Like attracts like!
Reader’s Note: This satirical post contains excerpts from a popular article having many terms that can be reinterpreted as euphemisms, puns, and metaphors, captured here to be mirthfully discovered by the reader’s imaginations. How many you can identify?
Length: 1,500 words
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Quartz (feat. Gwynn Guilford): There’s science behind your inexplicably close relationship with your cat (2014 December 4)
“On the face of it, dog people seem to be less touchy. Our article last year on dogs’ genetic wildness (“Stop coddling your dog—he’s 99.9% wolf”) was widely read, but it sparked hardly any response from dog people at all—and certainly no outrage.
So why do cat people come off as so darned sensitive? Maybe because they are. Studies do indeed show cat people tending toward greater nervousness and moodiness than the pro-canine crew. Recent research also suggests pet owners with more neurotic traits are also inclined to feel more anxiety about their pets’ feelings toward them. Whether consciously or not, both media and society seem to love to rub this insecurity in.
Yet many in the pro-cat camp argue that the bond they share with their cats is superior to what dog people experience with their pets…”
“Compared to dogs, house cats still have much more in common genetically with their wild cousins—something the recent mapping of the cat genome (paywall) highlighted. It’s the differences between kitties and wild
cougarscats, however, that illuminate a lot about the history of human-cat relations.”
“Domestication” refers to the changing of an animal’s genetic makeup through selective breeding to enhance traits and behaviors that appeal to
husbandshumans. House cats have been domesticated, but it’s little thanks to selective breeding by husbandshumans (pure breeding began only 200 years ago). Only a tiny fraction of cats mate with partners that husbandshumans choose for them, as recent research highlights, and uncontrolled breeding of feral and free-roaming cats generates most of the house cat population.
“In contrast to almost every other domestic animal, cats retain remarkable control over their own lives. Most go where they please and when they please and, crucially, choose their own mates,” wrote Bradshaw in the Post. “Unlike dogs, only a small minority of cats has ever been intentionally bred by people.”
“Because house cats continue to mate with wild populations, their hunting abilities have stayed largely intact. This is a big part of why today’s house cats still retain the wild cat genes that make them formidable predators—retaining night vision, for example, or the broadest range of hearing among carnivores. Unlike most dogs, they haven’t evolved in ways that make them more dependent on
husbandshumans for food.”
Like attracts like!
“This hating on cats thing—it isn’t all that original. The conceit’s true pioneer was Pope Gregory IX, who declared in 1233 that during Satanic masses, the Devil took the form of a black cat.”
“All over Europe, the Catholic Church tortured and executed cat owners for witchery. Since having cats could get you burned at the stake, people began slaughtering domestic cats—a trend worsened by the misconception that cats caused the Black Death, which began ravaging the continent in the mid-1300s. Europe’s entire domestic cat population was very nearly wiped out, and many tens of thousands of “witches” were burned at the stake over the next 400 years.
It wasn’t just Catholics who had it in for cats, though; Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation festivities included burning a cat alive (so festive!). To this day, cats endure torture and persecution that just doesn’t seem to happen to dogs.”
Catholics still have it in for cats, BTW…
“Recall that dog genes have been shuffled around for millennia to suit human needs. While people throughout the ages were burning and brutalizing cats, dogs were by their sides fetching ducks, chasing foxes, and killing Attila the Hun’s enemies, to name a few of the skills they were bred for.
This brings us back to the evolution issue. Again, house cats are mainly a product of natural, and not artificial, selection—they domesticated themselves, you might say.
Dogs, not so much. Starting between 11,000 and 16,000 years ago, when dogs were first domesticated from ancient wolves, they’ve been bred to please people. The ease with which humans can breed them also means that humans have selected for genes that make dogs more appealing to them—and not just for skills, but also for aesthetics and personality.”
“Genetically speaking, though, cats come out of the box less programmed to socialize with humans than dogs do. In fact, they treat humans much as they treat other cats”, says Bradshaw.
Scientists don’t know for sure what behavior indicates affection for humans. But since cats haven’t been bred en masse to please, each is different enough from the next that the repertoire of physical and vocal communication they use to express affection also isn’t standard. Cats also tend to be much less reliant on people than dogs are. They are good at taking care of themselves—e.g. hunting and cleaning themselves—and will reject abusive owners.”
Or at least that’s their justification for caterwauling.
“Mutual dependency is therefore more balanced than it is with dog ownership; pet and pet owner both have to work to understand each other, negotiating emotional and physical needs in a similar way to how human friends do”, says Bradshaw. Being totally different animals—ones with conflicting views on things like, say, ideal time of day to sleep, definitions of cleanliness, or the recreational value of a W2 form—makes that process much less straightforward. But it means that when cats give and receive affection, it’s not necessarily in exchange for food or because their DNA is hardwired to do so. It’s probably because, like humans, they feel inspired to express it.”
Inspired by 666 — 6 feet tall, 6 figure income, and a “6-pack”.
Unlike the canine world, there’s no hierarchy with cats. Only Equaluhty and the Feeelz…
“It should come as no surprise that just as cats and dogs differ so too do the people who identify as their owners. A now renowned 2010 study by University of Texas psychologist Samuel Gosling and colleagues examined personality traits of people who label themselves “dog people” and “cat people,” among survey respondents in North America, the UK, Australia and other countries. They found that cat-lovers tended to be less cooperative, compassionate, and outgoing than those who dig dogs, and tended toward more anxiety and depression. Cat people were also found to be more artistic and intellectually curious than dog people.”
Under a headline titled, “The Feline Mystique” (LOL) we find,
“[When] pet owners of both types could remark on their animal of choice… Cat people rhapsodized about their cat’s individuality, writing things like “my cat is the smartest.” Dog owners, on the other hand, tended either to celebrate their pet’s obedience or make general statements about all dogs (e.g. “I love dogs” or “dogs are sweet!”)…”
“This makes sense. Cats’ independence, lack of transparency, and self-sufficiency means when people finally reach harmony with their kitty, they’ve overcome huge natural barriers to build a bond of mutual respect.”
It takes some heavy handed Game to arrive at this point.
Under another section entitled, “Why cats—and not dogs—won the internet” we find this.
“But it doesn’t seem that cat people alone admire this independence. It’s cats, not dogs, that have long since conquered the World Wide Web, inspiring the LOL Cat craze and helping turn Buzzfeed into a media empire.”
“It’s hard to say exactly why cats are so enduringly hilarious, but something about their attitude is clearly ripe for spoofing.”
Enter the Manosphere…
“Dogs have to do something super-smart to attract attention. Cats, though, just have to be; the captions write themselves. The universal fun that seems to come from imagining a cat’s thoughts hints at a grudging respect for the fact that they appear to be thinking anything at all. Dog-shaming, by comparison, is a one-note joke playing on dopey dog naughtiness. Cats have a much richer range of ambitions and emotions for LOL Cat-maker to exploit.
To put it another way, cats trounce dogs on the internet precisely because they are misunderstood—or, more accurately, because they’re so much harder than dogs to understand. We can pat ourself on the
muffback for that. In breeding his own best friend, man made a creature inclined to listen to him more than to Nature. Cats haven’t let that happen, and yet they still choose to love people.”
But not all people mind you. Only the top 10% SMV Chads can take this püssy home. All others must find contentment with Cat memes and Boob Tube.
- Σ Frame: The Symbolism of the Cat (2019-10-31)
- Σ Frame: Females bond with Felines