The truth about cats and dogs

image courtesy of

Do you remember the movie The Truth about Cats and Dogs? In case you missed it, here’s the plot summary courtesy of Wikipedia followed by a trailer from the movie courtesy of YouTube:

Abby Barnes (Janeane Garofalo) is a veterinarian, who hosts a Los Angeles radio show called “The Truth About Cats and Dogs.” The use of this as the title of the film also suggests the combative nature of male-female romantic relationships. Abby strikes up an unexpected friendship with her neighbor Noelle Sluslarsky (Uma Thurman), a traditionally attractive model who is sweet, but not very sharp. When Abby makes a blind date with a caller to her show (Ben Chaplin), her insecurity with her own appearance leads her to convince Noelle to pretend to be Abby when meeting the date. Unfortunately, both women develop feelings for the man, leading to a comedic series of misunderstandings, as the unintended consequences of their deception grow deeper.

When I saw that the topic for this week’s blog carnival was pets, I did what most people would probably do. I thought about my pets, past and present and attempted to write a story about what they meant to me. And while heartfelt stories about a favorite pet are almost always moving and/or inspirational, I wasn’t really feeling a personal pet story. I’ve got them, but I suppose just about anyone who has ever had a pet has at least one. Probably better than mine. (Although I will go on record here stating that my cat Rudy is 17 years old–119 in human years supposedly, and I also owned male and female litter mates that lived to be 20 and 21 respectively. Cats love my company so much they refuse to die. Which is sort of strange because the feeling is not necessarily mutual.) But I digress…

I agree with what the character Abby says at the beginning of that clip: “You can love your pets, just don’t love your pets.” And no, I’m not talking about a 3 hour tongue bath from your cat, even though I’m pretty sure that would be considered inappropriate under any circumstances.

What I mean is that most pets, and dogs in particular, are easy to love because for the most part they love us unconditionally and without judgement. They lavish us with affection and loyalty and ask very little in return. My dog Buddy Love is a great companion. I don’t recall a single blog post typed from my computer when he wasn’t either sitting in my lap or snuggled up next to me. I do love that dog, but that kind of love and companionship is not the same as loving people.

People are hard to love.

And there’s no such thing as unconditional love when it comes to human beings. We may come close on rare occasions, but our selfish natures prevent us from that kind of love.

Someone once said, “The more people I meet the more I like my dog.”

And while there are days I might wholeheartedly agree with that statement, I simply can’t give up on loving people.

Because the One who really does love me unconditionally commands me to love Him and love people.

And He never mentioned the dog.

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Pets, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more about pets, please visit him at

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19 Responses to “The truth about cats and dogs”

  1. Helen June 28, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    I wholeheartedly agree. People before pets. Even if pets are cuter, cuddlier, and more forgiving.

  2. Louise June 28, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    LOL — people are hard to love — yup — and I gotta admit, I make it hard to love myself sometimes!

    Great post kat — btw — I enjoyed Cats and Dogs — it’s sooooo cute πŸ™‚

  3. James Williams June 28, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    In general, this is a great post. In particular, though, I have to take issue with your first paragraph, which seems to dis cats. Cats are much better than dogs. These things are self-evident and I don’t have to explain or elaborate. Just trust me on this.

    • katdish June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am #

      Oh, I’m not anti-cat, and there was a time when I thought cats were way better than dogs. Now I just think both have their pros and cons.

  4. Amy Sorrells June 28, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    First, I’m convicted. You’re right.
    Second, dogs rule.
    That’s the truth.

    • James Williams June 28, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      Seriously. When you think about the most ferocious, most respected, and most feared, animals in the wild, it’s always the lion, or the tiger. The fastest is the cheetah or the leopard. What’s the canine equivalent? Foxes? Wolves? Hyenas? There is no contest. Cats are bad-ass.

  5. floyd June 28, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    It is a hard thing to love people especially since we know they have a bit more than “instinct” on their side and still show why they are so hard to tolerate, much less love. It was easier when I was younger to “love my neighbor as myself,” I didn’t treat myself or anyone to well in those days.
    Now it’s a tad more difficult, although when my dog Larry goes in the house, he’s not easy to love either.

  6. Chuck Allen June 28, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Well said. It’s so much easier to love someone – or something- that loves me. The real call is to love people whether they are easy to love or not.

    BTW, I don’t think cats are a good example. That’s not affection they’re showing, it’s evil manipulation. πŸ™‚

  7. Simply Darlene June 28, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    and people don’t generally poop in your yard or vegetable garden…

    But I have to tell you, I love my dogs — because they love me even when I’m not very lovable, they’ve protected me from bad guys, and they eat whatever I burn (and I think they even smile about it).


    • Zee June 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      and people don’t generally poop in your yard or vegetable garden… – hahaha… granted – that’s *generally* speaking.

  8. Jason June 28, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I used to love that movie and then over the last few years Janeane Garofalo has become such a mean, unpleasant person that I can’t even watch it.

    As for loving a dog more than a person…oh yeah. The worst my dogs have done is eat my dinner while I’ve been out of the room. That’s far less bad than say, stealing away someone’s wife. lol

  9. jasonS June 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Great point, Kat.

    PS And knowing cats, I think they stayed alive so long just to spite you. πŸ™‚

  10. HisFireFly June 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    What truth you’ve spoken here! I cherish the unconditional “dog love” I receive from Faith, letting it remind me of the One Who loves me best.

  11. Zee June 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Pets teach us about love. While my cat can get mad at me and we can get into a fight (she’s 17 years old, so she’s got quite a character – sometimes I wonder whether she’s an undercover agent), I know that she will love me no matter what. She might not like my idea of cuddling sometimes, she might get upset with me that I did not feed her when she asked for it… yet she always comes around and lies next to me, looking into my eyes and smiling lovingly. And I have learned a lot from her – how to love people even when I don’t like them much.

  12. Glynn June 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    We kept waiting for our first cat to die, too. She was pushing 18 when it happened.

    I wept when the vet put her to sleep. And I didn’t like cats.

  13. Hazel Moon June 30, 2011 at 3:12 am #

    Sad to say, but my husband did not know his dad very well. Seems dad was always leaving to go somewhere. So when his dad passed away, there were no tears shed for dad. But when time came to put down our sweet dogs, it was heart rendering for my hubby. Usually he made me take them to the vet for the final farewell. Good post Kat!

  14. Michelle DeRusha June 30, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    People are hard to love, you are right about that. But you are also right that Jesus expects us to love them anyway. I suspect He might find me a little hard to love every now and then…but He still loves me anyway, despite my myriad flaws.

    We have fish in our house…that’s the kind of pet person I am.

  15. jake July 4, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Kathy, everything about this was amazing. I haven’t read anything recently that stuck out to me like this, but then again you have this thing about down to earth honestly that I love. I Love this post because it’s so true “People are hard to love.” Cats love your company so much they refuse to die, etc, all great lines but not JUST great lines, know?

    Regardless. I think this one hit the spot for me tonight. Many thanks.

  16. Maria Shaw July 4, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    One thing I’ve noticed about the 2 dogs and 4 cats that I’ve owned is that as long as they are healthy they never seem to have mood swings. No matter how I am they are always there doing the same old thing. They do seem to know when to avoid me though so they seem to be able to read my mind rather than the other way around.

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