Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cat People vs. Dog People

Isaac Beckley Werner was definitely a Cat Person.  He mentions being given a puppy by a neighbor once, but after the entry about the gift the puppy was never mentioned again.  I assume it was returned.

However, he loved his cats.  This was rather unusual, because he also had a great fondness for birds.  He trusted the predictions of seasonal changes from migrating ducks and geese flying south in autumn and returning to the north in the spring, and he knew the predictable time that his favorite song birds would return in the spring.  

He also liked chickens and had a favorite among his flock.  Unfortunately, when a skunk got into the hen house, it was his favorite that was killed.

But his favorites were his cats.  Before giving away a kitten, he made sure the neighbor taking it had some sort of shelter available for the cat.

Just for fun, this blog is about the distinction between Dog People vs. Cat People.  Studies have found that there are personality differences! Mark Twain was among the authors in Isaac's library collection of books, and Twain is known for being a Cat Person!

Portrait by Lyn Fenwick (c)
Of course, some people love both cats and dogs.  However, if people have a specific favorite, more are dog lovers than cat lovers.

Researcher Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin concluded that such preferences may be related to the types of environments cat or dog people prefer.  Quoted by Rachael Rettner in her article, Guastello said: "It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they're going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog.  Whereas, if you're more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you're more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk."

The studies do seem to confirm that Dog People are more likely to be extroverts, while Cat People are more likely to be introverts.  In addition to being more likely to be introverts, cat owners are more likely to live alone, to be more timid, modest, obliging, and fairly trusting. Dog People, on the other hand, are generally described as being forceful, assertive, persistent, self-assured, and self-confident.

Dog a descendant of Rin-Tin-Tin
Those who identify themselves as Cat People are unlikely to want to have a dog in their household.  When asked if they were given a dog would they keep it, Cat People tended to say "no," while if Dog People were given a cat, they were more likely to say they would keep it.  That seems to have been true of Isaac, when his friend gave him a puppy.

I tend to identify myself as a Dog Person, but we have had both cats and dogs and we've loved them all.  The photograph at right is of me with a breeder of German Shepherds whose line is descended from Rin-Tin-Tin.  He was a gorgeous dog!

Because cat lovers tend to be introverts, and often book lovers, that would certainly apply to Isaac.  In our family, it may be our cat who is the book lover!

Emerson the Cat

Isaac Werner was a single man who lived alone, enjoying his reading.  He was willing to work hard for the things he supported, but he often did his work in a solitary way, for example, going to the school house to make repairs when he saw that they were needed.  He was modest and obliging, for although he initiated the formation of the County Agricultural Society and the local group of Progressive neighbors, he was content to serve as the Secretary of the groups, rather than feeling snubbed because he wasn't chosen as the President of the groups he formed.  In fact, he was elected Secretary of nearly every organization of which he was a part.  He definitely met many of the common characteristics of a Cat Person.

I thought you might have some fun with some of the generalizations about common traits.  Cat people are more intelligent than dog people.  Cat people are more neurotic than dog people.  Dog people tend to be more conservative than cat people.  Dog people are more obedient--just like dogs.  Cat people are more open-minded that dog people.  Dog people are more masculine than cat people.  Dog people and cat people have a different sense of humor.  (These Basic Differences Between Dog People and Cat People are taken from a list by Lorenzo Jensen III.)

Frankly, I agree with some of the generalizations, but many do not seem to fit my friends and their pets.  The generalizations are based on studies and are simply a measure of what is more likely to be the case.  They certainly aren't absolutes! 


Unknown said...

Then again,some of us would like cats more if we weren’t allergic to them.

Deanna Lackaff said...

Lyn, I love how you jump off from the life of Isaac to develop such interesting digressions on so many subjects! And you're a very accomplished visual artist, too. The portrait is beautiful.

The Blog Fodder said...

What is a Cat?

Cats do what they want.
They rarely listen to you.
They're totally unpredictable.
They whine when they are not happy.
When you want to play, they want to be alone.
When you want to be alone, they want to play.
They expect you to cater to their every whim.
They're moody.
They leave hair everywhere.
They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.
Conclusion: They're tiny little women in fur coats.

What is a Dog?

Dogs lie around all day, sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.
They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but don't hear you when you're in the same room.
They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.
They growl when they are not happy.
When you want to play, they want to play.
When you want to be alone, they want to play.
They are great at begging.
They will love you forever if you rub their tummies.
They leave their toys everywhere.
They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.
Conclusion: They're tiny little men in fur coats.