February 2019

Cat vs DogCat vs Dog

As divisive issues go, the cat versus dog debate is up there with Brexit, fracking and the best Beatles album. Everyone seems to have an opinion and many will go to extreme lengths (such as shoehorning the topic into the welcome address of a magazine off the back of an article about caring for cats – see page 34) to defend that opinion or to sway those slightly less entrenched in one camp to join them in their camp. I have no desire to quibble with anyone's Leave or Remain vote, to argue for or against the extraction of gas and oil from shale rock or to debate the Fab Four's back catalogue. But when it comes to cats and dogs, I have to speak my mind.

To put it simply, I'm a dog lover. That's not to say I'm a cat hater, but there is a certain smugness cats seem to possess that makes them less endearing to me. It's a feline trait I am sure stems from their knowledge that the duties imposed upon dog owners to keep their pets under control do not apply to cat owners. Indeed, with their right to roam – thanks to their exemption from the Animals Act 1971 – the nation's cat population act as if the nation is their back garden, and, more specifically, as if my back garden is their back garden. Perhaps a dog will solve that problem.

But before I alienate half our readership, there's no denying cats are beautiful and graceful creatures (they certainly glide effortlessly over my garden fence). And whatever side of the canine/feline debate you come down on, there's a lot to be learnt from the heart-warming cat/dog friendships that crop up in the media from time to time. Friendships that arise despite the natural instinct of each species. Friendships which find common ground to coexist, interact and respect one another. Anyway, back to Brexit...