Big Cat, Little Cat: Going for a Walk
I’m more of a dog-person than a cat-person. But the idea of being a dog-person or a cat-person involves projecting personalities onto animals that… probably wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny. We’ve all seen a cat going for a walk, or sitting on a cushion, or heading towards one activity only to seemingly change their mind at the last moment. It’s the challenge of a pet-lover, or a writer, to guess their motivations without every being able to know for certain.
Can we really call cats surly, or dogs loyal? What do we know of their true, underlying motivations? But then, we share a language with our (human) friends and family, and many of us are still plagued with such doubts.
One of my favorite books, Brad Watson’s Las Days of the Dog-Men, explores this chasm between the personalities we ascribe to our pets and the evidence our senses communicate to us, free of the bias of longing. I don’t have an answer. I would love to hear what any of our readers have to say about the matter. What do you see when you look into the eyes of your canine or feline friends?
4 identical panels, each depicting 2 cats passing the time together on fluffy cushions. One cat, a large orange with darker orange stripes, takes up about half of each panel. He has a pleased expression on his face as he looks down on a small grey cat with darker grey stripes who takes up less than a quarter of each panel. The grey is looking forward, out-of-frame, with an expression on his face as if he is tired of telling his next-door neighbors to turn that goddamn music down.
Little Cat: I’m thinking about going for a walk.
Big Cat: Neat!
Big Cat: You realize you’re still sitting here…
Little Cat: I said I’m thinking about going for a walk, not that I’m going for a walk.
Big Cat: Aww, c’mon, Little Cat! Let’s both go!
Little Cat: You’re right! Those birds aren’t going to kill themselves
Big Cat: Actually they probably will the moment they encounter a glass door
Little Cat: True. Okay, screw it. Let’s just find a patch of sunlight and lick our own buttholes.