Zoölogists seem to consider the cerebration of cats and dogs about 50-50—but my respect always goes to the cool, sure, impersonal, delicately poised feline who minds his business and never slobbers.
We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight.
We call ourselves a dog’s “master” — but who ever dared call himself the “master” of a cat? We own a dog — he is with us as a slave and inferior because we wish him to be. But we entertain a cat — he adorns our hearth as a guest, fellow-lodger, and equal because he wishes to be there.
Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement.
Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.
The real lover of cats is one who demands a clearer adjustment to the universe than ordinary household platitudes provide; one who refuses to swallow the sentimental notion that all good people love dogs, children, and horses while all bad people dislike and are disliked by such.
The cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it.
The cat is classic whilst the dog is Gothic — nowhere in the animal world can we discover such really Hellenic perfection of form, with anatomy adapted to function, as in the felidae.
No breed of cats in its proper condition can by any stretch of the imagination be thought of as even slightly ungraceful — a record against which must be pitted the depressing spectacle of impossibly flattened bulldogs, grotesquely elongated dachshunds, hideously shapeless and shaggy Airedales, and the like.
It is no compliment to be the stupidly idolised master of a dog whose instinct it is to idolise, but it is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a philosophic cat who is wholly his own master and could easily choose another companion if he found such a one more agreeable and interesting.