I grew up on a small hog farm in eastern Iowa in the nineteen seventies and early eighties.  There was a clear, yet unspoken, pecking order when it came to the animals that cohabitated with us on that small yet smelly parcel of land.  It went something like this:

  1. Dogs.
  2. Hogs

and that pretty much sums it up.  Oh…we had cats too.  Let me start out by stating that I “like” cats, they’re nice and if they know their place…they’re good to have around, but dogs are better…alot better.

We’d start off the spring with a litter or two of kittens, maybe around ten cats total, but by fall that number had been pared down to half of that and by the following spring we’d be down to just the “mother” cat (again) and she’d have another litter of kittens.  The “paring down” of the population came from natural selection and us living next to a busy county highway.  More “Socks, Whiskers and Boots” met their Maker via a Chevy verses a larger animal by about twenty to one.  Nine lives my ass…the smart money’s on the car going sixty.

A couple of our dogs met our Good Lord after their ill-fated journey to the other side of the road too….but not many.  Dogs were special…you protected them from themselves by tying them up and keeping a close eye on them.  We were espeically fond of our dogs.  The last two, both beagles, were great dogs.  Barney, and George.

For one thing, dogs just seem to know when you need “a hug” after a bad day (and I think that they try).  Dogs are genuinelly happy to see you when you’ve been away, if even for an hour (you don’t get that from a cat).  Check out this YouTube video, you won’t see any cats in it like you do the dogs.

I live in the city now, and owning a dog just isn’t in the cards for us.  We have an old cat (we don’t let her try to cross any busy highways) and she does her best “dog imitation” to try to appease me (she’ll sit on my feet at night when I’m at this computer…stupid cat).  She’ll find a nice warm place to lay her arthritic body down in a sunbeam, while we’re on the sunroom…while I’m reading the paper.  She’s not too awful, but she’s no George.  Maybe, someday…..if I reach retirement age…I can get a dog….until then old Snicklefritz will have to do.

Our cat...protecting us from the "squirrel menace"...actually that's Lester in the background.
Our cat, protecting us from the “squirrel menace”, actually that’s Lester in the background.
Mid-afternoon "sweet spot"....sooo sleepy.  Try to get a labrador to fit on this perch.
Mid-afternoon “sweet-spot”…so sleepy. Try to get a labrador to fit on this perch.
She looks dead…but no…the heat of a late afternoon sunbeam is too much to resist.

I hope that you all have a pet to share your space with too, unless it’s hogs.