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Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs

Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs

by Michael

Society of Feline Artists - artists like cats - photo by The Painted Cat

This page explains the quote, Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs made by Desmond Morris. It is a quote that is well quoted on the internet. Although I am sure that the answer is out there, in the ether that is the internet, somewhere, I am yet to find an explanation as to why he said it. Yet I do not have to surf the web to find the answer as it is on page 3 (sort of) of Cat Watching, his renown book.

You might well, and probably do, know the answer. The practical division of labour in prehistoric times between male and female human resulted in the male hunter and the female child bearer and gatherer. These were and still are the extreme ends of a wide ranging spectrum of characters both female and male.

Successful hunting required a team effort. And a team of male humans is very similar to a pack of wild African dogs hunting down the proud lion with success 🙂

The two are aligned with each other. The male team player knows the in and outs of team work and leadership and is more in harmony therefore with the dog, the ancestor of the wolf. The soldier is the ultimate team player sacrificing individuality for the sake of his fellow soldiers.

Conversely the self-sufficient and individual female aligns herself with the solitary feline felis silvestris catus, the domestic cat. But in reference to the quote, many artist are of course males. Yes, but all artists are at the opposite end of the spectrum to the pack animal, who being a team player cannot be an individual and therefore cannot be an artists who has to be original, unique and different if he or she is to succeed.

So, artists like cats because of their individuality and self-sufficiency while soldiers, the archetypal unthinking team player who sacrifices individuality for the sake of the team, prefers the ultimate pack animal the dog.

I prefer cats because I am a person who rejects the status quo, the conventional. This supports the argument above.

Many artists lived with and painted their cats – Cats in Paintings.

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Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs

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Jan 03, 2010
by: Michael

Ruth I think you are right. There is a wide spectrum of people types both male and female. And that spectrum of people correlates with the spectrum of attitudes towards dogs and cats.

The more macho man prefers dogs and the more gentle man prefers cats and the same goes for women but the starting point for women is more gentle, hence more like cats.

Jan 03, 2010
by: Ruth

A very interesting and thought provoking article Michael.I suppose artists who spent time painting cats got to know them better than soldiers away fighting and hunters away hunting.
I'll look forward to comments from more men because male cat lovers I know/have known have always been gentle sort of men, not the hunting/fishing or team player type.
One of our half brothers who was in the RAF until he retired,goes fishing (yes he knows we don't approve) is a doggy type of man, the other who worked alone as a driver and hates all bloodsports is a cat lover.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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