the correct answer to that one.)

And it’s not that I dislike your dog, but, given the option, I’d rather not be around it for an extended period of time. I’ll say hello to it, pet it, and then I’m pretty much done.

Cats and Cat-People seem to get the short end of the stick. And, you know what? That’s fine. Because we don’t want your stick. We’ll just sniff at it and walk away. Because, what do you think I am, a dog?

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