Just back from his early morning walk, the dearly beloved came across our neighbour and his kids playing with their new puppy.
I think my neighbours are well suited to cat ownership: they spend a lot of time indoors, are gone for long stretches on weekdays, and the adults definitely prefer a more sedentary lifestyle. Their adult cat looks down its nose at us as it sits in state in their study window, and always seems both comfortable and content. We were surprised when they brought home the puppy; and, as the above comment shows, they’re realizing the difference between dogs and cats.
It’s strange, isn’t it? Their cat and their puppy probably weigh around the same, at present. They’re both mammals, quadrupeds, descended from hunting ancestors, and bred to live in the company of humans. Despite all these similarities, dogs require different treatment to cats, have different needs to cats.
Still, consider the brains of two people: one who lives with mental illness, the other who does not. They both weigh approximately 1.3kg, look remarkably similar from the outside – all corrugated and veiny, and contain approximately 100 billion neurons. Sure, there may be some slight differences in their internal structures, but basically we’re looking at two almost indistinguishable organs.
For their owners, however? Phew! There’s a huge difference in the amount of effort required to live with one, rather than the other! Cats and puppies indeed – one does take a lot more effort.
So to everyone else who’s found themselves with a “puppy”, may today be one of the easier days. May your puppy not have any embarrassing accidents at inappropriate places or moments, may it tire itself out playing harmlessly rather than chewing up some beloved possession, and (fingers crossed!) may it tire itself out and feel the need for a long nap.
[Huh – puppies and black dogs – just saw that connection. Cute, eh?]