Ã¢â¬ÅAnyone who hates dogs and kids can’t be all bad.Ã¢â¬Â –W. C. Fields
Before I get started on this one a little background is in order. I’m a guy who’s cresting 40. I’ve been married for nearly 9 years (first marriage – I was a bit of a late bloomer, I guess) with no children. Oh. And we have two cats in our house (no dogs).
My situation is a little outside of the norm, sure. But some folks have been known to make some faulty assumptions about my attitudes on the subjects of kids and dogs.
The Subject of Children
Some folks jump to the wrong conclusion that my wife and I have been unable to have children for some reason. They assume that we desperately want kids and therefore even talking about the subject of children must be emotionally traumatic for us, particularly for my wife.
That mistake seems to be more common among church folk and personally I am a bit amused when I see someone dancing around the subject. I’m just devious enough to let them squirm a bit before I explain that we aren’t traumatized by that. For us the child free thing is something that my wife and I have consciously chosen with much thoughtful discussion.
Then there are the folk that err on the other side and assume we are somehow anti-kid because we don’t have any of our own.
Again not true.
We like kids, we have just decided not to have any of our own at this point.
Then there are the folks who hear we have cats in our house and automatically assume that somehow makes us anti-dog.
In fact I was a die-hard dog person before our first cat adopted us. Back then I would have told you that cats were pretty much only good for drop kick toys (not that I ever actually kicked a cat, mind you.)
Now, even after crossing over to the dark side, I still like dogs. Although I’m not sure they really are the ones that should be called Man’s Best Friend.
I think cat’s have gotten a bad wrap. Maybe it’s the company they tend to keep. But in reality they are in many ways a better pet for a guy than a dog.
Think about it. Cats are low maintenance. Put some food and water out, clean the litter pan from time to time and, with a cat, you are good to go. You can even get some gadgets to automate those tasks if you want. What guy isn’t into gadgets?
I haven’t seen a viable dog-walk robot yet. I’m just saying.
With cats you get the feeling that they can make it without you. Go away for the weekend and leave a little extra supplies out. They’ll do just fine. Now there’s a basis for mutual respect. They tend to come by for a little rubbing on their terms. What guy wants his buddy to be at his beck and call?
We hang out with guys we respect, not guys we control. Cats just have a PR problem as far as guys are concerned. I’m pretty sure they don’t much care, though. They can make it without us.
But in spite of the fact that I am a converted cat guy I still enjoy a little good, dirty, slobbery dog playfulness from time to time. I’ve got no problem with dogs.
Some dog owners, on the other hand, give me fits. When I see a misbehaving dog I figure there is usually a human associated with the animal. And it is probably the person that has somehow caused the poor canine behavior. I wan to give them a copy of Cesar Millan’s DVD’s so they can become the pack leader in their house.
But just like with misbehaving kids I figure there is an adult that is probably more responsible for what is happening.
What do you think? Is W. C. Fields on track? Are children and dogs really the menace that he claims?
–Chris Cree, SuccessCREEations.