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Once a cat person always a cat person… or not?

standard December 30, 2013 1 response

I am a cat person. Let it be clear that I have always considered myself to be a cat person. I like how they smell, I like how low maintenance they are, I like evening cuddles on the couch. I especially like how little of me they ask for.

Is that wrong of me to admit?

If it is, oh well.

My cat, Axl, is smart, easy going, and very, very independent. His expectations of me are that I will feed him twice a day, keep his kitty litter relatively clean, open the door or window when he wants to go out, and share my spot on the couch after the kids have gone to bed (preferably without having to compete with the laptop).

That’s pretty much it.

Chill cat.

He doesn’t mind if I leave for the day. He doesn’t mind if I ignore him when I’m on deadline. He’s happy to just be.

So when the kids started lobbying for a dog over a year ago I balked. There are already a lot of people who rely on me for their emotional and physical well-being. I didn’t really need another body to make me feel like I was lacking.

Dogs, in my experience (and I grew up with dogs… so there is some factual basis to this observation) are needy. They want to play, to be entertained, to be walked, to bask in your attention. And they’re great at returning it. But they do need a lot.

And I? Well I was quite tapped out on being needed so I resisted.

And then we dog sat this summer and I… well… I enjoyed being loved so unconditionally. So we dog sat again… and it was, if that’s possible, even better second time around.

Suddenly all that need didn’t feel as oppressive as I thought it would.

There is something to be said for unconditional acceptance. Dogs, they need, but they also don’t criticize. They’re excited about a walk with you whether it’s to the mailbox or a two hour hike around town. They’re happy for any treat you offer, even just a pat on the head. They’re quite happy to sit in a chair while you work, and just as happy when you call it quits and offer to go for a w-a-l-k-i-e-s.

Which is how I found myself researching dogs. And how we found ourselves bringing this one home yesterday.

This is Dottie. She’s a 20 week old mini Australian Labradoodle. She’s about 10lbs now and should grow to be around 20lbs. She’s hypoallergenic and she doesn’t shed. She loves cuddles. She gives kisses. That’s her new absolute favoritest toy in the WHOLE WORLD. Until she drops it and plays with something else.

The girls are in heaven, the husband is in love, the cat is pouting in a closet, and me? Well… I might be on my way to considering the possibility that I’m not just a cat person any more.

Mama said we’d go for a walk after this post was written. I’m waiting patiently.