If you ask somebody “What pet would you choose”, they would definitely answer 2 of the most popular ones around, that is either a cat or dog. Both have their pro’s and con’s, specific characteristics and traits, and also their individual behavior and attitude on a particular situation. But now, lets talk about the question that is mostly the content of heated debates among pet owners: Which is better, owning a cat or a dog?
Well, it seems that we have a winner…
Answers and reasons may vary depends on who you are asking, I myself have a 3 year old pet dog (named Sarge, a Pitbull) and a 2 year old Tabby cat (affectionately named Kiara by my wife) and I love them both (and sometimes hate, depending on the situation). But for me, I have this love of cats which no other pets can equal to (sorry Sarge, don’t worry, I still love you).
Owning both pets is like a love-hate relationship (that also happen between Sarge and Kiara too). But if you are looking for a pet which is pretty much easier to maintain, low cost and, if you are like me, who is always busy with work and most of the time don’t have the time and energy left to play with them after going home, cats make a perfect pet for you.
Cats are superior creatures. Small in stature but large in ego, their dominance is all about confidence. Their overwhelming neurotic tendencies keep them from falling subject to the ferocious world around them, from cucumbers and puppies to vacuums and curious kids. They jump high, get low, outrun and out-hide the peasants that surround them.
Where It All Started
Let's start first with their history (well since I said that I like cats, why not start with their history first?). Everything known about the history of cats indicates that they were indeed once worshiped as gods. See that Great Sphynx in Egypt? That’s how ancient people are crazy all over them!
Egyptians worshiped cats before it was cool
The original cat which was domesticated by both the Egyptians in Egypt and the Cypriots of Cyprus, although larger and wilder, still closely resembled our cats today. In fact, our Egyptian Mau today bears a definite resemblance to the African wildcat. Fun fact: in Egypt, cats were called Miw, or sometimes "Miu" and "Mau," due to the sound cats make.
The oldest archaeological evidence for cats living with humans is from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where several animal species including cats were introduced by 7500 B.C. The earliest known purposeful cat burial is at the Neolithic site of Shillourokambos. This burial was of a cat buried next to a human between 9500-9200 years ago. They hunted rodents and snakes to help protect not only the Ancient people’s homes and occupants but also to protect the fields where their precious grains grew. In return, the humans fed them and eventually welcomed them into their homes. It was just a matter of time before people, especially the Egyptians and their rulers, noticed a striking resemblance to the statues of their gods and goddess (for the Egyptians, the Goddess Bast, also called Bastet), and that’s where the worship of cats started. Wealthy Egyptians and Egyptian Nobles also mummify and bury their beloved feline pets with them. Now that’s hardcore!
Unlike other pets, most people like to have them around as companions due to their Independent nature and easy maintenance. One reason is that you can just leave a cat be, provided that he or she have the basic necessities (food and water, and of course, somewhere to take a nap and laze around) and you are all set. While dogs, like Sarge, my daily routine is to walk him around the neighborhood either every morning or afternoon (I have a small house, he has no enough room to roam around that much). Sometimes, when I am too busy to walk him outside, I need to ask my wife or hire a pet walker (costs a few bucks but hey, at least someone can look after him for a while). While Kiara, she can roam the entire house and look for something to hunt (mice, the occasional lizards and pretty much any critters unlucky enough to stray within her territory). Sometimes, a laser pointer is enough to keep her busy (its hilarious to see her chasing after that “shiny red dot”).That’s more than enough entertainment for her, and besides, it’s a form of kitty-cardio exercise as well.
When it comes to food, of course, size does matter. Sarge would chop an average of 2 lbs of chow a day (total cost: around $6–8) while Kiara, 2-3 small cans of cat food (around $1.50 total price) is more than enough to get her through the day. Cost-wise, I save more on feeding Kiara than Sarge.
And of course, after they eat, they would usually go and do a potty break. I need to walk Sarge near a park, bringing with us a dog poop shovel and few medium-sized paper bags (3 or 4, just to make sure). He would go around the park, usually near some bushes and go on with his potty business. It’s tedious and tiring (unless you want your doggy refuse all over the park and the neighborhood). On the other hand, Kiara has her tiny litter box throne just near the wash area where she can just sit there and do her thing anytime. You don’t need to worry about the smell for she will just carefully bury it there, and oh yeah, she does her pee-pee there too, so no worries about any messy cleanups afterwards.
Dogs tends to be noisier than cats. Whenever some unfamiliar face goes by the house (even the mailman who always delivers my bills for the last 6 years) or my workmates visit my house, Sarge will bark relentlessly and run around the house like a miniature tornado until they are far enough from my house or he is familiar with them that he would quiet down. This often startle my sleeping baby, which is a royal pain in the butt to put her back to sleep again. Kiara doesn’t do any of this (of course she’s a cat after all). Kiara would just meow loudly, but not loud enough to make such a scene, whenever she sees another cat by the window, and when my friend comes and visit me, she would just gaze them from afar, giving that stern yet scrutinizing look to them.
