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Reigning Cats and Dogs

Dogs became pets around 45,000 years ago by hanging around campfires and giving up their individuality in return for few scraps of gristle and the odd bone or two. On the other hand, though cats appeared on earth over ten million years ago, we never gave up our identity.

Experts in animal behaviour might try to tell you that the difference lies in the genes: dogs evolved as pack animals who bring down their prey in cooperative groups, and so were programmed to get along with others. Cats, on the other hand, are by nature solitary hunters, and so are genetically unequipped for social behaviour.

This, as any cat knows, is errant nonsense. Cats can behave socially when we want to - we're just shrewder. Recognising pur dos cousins' enslavement for what it was, we adopted our I'M DOING you a favour by just allowing you to house and feed me' attitude. Why else would it have taken us fourty thousand years longer than dogs to hang out with humankind? No, the feline species chose humans to use as hosts, not masters, and at best are only ever houseguests and never slaves. We're just as social as any other species, but where dogs idolise, we patronise. Dogs fawn; we scorn. Besides dogs made the classic army mistakes - they volunteered.

... But have we cats still sold out our independence in choosing human hosts? This is the subject of ongoing debates in feline circles, sometimes leading to those heated discussions in the middle of the night outside your bedroom window. Are dogs better off? Have canines done better out of their association?
We have only one word in response:




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