Cats and Dogs  

catsWhen a cat jumps up on a shelf and knocks over a glass vase, she tends to sit there and pretend that she had nothing to do with the noise and mess. Confront the cat, and she will give you the Look. If it is a dog that bounds into a room and breaks the vase, he will immediately cower and whimper and look extremely guilty.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

In the relationship between men and women, men will always be the dogs. We are simple. We make a lot of messes. We break things. We bark when we are upset. We hide when we are afraid. The veneer of the Big Mean Dog is only that – window dressing.

And if the men are dogs, the women are the complicated, slinking, seductive, and unaffected felines. I have resisted this idea for a very long time, thinking it was too much of a generalization, a stereotype. But then the proof always comes back to slap me on the muzzle. “Bad dog,” the proof says sternly.

Entering a house, for example. When a cat enters the house, she walks around and looks at things. She touches your books. She wants to see all the rooms (even the bathroom that you forgot to clean). She takes possession of the space before settling down on the sofa. When a dog comes in, however, he looks for something to chew. He stays by your feet. He wants to play with you – NOW. He is not interested in your collection of dolls, your choice of magazines or dish washing soap. He never finds out if you even HAVE a bathroom.

Another key thing which echoes in relationships is that dogs have definite owners. If he is your dog, he listens to you, he comes when you call, he is happy to see you when you come home from work.  Cats, on the other hand, are the owners. A cat will wait until you come to her to stroke her. She might let you pick her up, but then struggle to get away in a few minutes. If you are reading, she will come between you and the book. When you come home from work, the cat is always too busy to come see you.

In the next few weeks, I will be settling into a clearly marked cat space. There are many vases to knock over. There are many shoes to chew. My job (as a simple and messy dog) will be to become much more catlike. But if I come in and try to take over, I will not be rewarded with any pats on the head. The challenge then is to tone down the Dog so the cat does not feel she is being invaded. That should reap rewards!

“Goooood dog.”

______

Blic Zena, September 2012 (translated)

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