I have always been a dog person. The first pet my brother and I ever had was a dog. We grew up always with dogs in the house. It is only during my teens that I started encompassing cats within my orbit. We never adopted a breed cat. They were mostly strays that were being abused on the streets or that were lost and needed shelter.
Ever since that time, we have had a mixture of both cats and dogs in the house, and peace reigned among the furry population, despite the notorious animosity between them as breeds.
With the loss of my two dogs within 4 days of each other, I suddenly felt how empty the house became. But bit by bit my cats started sneaking in and started making their presence felt. Where dogs hurtle in, barking joyously, wagging their tails, jumping up to greet you, cats sit daintily waiting for you to approach, then with great dignity give you either a body strop or a head butt!
Though I have four cats, yet two of them despite being born in the house, are feral. The other two are very friendly and usually cuddle up next to me whenever they feel like it.
I have had Snowy ever since he was 4 weeks old, and Pixie was born here. Snowy, a present from my niece, is a pure, white Persian with the most beautiful blue eyes, while Pixie, his son, is white, with short thick hair and sandy eyes. Pixie is stone deaf.
Having been born in a house filled with both humans and dogs, and being deaf, Pixie was never scared of either. I think that in his mind he adopted all as part of the family. He has even sometimes started to behave more like a dog than a cat. Pixie cannot stand a closed door. He scratches it, meows loudly and even jumps up at the handle till you open it! Another dog trait that he has adopted is that of following me wherever I go. I move from one room to another just to get something, he is underfoot. I sit in my chair he curls up on its back. I go to bed he curls up in the curve behind my knees or in front of my stomach. I get up at night he follows me. I eat he jumps up on the table and watches me.
Being deaf, Pixie’s meowing is very, very loud. So if he is dissatisfied for one reason or another at night, he wakes me up with a loud meow right in my face, which usually means he needs a back rub or a few head rubs, then the purring starts – very loud as well – then finally he curls up and sleeps, usually on the heating pad!
Another of Pixie’s idiosyncrasies is that he loves to push off anything on a high surface. So waking up to crashes is now a normal thing which gives an advantage to any clumsy burglar in these days of insecurity.
There will never be any comparison between cats and dogs. To me dogs are the love of my life. They love you back just as ferociously, and the show it in more human ways than you can imagine. Cats love as well, but are not really demonstrative. They are self sufficient, dignified creatures, that give you their attention only when they feel like it.
I am starting to get used to a house without dogs, but the cats are not really filling in the void. Pixie is trying, and so is Snowy in his languid, low profile sort of way, but nothing could ever take the place of a dog rushing to meet you at the door, curling up on your feet, nuzzling your knee for attention, or just sitting there looking adoringly up at you.