Whenever I run across an author who posts articles that describe certain breeds of cats as having “dog-like” qualities, I get so frustrated and disgusted that I want to gnash my teeth. What gets me so doggoned (pardon the expression) annoyed is that many folks like me who are passionate about cats work very hard to educate the public in an attempt to debunk the myth that cats are simply “little dogs”.
However, what really troubles me is reading the comments on these blogs written by kitty guardians who seem to agree wholeheartedly with what the author has communicated. Aren’t they aware that many cats get a kick out of playing “fetch”, taking a stroll on a harness and leash with their guardian in the great outdoors, and if they happen to enjoy raising their paw to give a “high-five” to their guardian, they will do these behaviors without a moment of hesitation. But I ask you; does that mean that they have taken on these behaviors to emulate the canine species? Not as far as I am concerned.
The other day I ran across an article that nearly drove me batty. The story was based on a news segment from a local Indiana WTHR affiliate. It was about Marley, the “Puppy Cat”.
The 14 year-old feline lives in Westfield, Indiana and has recently made quite a splash across the Internet, especially since his owner. Stephen Miller truly believes that his kitty thinks that he is a dog. In fact, Miller referred to Marley as a “Puppy-Cat” and the station referred to Marley as a “quirky companion”. Miller made jokes about his kitty, saying, “”He’s the best dog we’ve ever had! “This kind of Tomfoolery got me to thinking that all of them were “barking up the wrong tree!”
Presumably what the article referred to as “canine behavior” is based on Marley taking pleasure in walking on a leash, taking rides in cars, and when he responds to Miller’s commands to “sit, shake and fetch.” Marley also enjoys entertaining the Westfield school children by playing on the swings with them.
But please tell me why Marley’s so called “canine behavior” is such a big deal? Honestly I don’t quite get it, because I have encountered many kitties over the years who also enjoy taking part in these activities. Thankfully, no one to my knowledge ever put the “canine” label on them. We even have a cat that thoroughly enjoys taking rides around our house with me on my power wheelchair; often just sitting on the chair begging me to take him for a spin.
But the final insult to my feline-loving purrsonality were the author’s training suggestions targeted at folks who wanted a “cat who behaves and thinks like a dog”, much like Marley. Why would anyone even want to train a cat to “behave like a dog” in the first place?
It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we as cat lovers want our kitties to be cats; Kitties who want to spend time with us and who enjoy our company. But gee whiz! For those of us who prefer sharing our homes and heart with kitties, if we also wanted a dog, wouldn’t we get one?
What do you think? Do share your thoughts in a comment.
To meet Marley the Cat who thinks he is a dog up close and purrsonal, watch the video uploaded to YouTube by Local News