In the world of pet ownership, you typically have two factions: You have your cat people and your dog people. Of course, there are also bunny people, gerbil people and even alligator people, but for the sake of this column I’m going to focus on the pets that will come when you call them (usually) and also, not eat you.
Amongst the cat people, you usually either have your one or two cat person, or your crazy cat lady with sixteen cats. There are some cat people in between who have more than two cats but less than sixteen, but typically this is because the cat they thought was male turned out to be female (surprise!) and had kittens.
Conversely, there is a huge range of dog people, which is more typically based on breed and size than numbers. This is not to say we don’t also have our crazy dog people, but the people with more than twelve dogs are few and far between and typically are either dog breeders or owners of a dog sled team.
The dog people are generally divided between people who like small dogs versus people who like large dogs. People who like small dogs seem to like the portability of a small dog; one they can carry around in a purse or a stroller. People who like large dogs seem to prefer a dog that can carry their owner around, or at least drag them at a dead run down the sidewalk in pursuit of a squirrel.
I fall into the large dog group. I actually did grow up with both cats and dogs, but always leaned more in the dog direction. Maybe it has to do with the fact that one time my cat saw a shadow, freaked out and almost clawed my face off. Or maybe it’s just that I can relate more to a dog who will eat everything in sight, whether he’s hungry or not, including the cat’s food, and not feel one iota of guilt about it until bathing suit season. Okay, maybe the dog doesn’t care about bathing suit season, but then again, I don’t worry about being let out to go to the bathroom, so I guess we differ on a few things.
Also amongst the dog owners, there are people who are okay with pet hair and those who are not. People who are not okay with pet hair get dogs that are hypoallergenic or bald and have to get expensive haircuts once a month just like a person. Well, not the bald dogs.
People who are okay with pet hair usually end up with dogs that shed. I have never met a dog that just sheds a little. Dogs that shed, shed a lot, so people who have shedding dogs often try to get dogs that match the color of their furniture. I know this because we had black furniture so we got a black dog. Of course, this didn’t work out so well when I wore white pants. But then the black dog died and we got a white dog so now the dog matches my white pants but nothing else and therefore, most of the time, my furniture is shaggy and I look like a Yeti.
At some point my kids decided we should have another pet so we got a fish. While the fish won’t eat you, it’s also won’t come when you call it, so it really doesn’t fall into any of the previous stated pet categories. The problem with fish, though, is that generally they don’t last very long. We only had our fish for three days when it went to that great fishbowl in the sky. With heavy hearts we buried our dearly departed fish in the backyard, which was fine until…
The dog ate it.
And now I am a cat person.