A reader writes:
I don’t know, Andrew. I think you may be a closet cat person. Re-read what you wrote about Dusty; it’s a perfect description of a relationship with a cat.
I had a dog when I was a kid, then had cats for 20 years – still have one now – and then we got a rescue dog two years ago. The dog is affectionate, loyal (any time you get up, she has to go with you), good with kids, beautiful, healthy. And a pain in the ass. It isn’t just the need to walk her, the barking, the propensity to bolt if you don’t have a good grip on the leash. Rather, it’s that she wants, and deserves, more attention than I can give her, with three young kids, a wife and a cat to boot, a job and a baseball team to help coach.
I think this is why most of the childless people I know prefer dogs. If you have a lot of time and attention (and maybe money) to lavish on a pet, and want something that will be equally devoted in return, a dog’s your best bet. If you don’t, it’s cats all the way.
Dusty is indeed a bit of a cat. Eddy is far more high maintenance. If I don’t give her an hour-long walk every day (I had to cut it short yesterday for a Dish meeting) she will simply poop in the apartment. Or she will so emotionally manipulate me I can be sad all day because I may be neglecting her. Dusty really couldn’t give a damn how I feel about her, as long as she gets her food. But she pisses randomly in the apartment too. But not out of anger. Just because she can.