Today’s domesticated cat has become the pet of choice for huge number of people worldwide. In the USA alone, over 30 million pet cats now outnumber the dog population by many millions, with the gap increasing every day. Why has the domestic feline gained in popularity? What is it about this puzzling animal that appeals to so many of us?
One possible reason definitely has to be the inscrutable nature of the cat. Highly intelligent, it possess an exceptional amalgamation of personality traits not found in other domestic pets. Captivating and quiet, poised and self-sufficient, fastidious and athletic, the domestic cat is rarely needy. It appreciates company but is also content to spend time alone for hours on end, making it the perfect pet for single people especially, let alone families.
This autonomous streak, a result of cats in nature living alone by themselves, gives the domestic cat a slightly cavalier attitude for life; for them, the sun does not rise and fall around people, although they will take us when they can get us, thank you very much.
The capacity with which cats survive, with or without the aid of humans could perhaps be one of the main reasons why we like them so much. Emotionally needy pets (or people) tend to become increasingly irritating after a while; cats are beguiling egocentric creatures. This, combined with their beauty, grace, dignity, and ease of care, always makes them dsireable.
Humans also love cats because they say, ” we are your roommate, not your servant,” and for their capacity to recognize the value of a good nap. And who does not appreciate the cat’s clean, fastidious nature and built-in toilet training? Good luck getting a Schnauzer puppy to use a litter box!
Cats enjoy all the attention we humans lavish upon them, though they will, given the chance, never confess it. They are perfectly happy to remain with us because we love them and carr for them, but if we vanished from the Earth tomorrow, chances are the cat would feel sorrowful for a (short) time, meow some, and then continue with the business of finding a furry little meal – all the while lampooning the millions of aimless, heartbroken dogs wandering around aimlessly, wondering what to do next.
In my experience, closer bonds have been forged with a cat when an owner doesn’t smother the animal with unwanted affection at times when the cat just wants its own space. As my grandmother used to say: “You’ll never own a cat but one may choose to live with you”.