At last! Justice has arrived.
I’m not talking about Donald Trump (I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that) or immigration or Obamacare. I’m talking about cats and dogs.
Last week, cats arrived at the famous Westminster Dog Show. Well, that’s not exactly true. They were there for the weekend before the famous dog show. But the fact they were invited at all is a step forward in the cause of animal civil rights.
After all, cats and dogs supposedly have been sworn enemies since the beginning of time. Here they were co-existing and by all accounts pretty much getting along nicely with each other.
I’ve always been a cat person. I like dogs — at least, I like other people’s dogs. But I like cats more. And lots of other people do, too. As best as I can make out from conflicting statistics on the Internet (imagine that!) there are somewhere around 85 million pet cats in the United States and 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Yes, the cats outnumber the dogs.
Part of this is because cats generally are easier to take care of, if you don’t mind them scratching the furniture and throwing up on your bed. In fact, they pretty much take care of themselves. This fits in with modern American lifestyles – dogs just take so much commitment.
But my attraction to cats is due to something else. I look at dogs as the Supermen of the pet world. They are dedicated, selfless, always ready to come to your rescue.
Cats, on the other hand, are more like Batman. A little bit mysterious. You’re not always sure about their motivation. They can be cold-blooded killers, at least when it comes to mice and chipmunks. They’re independent. But there’s also something especially appealing about them. They know how to show their feelings for you without overdoing it. Somehow, they just seem to understand humans.
Plus, cats purr. That’s a pretty cool thing.
Cats have a long history of being treated like royalty, which might account for their sometimes standoffish behavior. In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as deities, probably because they did such an efficient job of killing the rats that raided Egyptian storehouses.
The Romans thought so much of cats that they were the only animals allowed to roam around in Roman temples. Cats were associated with the goddess Diana, who in turn was linked to the old Egyptian goddess Bastet, who was part woman and part feline.
In the dark ages, things didn’t go so well for cats. They often were suspected of being associated with witches and other demonic entities. This led to some pretty serious cat abuse, although most people had enough sense to keep enough cats around to eat the rats.
In modern times, the cat has made a big comeback. Friendly, easy to care for and smarter than many of their masters, cats have once again ingratiated themselves with humans.
So last weekend cats were invited to the big dog show. When it was first announced, it caused quite a furor among dog lovers. It was the end of the world! Cats and dogs in the same place! It would be an even worse idea than making a bad movie about Superman fighting Batman.
Nothing so Armageddon-like happened. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The cats didn’t show up with doggie Kryptonite and the dogs behaved themselves.
Just think, it gives us hope for the future. If cats and dogs can get along, why not Israelis and Palestinians? Christians and Moslems? Republicans and Democrats? North Koreans and South Koreans? North Koreans and just about everyone else? Bengals fans and Browns fans?
Dare I say it? Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?
Well, OK, some things might be impossible. All I know is that when life seems to be going off course, I can pet my cat and she’ll purr no matter what is going on in the world outside. It makes us both feel better.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.