Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:05 PM PST
It's just a fact that cats don't get no respect! Regardless of surveys that show there are more cats in U.S. homes than dogs, people just have low opinions of cats. A friend of ours who is a devote pet lover (and also loves horses - horses aren't pets, are they?) thinks cats at standoffish and unfriendly and just not as lovable as dogs.
Well... that's not true. Any cat owner/lover will tell you that it all depends on the personality of the cat. That's all. Wabby, resident cat here, is not cuddly and affectionate on a regular basis, but she has her moments. Since we've moved to CO, she's become a lot more affectionate and attentive. As she settles in to her new home, I admit that she comes around for a scratch or a cuddle, less often. But, almost every night she comes into our room and joins us on our bed, as we watch TV.
Over at the CATalyst Council, the focus is entirely on cats. They're devoted to dispelling some of the myths about cats that persist. Their video, on their homepage, says cats are America's #1 companion. So there!
I also found this neat article by John Davidson right here in CO on the Denver Post website where they have a blog called Fetch. John writes, "Commonly held misunderstandings and myths about cats are part of the reason felines get less veterinary care, are the subject of less health research, and are euthanized at a higher rate when they enter shelters." Hmph! I consider that unacceptable, and I hope you do, too.
Too many people cling to outmoded ideas of cats - that they jump on counters (you can easily train them not to; none of my cats have ever been allowed on countertops), that they scratch up the furniture (no more than puppies, and again, if you train them as kittens to use a scratching post, they will leave the furniture alone), and that they spit up hairballs.
Ok, so the hairball thing is true. But, really, that's also manageable and they don't do it all the time! The good Wabby comes to me when she feels a hairball coming on and I take her to a place with flooring, rather than carpeting, the better to clean up after her. Yes, she's left a hairball or two on my bed...but, I just throw the comforter in the wash and it's good as new.
According to the article in Fetch, there is a Denver-based animal welfare foundation called the Morris Animal Foundation, headed by Patricia N. Olson, DVM,who says, "If people had a better understanding of feline health and behavior, they might be more willing to adopt a cat." Hear, hear! Not just one cat, two or three!
Now, are you properly chastized about your misconceptions regarding cats? I hope so. BTW, cats and dogs can co-exist quite nicely together. So, you can be a cat lover and a dog lover, and it's okay.
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