Of Dogs And Cats

And can we learn from them?

Marti Purull

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a dog, a human and a cat sit crosslegged to meditate in an empty space, minimal digital art — by DALL·E

The human species’ relationship with our two main pets — cats and dogs — is significantly different. On the one hand, dogs are genuine companions that thrive at being trained and directed; they relish being at our beck and call. On the other, cats do their thing around us, indifferent to most received training. As a cat person, I cannot help but admire my friend’s dog as she patiently sits until he tells her it is okay to have the crust of bread he had placed at her paws minutes before. My cats scold me if I take too long to serve their dinner.

I read that one of the main reasons for the distinction is that humans and dogs go much further back than we do with our feline friends. In the grand scheme of things, the human-cat pact is a recent occurrence: the first evidence puts it at about 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. In many cultures, cats are still symbols of good fortune, and it is no wonder: if a cat had decided to live around your house, you would have been spared most rodents and the diseases they brought. It also underlines the chance origin of the agreement: cats live here, rats don’t; how lucky are we?

This made me think about two types of people we can compare to the cat and dog paradigm. Some of us are dogs: we adapt to what the situation requires and expect a reward for our service. Some of us are cats: we are…

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Marti Purull

I’m a musician, but I think every day. So I write every day. Thoughts. Reflections. Life.