Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cats and dogs

I’m a cat person – not a great fan of dogs. Except of course, dear reader, your dog, who is doubtless quiet, fluffy, loyal, obedient, a soothing presence and not too large. More or less like a cat, in other words. Well, all right, cats aren’t really loyal.

The kind of dog I don’t like much is the size of a small horse, with rippling muscles, a bark fit to break the sound barrier and strings of drool swinging from its jaws. Like the one that woofed hungrily at me yesterday as I passed the college janitor’s garden. It was a Rottweillerish sort of animal, but with a bit of Great Dane in there somewhere. Fortunately it was in the garden and I was not, though it was clear by the way that it bounded up to the fence and hung its front paws over that it was just a matter of time till Fido was on the path beside me, munching on my leg. Or indeed my head.

However, the janitor’s wife was in the garden too, digging away. She’s a lady of about my age, though she generally makes a lot more effort with her appearance than I do: carefully blonded hair, a fair amount of mascara and blusher and a lot of gold jewellery. On this occasion, she didn’t look her best - in her shorts - but she was in her own garden, wielding a spade, so shorts were no doubt a practical decision.

Seeing me saucer-eyed with horror, she called the slavering hound back and said, as owners of such animals always do, “He wouldn’t touch you.” Yeah, right.

Just then two lads came towards me on the path. They were eighteen or nineteen and clearly dog-fanciers, because they looked appreciatively at the hound and one of them said to the other in ringing tones, “He’s gorgeous”. Then he glanced at the janitor’s wife, whose gaze had fallen on him. Suddenly his face was suffused in horror as he clearly thought that she thought that he had called out to her that she was gorgeous. He went bright red and said loudly to her, “The dog. He’s gorgeous.” She smiled proudly, in obvious agreement, and the poor lad hurried mortified away.

Sometimes – not very often, but sometimes – I’m quite glad to be no longer young.
PS - by the way, Person from Salford, I dreamt about you last night! We were at a lecture and you introduced yourself to me. You were young and sort of Gothy looking. Most surprising.


  1. Snort! Your "person from Salford" comments always amuse me.

    No, the dog wouldn't have touched you. If it was a nice dog but a tad enthusiastic, it would have licked you, sniffed your crotch, slobbered on you, put a run in your hosiery and you would have come away smelling of au de dogue. I'm a dog person, but even I can understand how that might be a bit of a non-starter for someone who isn't.

  2. Dream person from Salford's good at guessing, if shehe can recognise you at sight from a mecanopsis and a picture of you when you were three!

    I mean, I can tell the Coronation dress picture is you, but I know what you look like already... ;)

  3. I think, Tanya, that I would rather be eaten.

  4. oh, yuck, I really don't like dogs either.(But I rarely confess to this, I hate offending dog people)

    I am cat through and through.

    I would have wet my pants at the very least had that dog leapt at me!

    I also think that I would be able to recognise you from the coronation dress picture: I can just picture your face!!

    What is a mecanopsis?

  5. Anonymous2:45 am

    What IS a mecanopsis? I have never heard that word! I am a dog person and for me, the larger the better. Years ago I owned a very large and very deep-voiced Boxer. Two of my good friends are terrified of dogs and he would always go totally nuts barking at them when they arrived at our house. Everyone else got a cursory glance and a quiet little "woof".

  6. Oooh, good post. I am most certainly a pudder person, dogs are just so... needy. I like the way cats can take or leave you. "Yes, okay, I will permit you to give me a little affection now", or "humph, think you'll be stroking me when I have just spent all that time cleaning? I don't think so". I hate the fact that because I rent a place I can't have one. I miss the 'thereness' of a cat.

    Apologies for making up words :o)

    Many thanks for the reassuring comment on my blog :o)


  7. Was that Sheepcat in the photo?
    And are you weakening, & going to get a cat after all? Your son will love you even more if you do!

  8. Have you ever noticed how cats will go straight to the one person in the room who dislikes cats? I have heard it's because that person doesn't smile at the cat. To cats, smiling equates to baring of teeth.

    I don't think this applies to dogs unfortunately.

  9. I'm a cat person too. I don't mind dogs, but I don't like the smell and I hate the crotch-sniffing.

    Most aspiring actors sort out their finances eventually. If that's any consolation...

  10. Yes, I can feel it. You're getting closer to getting a cat. Scruff has been patiently waiting for his penpal in Edinburgh. Still no Person from Salford id, huh? That cracks me up!

  11. I have only had dogs, so I suppose that makes me a dog person. The one who is left to walk the dog, feed the dog, brush the dog etc etc etc. Tell me why cats are easier and I may one day relent and get one for my son! Who will promptly leave home for uni and I will be left with the cat. At least they don't need endless walks!

  12. OMG - I think the description of the janitor's wife fitted me exactly - but at least I have the sense not to wear shorts!!!! And I'm another one of those strange beings who love dogs - the bigger the better but in my favour I'm always aware that other people may not share my passion and may in fact be scared of dogs. Quite like cats too but just primarily a dog and horse lover. Salford person visits me on the QT as well.

  13. I'm with you, I am a cat person through and through. I don't hate dogs, I don't hate any animal (except spiders, but they don't count because they are a mistake of nature which will eventually correct itself).

    I love that you dreamed of the person from Salford. I hope that brings them out. No, no, not "that" way!!