Everyday I get home from work and my dog, Q, greets me with his most treasured toy clenched between his teeth and his back half wiggling for all it’s worth in what I call the butt-wiggle of joy. The day I might have had could have been the most miserable on record, but here is a creature who loves me unconditionally, is happy to see me and lifts my spirits. The cat, on the other hand, leisurely strolls out and mews his greeting and continues on his way. If he is feeling generous, he might strop himself along my pant leg, depositing as much hair as possible, to acknowledge my existence then carry on his way.
Dogs by nature are social, communal creatures. In order to be healthy and happy they must be a part of a pack. When other dogs are not available, they will incorporate other creatures in to that pack, such as humans and cats. The reason that dogs and humans get along so well is that we are a pack species too.
We live in a pack society, the family. We are surrounded by others of our kind and live in a societal structure. Someone will always be socially dominant and socially submissive to us, as humans, we term it in a much prettier vocabulary.
Cats too are social, but their society is a far more rigid environment. That is not to say that they can not adapt to the environment that they are in. Cats just like their space. They don’t need to be around people all the time. When we adopted our cat, his nickname became Fang. His method of attention getting was to take a chunk out of whatever appendage was nearby, often drawing blood. But through patience and lots and lots of love he evolved into a pack oriented animal. He still wants us to think that he could care less. But when all is said and done he likes playing with the , loves having his chin scratched, and loves the treats that only I can provide him. My opposable thumbs are useful for something.
I am someone who loves both dogs and cats and expect them both to get along. So the cat and dog have reached and accord. They tolerate each other, because I won’t have it any other way. Though, at times, I’m not so sure the cat isn’t contemplating putting a contract out on me.
The funny thing is in this pack that I have created, the dog, the cat and I have all adopted traits from one another. The dog bats his toys around like a cat, the cat sleeps sprawled like a dog, and I find myself singing in cat to the cat. When one of us is away we miss them. That is what a family is all about. There might be differences in how we think and act, but in the end family is family, no matter what the species.