How I Gave Up Cats And Became A Dog Person

When I was growing up, I thought dogs were gross and smelly and awful. They seemed dumb — only a dumb creature could be so happy to see a human, right? Cats, on the other hand, were smart and pretty and condescending. They knew they were more important than people, and they reveled in their superiority, grinning evilly as we human servants scooped their poop out of stinky litter boxes.

I have hand-fed cats who were too sick to eat on their own. I have tucked pills into tiny savory snack pockets in an elaborate ruse to fool cats into thinking they were getting a treat. I have given insulin shots to cats. I have looked deep into a terminally ill cat’s eyes as it was put to sleep, just so it wouldn’t feel alone or scared.

But all that is behind me now. For now, I am no longer a cat person. I have given up the feline way of life for another lifestyle entirely — one replete with drool and snot and barf and puke and sometimes, gloriously, even period blood.

I am a dog person.

And like all converts, I am a zealous spirit.

It started because I was moving in with a fellow who was allergic to cats. I referred to it as his “tragic disability” and figured that, like Achilles, every hero has a fatal flaw. I decorated my home office with photographs of cats and mourned the fact that I might never again get to sleep in bed beside a warm, furry kitten. We all make sacrifices in life and love, and this was mine.

I work from home, and I get a bit lonely sometimes. Someone — perhaps it was him, perhaps it was someone else — suggested I might get a dog.

I wrinkled up my nose in disgust.

“Ew,” I said. “I mean they’re cute, but don’t they smell weird?”

Friends (and my boyfriend) began sending me cute puppy movies. Puppy videos. Puppy livestreams. As word spread, people went out of their way to introduce me to their dogs and to regale me with tales of the sweet, wondrous love that can only occur between a lady and her puppy.

I remained unmoved.

Until, that is, my boyfriend suggested we go look at shelter dogs.

I was on deadline for a project, and it was Valentine’s Day. He suggested that if we went to the shelter and I saw a dog I liked — a sweet, beautiful, precious animal that needed love and companionship — well, we might consider putting in an adoption application. I countered that I had work to do. He countered that I had been procrastinating for months, and maybe this would somehow get my brain jogging along. It would be a nice afternoon excursion, and the shelter people would probably let me hold the kitties, to boot.

I grew excited at the prospect of holding a kitty.

15 minutes later, we walked into the local animal control facility. I took one look at the dogs in their cages and I lost my freaking mind.

“Babies!” I said aloud, apropros of nothing. “They are just babies!”

“Actually, that’s an elderly adult male pit bull,” said a nearby animal control officer.

“HE IS A PRECIOUS BABY!” I said, staring deep into the pit bull’s liquid brown eyes.

He wasn’t the only precious baby there. Every single dog looked at me with its mournful (or hopeful) gaze, and I grew more and more upset — and excited, all at once. We held a few dogs, and I loved each and every one of them, but there were good reasons not to bring them home — this one was aggressive with kids, for example, or that one couldn’t be around other dogs (we live in a dog-friendly building full of doggies, and I figured we ought to get one that could stand seeing other animals with relative frequency).

Finally, we left the animal control place and went to the Humane Society. And that is where I walked in and immediately saw this munchkin.

How I Gave Up Cats And Became A Dog Person

She was small and weird and affectionate and fond of treats. I also am all of those things. She had been abandoned in the high desert when she was only a month old and was picked up by animal control there. The Humane Society had rescued her from a high-kill shelter (seemingly everyone in California who abandons dogs decides to do so in the high desert.)

And pretty soon, just like that, she was ours.

Her first day home was a wreck. I decided to leave her shut up in our big bathroom for a few hours while I went out and bought her lots of food and toys. When I came back, she had thrown up, peed, pooped, and GOTTEN HER DOGGIE PERIOD — and then played in it. All of it.

Morley home

And as she looked up at me, covered in her own vomit and poop and pee and blood, I thought to myself, “I have never loved anything as much as I love this disgusting orphaned creature right in this moment.”

We’ve been in love ever since.

Morley with Norwegian superhero

Oh, and P.S.? Her name is Morley Safer, because she looks like him. They are both amazing.

