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Friday, March 14, 2008

Cats and Dogs: Images of Human Nature

We have two cats and one dog. Our dog happens to be one of the most popular breeds, a Golden Retriever.

Living with these animals, I enjoy observing their behavior especially as they relate to Julie and Jacob and I.

The dog is an innocent. She really is without guile. This animal adores us. She worships us. Her greatest desire is to please us. Her greatest fear is our displeasure. If anything, she is too obsequious. It gets kind of pathetic at times, her constant need for our approval. But that is unarguably a dog's charm. There is no one more loyal, no one more faithful, no one more reliable than one's pet dog. Man's best friend. She is also a pacifist. Don't raise your voice in her presence. Don't appear to make any threatening gestures. If she thinks you are getting violent, she will not hesitate to take you DOWN! She even breaks up the cats when they fight with each other. Though Lucy can be annoying as she fawns for attention, she is amazing in that she is always happy to see me, she is always the first one to greet me when I get home from work, she is always ready to do whatever I desire. I have no greater fan than Lucy and no more loyal subject.

The cats are different. Everyone knows that. They are more solitary animals. In their feral state, dogs live in packs while cats are their own masters. They do like human companionship but they aren't as obsessed with us as the dog is. The relationship is always on their terms.

I am clearly Lucy's master. Not so with the kitties. They acknowledge no lord but themselves. I exist to serve them, not the other way around.

When Lucy does something "bad," and I scold her, her emotional state is clear as crystal. Immediate remorse and fear of punishment. The cats don't give a rip. Oh, they know what I'm saying, they just don't care.

Not all cats and dogs are the same. When you are around them for any stretch of time, you begin to note their unique "personalities." But what amazes and amuses me, at times, is how much they reflect various aspects of people.

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