I know that many people choose to live without a four-legged expert in shedding, but even pet-less people usually fall into the CAT or DOG columns. I like dogs. They are fun—if exhausting—but I LOVE cats and I’m not ashamed to call myself a cat person. The other day I was playing with a friend’s dogs and I kept trying to call them with the fat pigeon imitation that I use to call my cat. Needless to say, it did not work.
In fiction I’ve created cat and dog people, based on observations of people in real life. I’ve also drawn upon observations to create dog & cat characters. The mutt in ‘Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet’ is based on one of the few dogs I’ve ever walked. He was a shaggy, scraggly, little creature with a distinguished face that landed him some impressive modeling gigs (at the feet of a stylish gentleman in an expensive suit, etc.) and the air of a pure bred pooch without the actual lineage.
Walking that self-consciously cool creature, taught me a great deal about dog people and the most important lesson is that dog people are social. They feel compelled to talk to dogs. Dog people linger, chatting with other dog people on the street, and encouraging canine socializing.
Cat people, like cats, are not as gregarious. We like people. We like cats. We also like to take a quiet walk—no talking, no barking, and no jumping up & down. We like to snuggle while we read.
We even enjoy NOT interacting—just like the cat that now sits a few inches away from me on the sofa. His attention is directed to the fat pigeons outside the window in the courtyard. One is cooing with exuberance and the cat’s ears wiggle with the bird’s tonal changes. He is close to me, but he does not need me to enjoy the pigeon with him. Just being near is enough. A dog would enjoy, expect and encourage more. I’d have to toss a ball, call him by name or roughhouse.
I look at the back of my kitty’s head. I tickle his ears and he purrs. He’s a cat and I’m a cat person.