Thursday, April 8, 2010

It’s natural to be wary of a cat… of any kind

The subject of ‘bring your children to work day’ came up and it was suggested that I bring in my dog and a coworker bring in her cat. The discussion continued on about the usual ‘dog will chase cat’ and typical cat/dog hoopla. I mentioned about the one or two times my dog had met a cat, and how she was wary from the beginning of each event. I also commented how I would be wary too, both if I were a dog and as a human.

Cats are different creatures than dogs (obviously), but in key ways that make other animals more like dogs than cats are like dogs. Granted you have the four-legged, tail, paw, general feature similarities… but that’s pretty much where it stops. Personality goes a long way when sizing up a dog or cat, if you can even say an animal has a “personality” (or maybe animality?).

As nature would have it, lions, tigers, leopards, and housecats alike cannot be immediately trusted; dogs, on the other hand, can be either immediately trusted or distrusted. Anyone who has ever met a cat can probably attest to this.

The issue (as I suggested to my coworker), is that from initially greeting a dog you know whether or not the animal is friendly, interested in or frightened by you, or even if it’s about to attack; cats, on the other hand, well… you have no clue what they’re thinking… ever... They just keep staring at you, sizing you up for pretty much the entire duration of the encounter. Sure, sometimes they just run away into another room or hide behind a couch, but there are many times when they just sit there watching, staring at you. And that’s all they do. No coming up to sniff and check you out, no saying hello and giving you a chance. Just sitting and staring. Sometimes very creepily, I might add.

This is why cats make some people wary.


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