So I'm standing in my shower, shivering, and I asked Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley if one of them might be so kind as to grab a towel for me out of the closet. Their response was a look of contempt that I would even presume to ask something of them. This after I had already stepped out of the shower once to let them in because I couldn't stand the yowling at the door that sprang from their deep feelings of abandonment. All they heard was "blah, blah, blah."

I probably don't even have to tell you what species Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are. That's right. Cats. Felinus superiorus.

On the other hand, if I had a dog (and I have had a few of them in my life) and had asked the same courtesy of him, he would surely have plowed the field, grown the cotton, woven the terrycloth and brought it to me - along with a sense of joy and pride.

If I needed a kidney transplant, a dog would grab a kitchen knife and remove his. A cat would presumptuously read the newspaper in search of a suitable replacement owner.

So why do I have cats? And what pet is right for your family?


  • Fairly low-maintenance

  • Self-petting (when they lick themselves, it is a form of self-massage)

  • Don't require walking

  • Do require some exercise in the form of play, but on their terms and timetable

  • Eat when they are hungry and are inclined to be a little finicky, so there will be some trial and error involved

  • Make bold assumptions about things like sleeping on your hip ... or face

  • Choose when and where you are to pet them

  • May or may not be cuddlers or openly affectionate

  • Usually self-litter training from the beginning

  • Sometimes social, sometimes antisocial

  • Predatory and often see common household items and human appendages as prey


  • A little more maintenance required

  • Need to be petted ... a lot, but actually show appreciation

  • Require walking and bathing

  • Do require play and will take whatever you give them whenever they can get it, but show gratitude

  • Live to eat and will eat literally anything, including, but not limited to dog food, the contents of diapers, everything in the trash can, whatever is on your plate (even as you're eating it), and might consider taking food out of your mouth if you chew with it open. There is no discrimination

  • Never take you for granted, but always believe and trust in you no matter what

  • Generally physically affectionate

  • Require copious amounts of patience in potty training

  • Love to go with you and meet new people

Are you a cat lover?

Having had them all my life, I can tell you that, being predatory creatures, sleeping in your presence is the greatest trust anyone can ever experience. If you cherish your solitude, have a few faithful friends, prefer to have an orderly and scheduled life, then a cat might be for you. If you can take affection or leave it, if you don't expect too much or expect to give too much, then a cat might be for you. If you don't mind being pointedly ignored or being held in contempt, then a cat is definitely for you.

Do you want a dog?

If you are looking for unconditional love and adoration and have time to share, a dog may be right for you. If you are a person or family that is social, maybe a little rambunctious, loves to have fun, makes time for what is important and have solid friendships, then a dog may be right for you. If you don't mind cleaning up messes and going for walks regardless of weather, a dog is definitely for you.

You tell me ... cat or dog?

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