Whilst I do believe that colour does not beat the starkness of a black and white photograph I do have difficulty liking those who paint the world in black and white. Those who indulge in generalizing instead of taking their magnifying glasses to the particular.
Yes, the general and the particular. What a marvellous subject. Lending itself to all FACETS of life. Today, going the way of least resistance, I shall focus on the soft subject of dog and cat lovers.
Please note that I said ‘and’ NOT ‘versus’. There is no law to say that you have to be either or. Or can’t be both. Sure, we may have affinities. Men, mice. Some even keep hamsters. A friend and neighbour of mine used to. I can’t say I loved them (I loathe anything on a treadmill) but they were living things (not that they knew it) so I looked after them when friend was on holiday. Even when friend was not on holiday I’d get those blasted things over to my garden and let them chew the grass. I’d have preferred a sheep or a goat but friends can’t be choosers.
If I were technically as adept as all of you I’d now attach to this post a photo of my fifteen months old self and Pongo. Pongo was my first body guard, an Alsatian. Sitting, at my side and on his hind, taller than me. And yes, the picture is black and white. Which is just as well because Pongo’s fur was black and it was midwinter and the snow was very very very white.
Where were we? Cats and dogs. Animals. By temperament I’d say I prefer cats, for purely selfish reasons. Cats want nothing from you. They give (not least half dead prey put at your feet as a sign of affection) but that’s about it. Dogs? Dogs are takers. They – not by desire, by default – may look at you as the leader of the pack. Don’t let yourself be flattered so easily. As leader of the pack you are looked upon to provide. PROVIDE. Like what? Fun, entertainment, and, naturally, food. You are at their beck and call. And those eyes. Those EYES. Pleading, needy. That’s ok. I don’t mind pleading, needy, that’s what makes dogs human. But, for heaven’s sake, there is that never ending sorrow in a dog’s eyes. It’s why, and please shoot me now, why I firmly believe that those prone to the metaphorical black dog on your shoulder should not keep dogs. Keep a cat – if you must have a pet – instead. Cats are affectionate to the point of suffocating (me) yet they never expect you to throw a stick. And to reciprocate I never expect them to fetch it [the stick].
As an aside and whatever you do: Do not keep a gold fish. They are soul destroying (their own and yours).
Hugs and hisses,