Hygiene is always observed in my house, and pets are not exempted. Cats are known as the cleanest pets one can have. Cats would spend more than 50% of the time cleaning and grooming themselves bu licking their fur and using their paws as an improvised washcloth to clean their face and head. Cats sweat a little from their paws, but they mostly rely on saliva evaporation on their fur to maintain normal body temperature. Grooming controls around one-third of a cat’s cooling process. By licking itself, a cat helps distribute its natural oils evenly around its coat. This oil guards against dampness and seals in heat. And also, cat saliva contain enzymes that turn it into a natural antibiotic, helpful when they are injured, licking the wound to disinfect it and to help it heal faster.They also instinctively clean away food and other odour-causing agents so they will not be detected by potential threatening animals (usually feral or wild animals, and also their prey). It also help them relax and stimulate blood flow.
Cats don’t stink, unlike dogs who emanate that doggy musk. Sometimes I really need to bath Kiara, like that one time that she went under the sink just to get that pesky mouse. So for that you need to pay attention to what kind of shampoo that you’ll gonna use. I myself would use the one which is gentle for her skin and fur, especially the ones with chamomile or aloe vera essence. For Sarge, I usually give him a bath mostly every 2-3 days. It's hard because i need to wrestle him just to bring him to the bathtub, which sometimes causes minor injuries on my part (bruises and such, no big deal, for until now he is still afraid of bathing). Bathing Sarge is an arduous task for me most of the time.
Typical cat punishment in my house..
Cats are natural-born predators, not changing much since their domestication thousands of years ago. Their hunting instinct is still keen and well-polished that once, i saw Kiara stalking on a pigeon pecking on some food scraps on our window sill. She approached it like a well-seasoned veteran hunter, carefully judging her distance and going against the wind flow direction (dunno, perhaps the bird will smell her presence and reveal her location?), and suddenly pounced at it like a cougar. With a quick bite and twist of the neck, the bird is done for. After a few moments, while im doing my nephew’s homework, she approached me with the pigeon on her mouth, dropped it in front of me and meows loudly while sitting in front of it. I was puzzled on what she want me to do, I thought that it is either she is giving me a gift or teaching me how to hunt. Anyway, I rubbed her head and belly and said “Is this for me? That is so sweet! Thanks Kiara”, I took the half-mangled bird corpse and throw it to the trash bin. I can tell Kiara is really pissed on what I did. (hey, I'm not a mean person, I don't want any feather, blood stains, or bird limbs all over the carpet, or else my wife will get angry)
I get more affection from Kiara than Sarge (Sarge is much closer to my wife than me, for my wife spends more time with him and I am always busy for work), so for that, I always have Kiara with me every time I go home and stressed out from work. She would just rub her sides on my legs and sleep on my lap. Stroking her back gives me a sense of relief and tranquility, like it absorbs all the negative emotions and fatigue that has been accumulated in my body. Cats have this air of mystery and superiority about them which makes it 10 times more hilarious when they sometimes mess up. From falling off her cat tree and getting startled when I suddenly throw her toys at her, to just simply scratching and stretching on her scratching board, watching her go about her daily business is better than any comedy show there is.
Paint me like one of your French girls..
If you are asking on how does Sarge and Kiara go along together? Well, its almost like a sitcom. Most of the time they don’t mind each other, but sometimes, boundaries are broken and all hell breaks loose. They would sometimes fight over toys, the mat, and over food (Sarge tends to eat Kiara’s letovers, which makes her angy). Good thing that I introduced them to each other at a young age, or else my living room will turn into a war zone everytime they meet each other.
I get it that Sarge have that bubbly and active attitude to almost everything, I mean everything. From simply doing the laundry to greeting us on the front door everytime we get home, he would wag his tail and run around the house and do some whinning noise like a 4 year old kid on sugar rush, which is for me, is super annoying. Kiara will just sit there on her cat tree and will stare at you, looking at your very soul thinking “oh you’re back? great. where’s my catnip?”.
I daresay that I love Kiara more than Sarge and for me, I will always go for a pet cat, because I think Kiara and I share a lot in common: We laze around if left unchecked (sure yeah I would sleep on the couch at any time of the day if nothing else interests me and nothing else to do), We are really not that active compared to everyone else (I jog with my wife, that is if she successfully wakes me up every Sunday morning), and there is that air of mystery that surrounds the both of us (Im not saying that I am a gloomy person or something, my wife said that it is because I always wear a poker face, probably she’s right). Well, sometimes people say that pets are the reflection of their owners (I don’t look like a cat though), for me, it still all goes down on how you treat your pet. Treat them well, for only very few things in this world can give back the love you show them unconditionally.
If you are reading this right now and you also have a cat just like me, I hope that the both of you will have a long time to be together and make lots of fun memories.
Well, that’s all for now. If you are wondering how Kiara got her cat gear, you can check it right here: https://activefelinesolutions.com.au/. You can can also find here all the best things essential for your feline companion.