Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cave Canem

Always on the alert for plausible, uncommon interpretations to common behavior or events, I have ventured on yet another reason so many individuals prefer the company of cats to dogs.

The reason is humans do not tend to resemble their feline friends.

That's it? That's a reason for liking cats? Because they don't look--Oh, please!

Well, let's turn the tables, asking instead How many individuals do you know who resemble their dogs?

Ah, now, were getting closer to the discomfort zone.

An admirable Westie named Annie shared lodgings for the longest time with Esther McCoy,architectural critic, sometimes fiction writer, and stunningly proficient compiler of quiche.

When I first came to Santa Barbara in the early 1970s, there existed at the corner of Milpas and Cota Streets a typographer of such stunning quality and with so many hard-to-come-by type faces, and, indeed, so many Lineotypes that he became my default typesetter when I served as production manager to the scholarly press I was later to direct. Said typographer had a devoted wife who had a devoted dachshund whose eye colors, size, and facial expressions were virtually identical, making it necessary for me to take such measures as gritting my teeth, pinching myself, or voiding eye contact when in her presence, lest I laugh aloud at the similarity.

Earlier this evening, I saw a woman walking a Pyrenees Mountain Dog along East Valley Road, the back of the dog's head bearing the same shade of hair, flouncing in the same configuration as they walked.

A former librarian had an English Bull Dog with a remarkably similar set of facial configurations.

The list of recalled similarities goes on. Some might say the list goes on and in the process grows anecdotal as well and so, before I can be accused of an anecdotal approach, I will admit to it myself, saying it seems to me many humans bear visual resemblance to their dogs, others still bear a similarity of temperament to their dog associates, including one police officer I knew in Santa Monica who was assigned to the K-9 service. There was a beagle named Cholmondley in Virginia City whose manner and voice was very much like his human companion, and I suspect that the longer I concentrate on such associations, more similarities will visit me.

Truth to tell, I probably bore some resemblance to my Blue Tick Hound, Mr Edward Bear, making me part of the parade. Although his ears were notably longer and droopier than mine, his occasions dark moods quickly laughed me out of my own.

It is no small thing to bear resemblance to a dog and I am happy for the many chances I have had to do so. At least three spectacular cats have ventured into my life, respectively Sam, Maud, and Armand, none of whom I resembled. Nor can I recall a single case of a cat fancier who resembled a feline associate.

You search for a pattern of connection long enough and some insightful response pops out, validating your own sense of the increased time you spend living outside the mould.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All right, so if I prefer dogs to cats, does this mean I prefer to gaze upon myself?