Monday, October 4, 2010

Like Cats and Dogs

My first girlfriend loved cats. She had two at home; but on any of our long evening walks, she seemed compelled to make friends with all the others we’d meet on our route. Even if one was sitting way up on a stoop somewhere, she squat low to the ground, put out her hand, and spend as long as it took coaxing it down the steps and along the path to the sidewalk, with me standing there like an idiot wondering if we’d ever get back to the kissing, which was what I liked best about our long evening walks.

My family was never that big on pets, and so, had I never had a girlfriend who loved cats, I probably would have never gotten around to getting one myself, and certainly not quite so soon after we’d broken up. Not long after, she visited me and in spite of her purported love of cats, made a point of letting me know that she was singularly unimpressed with mine. But by then I was stuck with my choice; and besides, as my friend Mike the vet had said, sometimes it’s nice just to have something else moving around the house.
My first girlfriend loved cats. The next one loved dogs, and got all woodgie-woodgie-coochie-coo whenever she got one up close. She owned a lovely black lab, but had left it behind at her parents’ house while she pursued her dreams from a tiny apartment in the city. We walked that dog together exactly once while her parents were overseas, but that was hardly enough for me to make the big switch from cat person to dog. We were together a year, almost, but her pro-dog arguments remained unconvincing. And so for now, barring any further romantic entanglements, no dogs allowed.

Photo by Terri Windling.


  1. I like dogs- but other peoples dogs...for me I love cats!

  2. Ahhhhhh - what a fabulously written piece with a tidy ending! A refreshing change from all the poems! But I must admit, as with Kathe (above) I am more of a cat person (we're members of a cat group called Feline Friday (new members always welcome).


  3. I think the dog in the picture read the story. Look at that face. It knows that no matter what happens, it will not go home to those one-time walkers. Hope it likes the parents' house.

    I'm a total animal lover: dogs, cats, ferrets, chickens (yes, I had a pet chicken named Titi that was a hoot). I wish I could have my dog with me, but an apartment in NYC has always seemed like no place for a puppy in my eyes.

    By the way, love the long, fluid, rhythmic sentences. I felt like the narrator was rolling his eyes with annoyance as he shared how the girlfriends went on and on and on... about cats and/or dogs.

    My Magpie Entry

  4. Be proud. Living with a cat is the mark of a literary person.

  5. I do not own any pets but love to look into their eyes.

  6. I like both...but lean toward dogs...

  7. I like both but I have 2 cats. There's something to be said about keeping cats if you have no room for dogs it's better.


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