By Devin O’Branagan
The forthcoming prequel to my bestselling novella, Show Dog Sings the Blues, goes back in time to when the heroine, Talisman, is a teenage dog. Among her many firsts in life, is meeting a cat. It is a challenging encounter for both participants. This part of the book made me wonder what other people’s experiences of dog versus cat are like.
So, of course, I asked my Facebook friends, “What do you imagine your cats think of dogs? What do you believe your dogs think of cats?” Enjoy their answers:
– Chris Maximilian: “Rebel the cat thinks Bella the dog is there for his sole entertainment. Bella, however, thinks Rebel is her wayward son. It makes for interesting times!”
– Cheryl Hass: “Why must THEY live in MY house??”
– Stacy Mantle: “My cats view the dogs as a source of entertainment. Much better than catnip … also as warming blankets.”
– Amy Herrmann: “My Ridgeback, Kora, and Mercy Kitty were best buds. They’d sleep together and Kora would groom her like a cat.”
– Laura De La Cruz: “‘I worship at your feet, oh glorious, magical, mystical creature!’ says the dog. ‘What dog?’ says the cat.”
– Terry Martin: “I think mine just see them as another member of the family. I don’t know if the cats think I am a big cat or that they are a little person – same for the dogs.”
– Martha Kinman Fay: “I think our cat thinks he is a dog (he joined the pack last). I think our dogs know he is not but they love and accept him anyway.”
– Jean Ann: “My cat rules the roost. Big Kitty. These days she’s having an identity crisis. Wants to eat in a crate like the dogs do!”
– Tammy E. A. Crosby: “My cat Chester thought dogs were good for pre-warming ‘his spot’. His spot was usually where ever there was a dog laying … until he moved them out of ‘his spot’. My dog Ginger thought the cat was good company as long as you didn’t touch it.”
– Jeni Merritt Watkins: “My cats are indifferent to the dog. More of a ‘what are you doing in my area’ kind of attitude if any at all. The dogs are leery of the shady cats who get into things and blame them for it when I walk in.”
– Ann Chernoff Allan: “My cat Bhodi lets the dogs clean his face and his ears; he assumes that’s what dogs are for … hired help. The dogs think cats are another job like herding sheep, but different. The dogs do not understand why cats have unlimited access to food but dogs only get fed 2x a day.”
– Gail Baake: “I’m trying to teach my Basset puppy the cat is NOT a squeaky toy! The other dogs will all sleep with the cat on my bed … while the puppy is crated for all our sanity.”
– Aileen Walden: “Oh my. I could write a book on that! Newton the cat – ‘You are here to amuse me. If you think you have any other purpose, you are wrong.’ Tootie re the cats – ‘I am in charge! My food. My bed. My humans.’ Red – ‘Cats? There are cats? Where are cats?’”
– Cassie Arkalis: “My girl, Oreo, a red merle Aussie, loves cats. When she was young, she had never met one up close and personal. One day we were visiting a friend who had cats and dogs, so her cats were very used to dogs. There was one curled up in a chair and when Oreo saw it, she walked over and laid her head down on the cat and cuddled it. It was so sweet and Oreo was in love.”
– ShanAnne Edwards: “When I had cats my dogs knew each of the cats’ names. Once my kitty Squirrel got out on the porch and my dog came out and started to chase. I let out a war-hoop and said, ‘No it’s Squirrel!’ and Whispurr actually put on the brakes so fast she skidded into the wall. After we rescued Squirrel from the neighbor’s shed, Whispurr was kissing and apologizing to her. She brought the cat her favorite toy. They definitely know their kitties! The cats, not so much….”
– Mary Arnold: “My dog Tanner raised an orphan kitten (with me feeding). That cat thinks all of the dogs are her personal playthings. She ambushes them outside, sneaks up and double taps their noses when they are asleep, drops on them from the bed, snuggles with them when she is cold. She willingly climbs into the whelping box and puppy pen. None of my cats are afraid of dogs. My dogs are so used to cats; they are just smaller members of their pack.”
– Melanie Macek: “When we had our Shar-Pei, she absolutely HATED cats. Except mine. If she knew they belonged to me, she would tolerate them but if they did something they weren’t supposed to, she would get them back in line. Never hurt them but there was growling and pawing involved. I caught the kitten snuggled up to her quite a few times but in the light of day, her expression denied that any affection had been exchanged.”
– Lyndy Jacob: “My dog thinks he is a dog. My cat thinks he’s a dog … he even stress shakes to break off play with them.”
– Jeremy N. Townsend: “I think they know they’re different species, but that they are the same family; kind of like adopted siblings.”
– Claire Dyard: “My cats love my dog and my dog thinks the cats are dogs.”
– Dee Ambrose-Stahl: “Actually, thanks to my beloved animal communicator, I KNOW what they think of each other! Isaiah, my Maine Coon cat, likes the Corgis just fine. Eve, my young Golden Retriever bitch, wellllll…… according to the communicator Isaiah says Eve ‘is freakin’ crazy!’ This is because, among other things he said, ‘Eve drips water on my coat and gets me all wet!’”
– Jessica Morris: “My dogs to my cat, ‘Get back, I say BACK you beast.’ My cat to my dogs … she doesn’t even say anything, she doesn’t really need to, they are too insignificant.”
– Cinnie Jones: “My cats mostly think they ARE dogs!”
– Cindy Zeisler: “My cats think my Aussies are just big pillows. Unless they need their ears cleaned, then they rub on Sonic until he cleans them. Of course, if the cats are wrestling, they become something that needs herded.”
– Erica Wagner: “Flick is fascinated with the cats, especially when they run. Wiley’s a bit afraid of the cats, but he also has an obsessive need to stare at them. Roxy treats them with benign neglect. The cats think the dogs are uncouth and vulgar, and they hate it when Wiley stares at them (so rude).”
When my new book comes out, readers can enjoy the first encounter between Talisman and Princess. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what your dogs and cats think of each other!
Photo of Kora and Mercy Kitty courtesy of Amy Herrmann.
Photo of Tanner and orphan kitten, Biscuit, courtesy of Mary Arnold.
Copyright © 2014 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal thrillers, comic mysteries, and fiction about dogs and cats. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, the Cat Writers’ Association, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. All of her books are available in both print and eBook formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com, and check her out on Facebook and Twitter.