Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dogs, cats

Because we have several grandchildren, we've tended to have a couple of booster seats somewhere in our car most of the time.  These come in handy when the grandchild who lives with us happens to go out in the car with us, or when another grandchild stays overnight and we have to drive him or her home the next day. 

The rest of the time, the dog commandeers the booster seat.  Or he did until recently when we removed the cover because it needed a wash, and he didn't find the hard plastic to his liking.  It's not as if he uses the booster seat to sit up and look out the window.  I'm not sure that he'd be able to see out the window even if he did. (Perhaps we should check out pads and seats online to see if we can get him a combination of proper seating so he can actually see out the window.)  But when the booster has its cover on he's happy just to lie there, his head hanging over the edge, dreaming - I suspect - of what it would be like if his head was stuck out the window and the wind was making his ears fly backwards behind him. 

I have no idea why dogs like to have their heads stuck out the window with the wind making their tongue loll around in their mouth, and their eyeballs thud back into their sockets, and the aforesaid ears (our dog's are particularly long and fluffy at the moment) trailing behind them.  As a human, I could endure this for maybe five minutes before the buffeting would force me inside. Dogs seem to be able to handle it indefinitely. 

We have a friend who has a dog that's similar in size to ours, and he loves to put his head out the window - in fact he'd have his whole body outside the window if it was practical to hold him at the same time. 

Isn't it curious that dogs, which are just as much part of the human fabric of life as cats, love to travel in cars, while cats almost entirely abhor it?  From the time our dog was small he would travel in the car happily, and we only have to mention the word 'car' these days to have him scratching madly at the front door trying to get out and race to the vehicle.

Perhaps it would do the tempers of cats good if they'd consent to travel outside their chosen boundaries occasionally.  It might get their lazy bodies off the top of the couch where they lie pretending to be invisible.  They wait for you to plonk yourself down, and then, just when you least expect it, they delight in giving your ear a good wallop, tearing it open with their claws in the process.  This doesn't endear them to humans.

Dogs somehow manage to chew at your hands while playfighting without doing you damage (well, ours does).  Cats don't know what playfighting is.  We have a cat as well as a dog.  We've had cats almost as long as we've been married.  Only rarely have they consented to behave in a way that was rational to human beings.  Dogs can barely help themselves: they're open, honest, humble, full of integrity, and downright crazy.  Cats are just crazy.

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

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