My wife is a cat person. Therefore, we have a cat. My wife claims that this cat is cute. OK. Whatever. Photos of cats are cute too — you don't actually have to have the cat to have the cute. My wife claims that the cat provides company, but perversely, when it has a choice, it generally chooses MY lap to shed all over. Then there's the argument that cats use a litter box. But I've never really seen the advantage of cleaning up cat droppings INSIDE the house over cleaning up dog droppings outside the house. In short, cats have no purpose. I don't hate them — there's just no reason to own one.
Dogs, on the other hand, have a purpose. They are companionable, they eat all the crumbs that fall on the floor … Why, our dog will even clean the cat's litter box if we let her. A dog warns you when people are approaching the house. Although our dog doesn't really do this anymore. She's pretty much deaf now, so she just warns us when she thinks she hears something. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's not. And dogs keep burglars away. Statistics show that 85% of home break-ins occur in houses that don't have dogs. So there's a reason to own a dog.
It is true that a cat can be left home alone for a few days — just put a bowl of cat food on the floor and leave the toilet seats up — chances are the cat won't even notice you're gone. You can't do this with a dog.
Well, you could but …
But then there was this week.
It started on Monday afternoon. I spent an hour in the back yard cleaning up a winter's worth of dog residue. Two large kitchen-sized plastic bags full of dog residue. The dog stood on the deck and watched me. Except for when she was throwing up on the sidewalk.
I didn't want her to throw up in the house, so I left her outside. I went upstairs to take a short nap before dinner. I just got to sleep when the dog started barking. And kept on barking. And kept on barking. I gave up on napping and tried to read. She kept barking.
I finally gave up and let her in. I made supper — soup with cheese and crackers. I had just settled down on the couch with my soup balanced precariously on my lap when the dog started making throwing-up noises in the corner behind her bed. I put my soup down and raced for the door. I called her to put her outside, but I was too late — she threw up. Then she started to throw up some more. I yelled at her to come. She came, then just as she got to the door, she turned around and went back and threw up IN her bed. I finally got her outside where she spent the next two or three hours.
I let her in when it got dark, and she made it through the rest of the evening without incident.
Tuesday morning — We opened the bedroom door to discover several piles of dog vomit in the upstairs hallway. The house stunk. We cleaned up what we could and left for work. My daughter got home before us Tuesday afternoon. She called to say the dog had thrown up all over the dining room.
The dining room? She never goes in the dining room. We're redoing the dining room, so at the moment there's NOTHING in the dining room. Except dog vomit. All I can figure is that she's been licking the wallpaper remover that dripped onto the baseboards. I guess that would make anything sick.
Our dog is almost 14 years old. I don't have the heart to get rid of her at this point. But for now, I'm thinking a dog-free life might be rather nice. But there's still no reason to own a cat.