Zen Girl

Centering into the journey.

Dogs and cats are like children and adults.

A 5-year-old (light) brindle female coexisting...

Image via Wikipedia

If you acknowledge universal energy, which, I do, you’ll understand that everything is a reflection of ourselves.  This includes all other creatures, all living things of this universe.  Cats and dogs, for instance, are another kind of perspective with which to see the world.  They are us, and we are them.   They may not be self-aware, but they are most certainly an individual viewpoint with a unique take on the world based upon events they have experienced with their senses, and their own interpretation of those events.  For example, we may exhibit certain behaviors today because of something that happened to us when we were kids.  We could be extremely burdened and miserable from a certain event, or it may have given us strength, molded us into a better person.  This happens with animals too.  A dog may have been abused when it was a puppy; so this may turn into aggression, extreme fearfulness, or maybe not even affect the dogs’ well-being at all.  Animals sense and analyze the world and other creatures around themselves and act accordingly, just as we do.  They are much more similar to us, to our basic animal selves than we may think.

I’ve grown up with,and raised many cats and dogs.  There is so much to love in both creature, how very different they may be.  Someone once told me that cats and dogs are like adults and children; cats are more like adults, and dogs are more like children.  This stuck with me, it resonated pretty clearly in my own experiences with both species, so I thought I’d further the idea with a few simple comparisons (which turned into many). Sure, there are a lot of biological reasons why dogs and cats exibit many certain behaviors.  Dogs are pack animals, and cats are lone hunters, which adds a lot to these inherent differences.  Sometimes however, I look at it this way:  we can only see them through our own eyes, our own viewpoints and perspectives.  We base our information on them only through what we know about ourselves.  Perhaps we are making them much more complicated than they need to be, and that’s why other animals remain something we can’t fully understood.  We have a habit as humans, to dismiss any idea that seems too simple.  That could contribute to our lack of knowing a damn thing.  All of the scientific observations we make are merely in depth, complicated comparisons to something else.  There is no kind of basis for the following observations; just another way of looking at things.  And I wonder, What kind of traits would a dog have if dogs were the only species alive?


How are dogs like children?  A few things come to mind.  Two giant, sad eyes are staring up at me from a lowered brow as I type this.  I won’t give my dog the undying attention he feels he deserves at this moment.  He uses this “pouting” action anytime he does not get his way:  ripping up toys, eating human food, eating the cat, throwing his bone around rather than a ball.  He even goes so far as to let out a huge sigh filled with sounds of discontent a few seconds after realizing that he is, in fact, not going to get his way.

Playing is optimal for dogs, at any time of the day or night.  Dogs can be an extreme handful.  They are full of restless energy, and an endless quest for things that are fun.  If they aren’t sleeping, this is most likely what they would like to be doing with their free time.  They enjoy a good gallop with a toy in hand (mouth) back and forth throughout the house.

When not keeping themselves entertained, they will follow you around the house endlessly, because what you are doing is the most wonderfully fascinating thing , second only to them having your full attention and getting you to play a game.  They are upset when you leave, and absurdity excited to see you upon returning.

Dogs live completely in the moment, not worrying about the past, and definitely have no mind of the future; every moment is the best moment. Ever!  There is a huge sense of adventure, with no fear of pain or death.  It’s brown and sticky and free on the ground for the taking? Why NOT try it out?  Dogs try everything.  They are not afraid to get dirty.  They are resilient to pain and apparently quite resilient to things that taste bad.

Dogs have been living aside humans for twice as long as cats; they have had twice as long to adjust to humans actions and behaviors, twice as long to witness how we act to each other; how we act to other humans in our pack. Humans WANT the attention, they want to feel needed, they want to know there is someone, who wants to be near them all the time.  Dogs have figured this out; and they will gladly take any and all snippets of our attention and be purely grateful for every second.

Dogs, like children, remain in a constant state of wonder, endless energy and curiosity.  They have no reason to judge anyone and do their best to love all.  They live only in the moment, and their lives are very dependent on love and attention.

Then, there’s cats.

Cats get  uncomfortable quite easily.  This seems to be exasperated when items in their living area have been moved around unexpectedly.  Meeting any other animals that are the same size or bigger than them also doesn’t sit right.   They have a tendency to overthink situations. For example, they think so hard about making a jump that they either miss the jump, or do many half-assed tries where they almost leap off the ground, but eventually give up.  Or they get stuck up a tree, without realizing they are capable of getting down.  Instead, they stay in a state of shock, crying for help without the ability to get down themselves.  Climbing down trees is unnatural for cats, but it can be done.  Their fear often times keeps them in their own mind,  keeps them from seeing climbing down as an option.

Cats want attention only for so long; but at some point they get overwhelmed with the attention and become angry.  They also use a more subtle way of getting what they want.  Since house cats are lone hunters, and have no need to communicate with other cats via facial or body expressions, they use the inflections in their meow to get what they want.  A distressed meow will definitely get some attention, maybe even some food and treats. A playful, chirping meow endears humans, especially humans of the female variety, and will almost always warrant a pet.  They stick around mainly because it’s more beneficial for them to do so than being feral: we feed them and pet them, which for a while, they find extremely pleasurable.

Most cats are distrustful. If you take them out of the house, they conclude you plan on leaving them on the street or taking them to the vet trip.  They do not often eat things that aren’t edible.  They are curious but cautious, VERY cautious with new situations.  Their trust must be earned.  The saying about cats having nine lives doesn’t have to do with how many risks they take; they aren’t risk takers, they just happen to get themselves into sticky situations.  They just happen to be extremely flexible and resilient to accidents, as well as keepers of excellent hearing that compliments their survival.

Cat’s are most always on the defense.  They are loners, and seem to group together only when absolutely needed or beneficial to their survival.  They are very clean, cover their own feces, and don’t particularly enjoy being wet for no reason.  Cat’s can be much more quiet and peaceful, and are more capable of caring for themselves. There is an innate and mysterious beauty to the cat that can be explained partly to grace of movement, but partly because we know so so much less about them.  They are complex, careful creatures who live by their level of fear or comfort.

So, do dogs and cats understand each other when living under the same roof?  Usually– not so much.


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