Why Men Like Dogs and Women Like Cats
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I have decided that writing is not my true calling. Instead, from this day forward, I shall endeavor to acquire gainful employment as an animal psychiatrist—preferably dealing with small pets like hamsters (because they’re known to eat their babies) and cats (because they’re known to eat hamster babies, too).

I plan on staying clear of ferrets and goats because all they do is sleep (ferrets) or eat (goats). There’s no money in either one. But I could retire off cannibal hamsters.

Having thus stated my desired intentions, I shall now regale you with my recent thesis entitled, “Why Men Like Dogs and Women Like Cats.” This thesis does not necessarily address small pet neurosis, but it does prove that my powers of animal observation can be classified as nothing less than hogwash.

My Thesis Statement goes something like this: I believe men prefer dogs over cats because dogs behave exactly the way a man wishes his woman would behave but never will because women are smarter than that.

Dogs will fetch without complaining, they come when they’re called, they don’t mind rolling over to have their tummies scratched, and they’re always happy to wag a bit of tail. They don’t need extra time to “put on their face,” they never grumble about how much football you watch, you can train them to do just about anything, and they don’t care if Debbie Howard’s husband makes more money than you.

Dogs have a one-track mind. They want to please. Women, on the other hand, are complex creatures that want to please up to a point—and if you don’t take out the trash, change the light bulbs, mow the yard, paint the house, fix the leaky faucet, and take her out for a night of fine dining (after you’ve washed up, of course), you’ll never get to that point.

Men would marry dogs if they could, but I think it’s illegal.

I have no idea why women prefer cats. I think it’s because cats purr. Other than that, cats have practically the same qualities as men—qualities that women loath with their entire being.

Cats stay out late at night and never tell you where they’ve been, they never come when called (unless it pertains to food), and they’re always spitting up globs of gunk that shouldn’t have been able to survive in their digestive system in the first place.

Cats leave hairs all over the place, they bring dead animals home and expect you to be impressed, they disappear whenever work needs to be done, and they take for granted that you’ll clean up their poop because heaven knows they won’t do it themselves.

Women would never marry cats because that’s stupid. Besides, how would a cat support a family? On dead birds? I think not!

My family owns a cat named Ghost. Ghost is an inside cat. I’m not sure what his lineage is, but I do know that he barfs up everything he eats, which is a sure sign that he hates his mother. He should have been in psychoanalysis years ago.

Ghost is a very interesting subject for study. He disappears into our daughter’s bedroom, finds a stuffed animal that catches his fancy, then, with the toy in his mouth, meows as he makes his way through the house. When he gets to the living room, he drops his newfound plaything in the middle of the floor, abandons it, and goes back for another.

The old me would have thought something like this: That’s a weird cat. If he brings one more stupid toy to the living room without putting it back where it belongs, I’m kicking him out, and he can chase rats for a living. But the new and improved animal psychiatrist in me thinks, Surely that’s a sign of something deeply repressed in his animal psyche. I shall endeavor to discover the root of his psychoses—and then I’ll kick him out of the house to go chase rats.

I believe that small pet psychiatry will bring me the happiness, fulfillment, and monetary gains that writing never could. So feel free to make an appointment for your beloved pet. Within no time (say, a year or two of sessions, twice a week, at $50 an hour), we shall discover your pet’s “inner animal,” unlocking a deeper relationship that you will cherish until the little bugger darts out into the middle of the road and gets squashed by a semi.

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