It’s a choice that’s supposed to say a lot about your personality, and as we have recently been helping to launch new gourmet dog food Cuffleberry & Co, we’ve been giving what constitutes a dog person(ality) a lot of thought. Although it appears that in public discourse the characteristics of your preferred beast are simply shifted over and ascribed to you.
Cats = wine indoors introvert. Dogs = balls to the wall park enthusiast. Cats = non-conformist and intellectually curious. Dogs = companionship thirsty and easily confused. Cats = emotionally literate Nordic drama aficionado. Dogs = rule following Bear Grylls fan.
Despite living in a house with two cats I’ve always thought of myself as more of a dog person, although I had to question this recently after a string of unpleasant experiences. I say string. Two. The first was a close shave with Finn, an aggressively romantic Wheaten Terrier, who, by his owner’s admission, had previous. Fortunately danger was averted and he was put outside to cool off.
The second was a far less sinister encounter – an evening’s pestering from a pug that has asked to remain unnamed. Standing at less than ten inches tall, Molly’s insatiable appetite for affection was mildly amusing for five minutes and insufferable after ten. Exacerbating matters was her unequivocal ugliness, although I say this from the blinkered view of someone who finds all pugs revolting (no-offence, anyone, I know it’s not a popular position).
I’m willing to brush these events off as anomalies. Both hounds were under-walked, and, like them, I’m liable to anti-social behavior if I haven’t chased a ball around a field in a while. And they are far outweighed by all the well-tempered dogs I’ve met. Thing is, you’ll never get this level of harassment from a cat.
The worst thing a cat will do is leave a dead rodent at the foot of your bed, placed exactly where your toes touch down in the morning. And despite my initial suspicions this is probably not by design. After that it’s just blanket refusal to acknowledge your existence, something I can very much handle, and is essentially their modus operandi for 90% of the day. In fact their solitary ways are often the flagship argument in their favour.
And yet only 11% of us identify as cat people, with 60% claiming a preference for dogs. I was surprised by these findings, and they lead one to conclude that many people have taken the easy option of saying they prefer dogs without actually having to own one – a category I fall squarely under.
It’s a cop out, frankly, and perhaps indicative of people’s desire to be seen as tail-wagging extroverts, when in reality they wouldn’t get out of bed for walkies if you paid them a tenner per woof.
Consider this a call for a third option to be added to the tired old binary for those that like the idea of dogs. Dog person? Cat person? No. Dog concept person.