This past week, Iwanski and I were house-sitting and dog-sitting at his sister’s house in the suburbs. I’ve never had a dog for a pet (just cats), so this week, I learned what it’s like to be a dog owner.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that dogs are VERY different from cats. For one thing, dogs are freaks during a thunderstorm—or any time they hear a noise that they are not used to. This includes the beeping of a smoke detector with low batteries, at 2 a.m. If my cats hear thunder or the beeping of a smoke detector, they just go and hide in the closet. Dogs apparently pace around the room and try to dig a hole under the bed. This is not particularly enjoyable to humans.
Also, most dogs are A LOT bigger than cats. However, this does not prevent them from trying to get on your lap and give you kisses. They apparently think they are as small as a 10-pound cat.
Dogs also want food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will never turn down ANY scraps of food. I realized that this has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantage: if you accidentally drop a piece of food on the floor (as I, Miss Clumsypants, is wont to do), a dog will scarf it up in a second. A cat might sniff at the morsel for a bit, but then will likely turn its nose up at it and walk away—resulting in your having to actually pick up the food from the floor. Disadvantage: if you go anywhere near the kitchen, the dog will pretty much attach itself to your hip. This will result in your having to repeat “go lie down” several times a day.
And of course, there is the whole “bathroom” situation. Dogs have to go outside at least a few times a day. Cats just pee or poo right in the litterbox. Again, this has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantage: you never have to worry about taking the cats outside, or getting back to the house in time so the cats don’t pee on the rug. Disadvantage: You have to scoop cat nasties out of the litterbox. Oh, and there’s also the pleasant smell that sometimes wafts from the closet with the litterbox in it. Yuck!
So I think that this week, I definitely saw the advantages and disadvantages of having dogs. Being a dog-owner definitely seems to take more responsibility, but then, dogs are very affectionate and definitely grow on you. I’m actually missing the dogs a little right now.
But as I’m sitting here with my laptop, occasionally stroking the soft, beautiful fur of my little cat Autumn as she purrs and rubs her cheek on my hand, I’m sure appreciating the advantages of being a cat owner.