I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I am a cat person.
Even if I hadn't become a librarian (cat-appreciation being an occupational hazard), I would still have always been a cat person. True, a lot of that has to do with cats being the pets that we had growing up. Well, cats and the goldfish, but we don't talk about the fish, as they met an unfortunate end when our family moved house in 1979 on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year. By the time they got to the new house, they were rather more buoyant than they had been when they started their "house move of death".
In any event, the appeal of cats for me has always been their independence. I have respect for that. But for the past year and a half I've been living with a dog person. I'm tempted to say that he has an affinity for the canine set because he's smelly, drooly and loves meat but that would probably be unwise so I definitely won't say that.
In the past I've not only been a cat person, but I've been a cat person who is a bit scared of dogs. Apparently as a child I had an unfortunate experience with one of the neighbourhood dogs that baled me up against a house with its barking and snarling and general bad attitude and consequently it took many years for me to feel relaxed in one's presence.
But as I said, I now live with a "canine advocate" and over the past year and a half he's been trying to convert me from the righteous feline path. And it's kind of working.
His main method of enticement has been his mother's dog, a Lassie lookalike who's about as aggressive as rice pudding and has a fondness for fetching tennis balls and coating them in a disgusting slick of drool. Over time, I have become completely okay with not only touching said items but with throwing them about in parks and gardens, over and over and over again.
The Silver Fox's family dog is also an extremely good-looking animal and I have to admit that when we sometimes take her for walks (these walks being for the purpose of exercise, not dog brainwashing - heavens no!) the fact that at some point someone will stop us and compliment the attractiveness of the dog does please me. She's not even my dog. And even if she were, her resemblance to Lassie would have nothing to do with me. But it doesn't matter. I still like it.
But we really turned a corner this week when I discovered Puppy cam, to which I am now addicted. Puppy cam is exactly what you would expect. It's a live feed of some puppies. But not just ordinary pups. There are six golden retriever bundles of fluff - five girls and a boy - and they live in Maryland, USA. They are "service puppies" who will eventually become companions to disabled war veterans; until then they will be socialised by being petted by returned servicemen with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So they're not just heartwarming because they're cute. They're heartwarming because they're cute with a purpose. Awwwwhhhh.
I find that puppy cam helps me feel better when I am stressed, sort of like a livestreaming Prozac. There is no ailment that Puppy cam can't treat. It's like the massage pillow* of webcams. Cures sciatica! aches and pains! Stress! Bunions!
To be honest, I think I'll always be a cat person by nature but I'm just not so scared of dogs as I used to be and that's definitely a good thing. I still think they smell but I have come to appreciate how goshdarn cute they can be.
Have you ever made the switch from cat to dog person or vice versa?
*Just trying to get the word "pillow" into every post this week for a lark.