The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Miss Sugar looks happily into the camera from the bed. The headboard and a lamp can be seen in the background.

Never did I imagine I’d attract so much attention by putting paws to a keyboard. Every week, I receive wonderful emails and photos of happy kitties. Fur-fan letters, if you will. It warms the inner recesses of my squishy, feline heart.

Occasionally, I will receive a note from a filthy dog who was somehow able to overcome the limitations of his tiny brain and form a semi-coherent thought. Miss Sugar is nothing if not sympathetic to the plight of lesser beings. The mini mouse, the floundering fish, and even the feeble human bean all receive the depths of my compassion. But the dog? Even I have not been able to muster empathy for this pitiable creature!

The thought of reevaluating filthy dogs was as welcome as a furball caught in my throat. Then, a lovely letter from a fellow feline gave me paws. This whiskered soul claimed she was best friends with a pooch and took exception to my description of all dogs as “filthy”. I supposed, like an inmate in jail, she had no other choice but to seek the comfort of the only creature available. But to my amazement, the household included a second cat! She willingly chose a filthy dog as her BFF over another cat! This was too much. I retreated under the bed where I shivered for a good, long while.

Hope and Mimi. Interspecies love. (Photo from human bean Thane.)

And then, like any good four-footed journalist, I finally emerged in the company of a dust bunny and decided to investigate. I had to admit, in my heart of hearts, that Willow – my giant canine cousin in Melbourne – appears to be a gentle floof. She has never once attempted to chase me, only gather a sniff to enjoy what a superior being smells like. Perhaps my own fear of her size is partly to blame for our estrangement. With great interest, I pored through our family’s historical records for evidence of friendly dog-cat relationships. I was not disappointed.

Lee Roy lying down on a rug with Stan in front of him as the "small spoon".
Stan and Lee Roy

Lee Roy the wondrous Border Collie and Stan the rescued cat. Both of these furbabies have been gone a long time, but Mother talks about them with great affection. Stan does not appear to be under duress. He chose to rest that close to the dog and emerged unscathed. Fascinating!

Stan must have had a deep trust in his dog-brother. One only exposes one’s belly to those they are certain will not bring them harm. Here, Stan is in a deep sleep, defenseless and vulnerable. Lee Roy looks disinterested and not threatening at all.

Stan sleeps on his back with his belly exposed and his back legs wide open. Lee Roy is curled up about a foot away from him.

Finding such togetherness between a beautiful cat and a filthy – I mean, a much-loved dog was a bit of a shock. Could I have been wrong about canines? Or was this relationship like that of Lennie to George in Of Mice and Men. Clever George, like the cat, looked after simple Lennie, the dog, because Lennie wasn’t likely to survive on his own. It wasn’t out of love; it was pity. Perhaps Stan needed to assist Lee Roy in finding his way in an unforgiving world? Border Collies are widely considered among the smartest dog breeds but Lennie may have been the smartest Lennie, too! And we all know how poorly it turned out for Lennie.

I am not ready to put the dog/cat friendship theory into practice. One day, perhaps, but not any time soon. When my friend Spice was alive, we believed in physical distancing before it became cool. And he was a fellow cat!

Spice and Sugar on the same couch

Miss Sugar is a student of life, willing to expand her knowledge and change her mind as evidence warrants. Therefore, if you have anything to contribute, photographic or otherwise, showing cats and dogs as true friends, please share it with me here or via Mother’s email. I’m not about to go looking for a canine companion of my own but perhaps I’ll be convinced to soften my stance on the filthy creatures. No promises, though.

For now, I’ll reserve my upturned belly for the only two critters I know I can trust: my human beans.

Until next time, my little sunbeam lovers,

Miss Sugar

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