Dogs and Cats Living Together

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!” That’s how Ghostbuster Peter Venkman described the bad things about to happen to New York. While the whole premise of Ghostbusters was pretty ridiculous, I have to shudder at the idea of dogs and cats cohabiting. It seems to run against the nature of things.

My name is Mark, and I am an unapologetic dog person. During my adult life, I’ve been head over heels for a Brittany Spaniel, a Great Pyrenees, and, currently, a Standard Poodle. I’d swim across a piranha-infested river and battle ostrich-sized mosquitos for my dog. A cat? I usually wouldn’t mind feeding it.

I will confess that at times in my life, I have been the possessor of both a dog and a cat, but that was always when we lived in the country. The cat (or cats) always stayed outside and served rodent-control duty. When my youngest daughter procured two cats in her new home, I nearly disowned her.

My dedication to dogs over cats explains the giddiness that I feel when I read that among pet owners, dog people are happier than cat people. I’m not making this up. A genuine study came up with the conclusion, so it has to be true.

Dog people, in other words, are slightly happier than those without any pets. Those in the cat camp, on the other hand, are significantly less happy than the pet-less. And having both appears to cancel each other out happiness-wise.

As a dog person, these words make me even happier. My proclivities are vindicated.

But as I’ve thought this over, something strange occurred to me. While I very much prefer the company of a dog to that of a cat, I personally probably behave more like a cat than a dog. I’m not naturally social, preferring solitude a good deal of the time. Is it strange that a dog person has the personality of a cat?

My wife, also a dog person, is much more of a dog personality. Although she rarely barks at people when they approach the house, she’s very happy to spend time with them when they arrive–just like our dog. And not surprisingly, people tend to enjoy her company much more than they do mine.

There’s no giant spiritual point that I can draw from all of this. I am who I am. My personality will probably not shift dramatically as I age, although I have been getting more sociable in the last several years. Still, it would probably be good for me to continue moving in that direction.

The sociable dog might fight now and again, but it will typically stay in its pack. It will be loyal and enthusiastic. It will sniff out all newcomers rather than ignoring them. Dogs are dependable.

It’s hard to imagine the Kingdom of God being dramatically enlarged by a bunch of cats.