cats don’t care
I remember as a kid reading ‘The Squaw’ b y Bram Stoker about a cat that exacts a horrific revenge on a casual American tourist in Nurnberg who carelessly killed one of its kittens and thinking ‘Mmmm. So that’s what cats are like!’
I also remember in Africa becoming the accidental ‘owner’ of a Burmese cat which leapt one night through the open window of the guest bedroom, claws akimbo, onto the back of nervous, vulnerable Jenny Allardyce, who had just arrived in the country and whose screams woke the whole household.
The calculating cat pictured below was a neighbour’s cat which I grew extremely fond of and used to feed with smoked salmon (it rejected all other food offerings) in the forlorn hope of winning it over.
dogs just want to please
I must have read ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ and ‘Jock of the Bushveldt’ 2 or 3 times each in my primary school days then of course there was Bullseye in ‘Oliver Twist’ and Lassie, the supercollie and so on… all reinforcing this image of the dog as man’s best and most loyal friend.
I had a labrador called Sean for many years and used to talk to him when I had a problem I couldn’t solve and strangely enough it often worked ( I also used to talk to Sean in a funny sort of way when I had no problems at all – ‘ Well old boy, I feel like a brisk walk before dindins and would be delighted if you would do me the honour of accompanying me…After you, old boy, there’s a good fellow…’
In general you know where you are with a daft, lovable, obedient dog; it’s very different with cats – you have to be on your best behaviour with a cat.
cats and dogs
are chalk and cheese