Dogs vs. Cats: The battle of the beasts in photos

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Teacher's pets get an A+ for cuteness

Cats have always gotten an unusually bad rap among non-cat owners, especially dog purists. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before from a snot-nosed kid; “Cats are boring,” “They don’t do anything,” “They’re so mean.”

In contrast, it’s dogs that get all the praise from children and families alike.

Dogs are supposedly the bees knees. Always up for a walk or a run, eternally loving and playful, and loyal until the very end. They’re perfect for humans in every way, so it would seem. They’re just the superior pet! That’s what every movie, TV show and comic book seems to think, at least. No pure-hearted protagonist is complete without his loving dog, and every cartoon villain has a precious, white-as-snow cat to stroke while they laugh triumphantly at their evil master plan.

So why the bias? Why are dogs seen as bastions of all we hold good while cats are annoying trouble makers at best and the actual devil at worst? What makes dogs the “superior” pet, while cats are rancid little brats that should be left to feed on fish heads, specifically the ones with Xs in the eyes and the entire spine still attached?

It’s because dogs exist just for us.

They weren’t always this way, though. Wolves are powerful creatures, natural born killers and are social beings from birth until death. They work well with creatures they trust, can recover much faster than a human, and will go out and collect their own food. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those on your team? Apparently someone 15,000 years ago thought so, and decided to make nice with these savage beasts.

Humanity basically grabbed the wolf by the neck and said “You’re ours now.” And by God did we make the wolf ours. There’s a dog breed for anyone.

Over 360, to be precise.

You want one that can keep your family safe? Grab a Great Dane. Your kids need a friend and you can’t be bothered to actually spend time with them? The Golden retriever is a time tested classic. Are you constantly busy and just don’t think you have time for a dog? Nonsense, bulldogs are super independent! Dogs have been crafted, molded and refined for our modern world, having nearly every scrap of wolf DNA torn from them at birth, brought into this world for no other reason than making humans happy.

Cats meanwhile, they just shrunk.

Everything I just said about dogs goes out the window for cats. Cats are as independent as they come, mildly bossy and don’t have the same sense of loyalty as wolves. While pack loyalty and prides of wild cats are nothing unusual in the animal kingdom, the majority of wild cat species are known to just do their own thing. They hunt for themselves, sleep by themselves in the trees, and come and go at a moments notice. It wasn’t until humanity began to keep livestock and grow grain in the Fertile Crescent that the ancient African wild cats just sort of domesticated themselves.

They saw an abundance of rodents living in the places humans kept their food and saw their chance. Humans saw how these furry little monsters killed their pests, and how gosh darn cute they were, and thought to themselves, “Yeah, I’m okay with this.” Cats hunted anything smaller than them; rodents that spoiled stores of grain, poisonous scorpions hiding in every blind spot and crevice, and snakes making their home in any pot they could find.

This made any home with a cat much safer, encouraging humans to keep the little creatures around. The Egyptians found them so helpful they started worshiping them! As pests became less and less of a problem, cats became cuter and cuter in order to keep living the easy life with humans, but also became less and less useful. Now, cats fill the same niche as dogs; being cute. Just with extra sass. Dogs and cats are the two go-to animals when looking for a pet, but from the very start they’ve been fundamentally different.

Humans found the dog, and humans were found by the cat.

Dogs were made just for humans, and many breeds just can’t function without being nurtured by one. Teacup pomeranians are cute, but wouldn’t last two minutes in the forest. Black labs make the goodest of boys, but a stray would get captured and thrown into the pound near instantly in the city.

Dogs were little more than tools for early humans, and are little more than toys for the humans of today. This has created an incredibly needy beast, one that will desperately do anything to stay with humans. They will eat anything you give them, trust you with any action, and remain obedient no matter how viciously you beat them.

Cats, on the other hand, don’t need us. They don’t need a human to be fed, they don’t need the attention, and they don’t need the love. But they want it. We rewarded wolves for doing what we wanted, and rewarded cats for doing what they already were. If you don’t feed a cat, they leave, if you hit a cat, they won’t hesitate to fight back, and if you don’t like a cat, they won’t like you.

The undying, pre-programed loyalty of a dog is certainly attractive. Just fuel it with dog chow and watch it love, no batteries required. The relationship with a cat, on the other hand, is much more symbiotic. Cats are cuddly, sweet and easygoing pets if you have the right mindset. They’re certainly not as automatically loving as dogs, and rarely listen to their owner’s commands. They just do their own thing, to put it simply. They’ve always just done their own thing, and humans happened to enjoy it. That’s not to say they’re unloving, not at all. It’s just not their purpose.

If a cat shows you love, that cat is going out of their way to give you love. Even if it’s just a gentle lick with their sandpaper tongues, or softly bashing their skull into your leg, that cat made a conscious choice to give you affection.

So think twice before calling a cat a spawn of Satan when it doesn’t respond to being called 50 times. You get out what you put
in with cats. What you choose to put in is up to you, so don’t be surprised when you don’t get the results you want.

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