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  • Hammiepants

    I never understand this. Why does it have to be one or the other? Liking dogs over cats or vice versa doesn’t automatically confer superiority one way or the other. Can’t people just love animals without being adversarial about it? I don’t get it.

    • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

      What kind of sick freak are you?

      • Hammiepants

        Yeah, I like both pie AND cake as well. History’s Greatest Monster, right here.

        • NDeeeZ

          I like pie AND cake, too.But, gun to my head, I’d choose cake.

          • Lazy Media

            Apostate! Burn in hell! PIE PIE PIE!

          • Otto66

            Yes. CAKE!

        • Greg Comlish

          My preferences are very clear. First there’s Legs then Ass, Pie, Tits, Dogs, Cake, and finally Cats.

    • Agree. Own two dogs (including the iconic basenji over on the left) and two cats.

  • NDeeeZ

    Welcome to the light side!

  • Trilby16

    Why dogs are great: all that positive energy! Gotta love that.

  • automaticpilot

    I am kind of the opposite. I grew up in a family that hated cats, so I never in a million years thought I would have a cat or even like one very much. Years later, after some persuasion, the hubby and I have two cats and I love them. But it doesn’t mean I love dogs less! Cats are just easier for us to take care of with the lifestyle we have.

  • Lazy Media

    I like dogs a LOT! Dog dog dog. I do not, however, want to be a parent; I’m just not cut out for it. We have cats, and that is not parenting. Cats are more like roommates. Cuddly, purring, fuzzy roommates.

  • Homestar

    I grew up allergic to cats and lived with dogs. Now I live with a dog, a cat, and whatever foster animal I have at the moment. Both are delightful, both are annoying, but at the end of the day, they need you more than you need them, and giving them safety and comfort is the greatest feeling. Even when both animals decide to poop everywhere besides where they’re supposed to.

    • Otto66


  • BigRedDog

    Wait. Dogs get periods? I’ve never had a period.


  • You can love both. Does your boyfriend have decent health insurance? Because if the answer is yes, he can take shots.

  • “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” – Winston Churchill

    • Otto66

      But mostly when their bacon. Yum.

  • Otto66

    Sometimes, you just know. Ya know?

  • Maezeppa

    ” I decided to leave her shut up in our big bathroom for a few hours while I went out and bought her lots of food and toys.”Worst thing to do, as you probably now know. First thing with a new dog is take it for a nice walk. This will tire it out and make it trust you as fearless leader.

  • Monty

    And as she looked up at me, covered in her own vomit and poop and pee and blood, I thought to myself, “I have never loved anything as much as I love this disgusting orphaned creature right in this moment.”

    We’ve been in love ever since.”

    I am not sure equating disgust with love means what you think it means.

  • John Avignone

    I like cats well enough, but I’m allergic, so I’ve always been a dog person. A while back my female Bloodhound actually forced me to adopt a terrified little feral kitten that had gotten trapped under the house. Mona wouldn’t leave me alone until I rescued that little kitty. And she was thrilled when, after growing up KC had a litter. Mona would carry them around the back yard in her mouth, very gently.Mona’s idea of mothering didn’t always meet cat standards. One night a few friends were over and everyone thought Mona carrying the kittens around was the cutest damn thing they’d ever seen. Then Mona casually walked over to the deep end of the pool, kitten in mouth, and dropped kitty in. Kitty was fine, but none too happy.Mona ended up as a big, slobbery extra mother for two litters before I finally got the local SPCA to take KC and her kitties for adoption. Apparently “likes dogs” is a big selling point.

  • mtn_philosoph

    For the life of me I have never understood this whole cat person vs. dog person thing. I mean, what is that really all about anyway, because it sure as hell isn’t about the animal. Adopting and caring for a pet or companion animal is a personal thing, and not something that anyone needs moral or social validation for. If the animal makes you happy and you love it and are prepared to properly, legally and responsibly care for it, that’s all that matters. Cats, dogs, chinchillas, ferrets, mice, hamsters, etc. — it’s all good.P.S. Those pictures of Morley S are absolutely adorable. I especially like the first one.