My first mammalian pet bigger than a hamster was a dignified gray cat named Jamie. I adopted her from the shelter on my 11th birthday, and we were BFFs for just four years before she passed. (She was an older kitty, already around 9 when I got her.)
Hey, wait–where are you going? This is going to be about dogs, I promise!
So sue me, I used to be a cat person. Leopard print, Catwoman, cat-eye makeup–there was something sexy about cats that overruled the crazy cat lady cliche. I had a few more feline roommates through the years, but never a pet dog. I was always a little envious of kids who had dogs growing up. I indulged my ticking dogological clock by dogsitting, walking dogs, fostering, and eventually adopting Freenie.
I don’t dislike cats but we don’t vibe the way we used to. I pick up a cat and I realize they’re bendier than dogs. Slippery, even. You can train some cats to do tricks and even walk on a leash, but they’re not excited about it the way dogs are. Then there are those claws. So. Pointy.
Certain dogs have catlike tendencies and make good transition pups for erstwhile cat ladies. Chihuahuas, like cats, are members of the varsity sleep team. Shibas are ridiculously independent. Both breeds provide the aloofness and triangular ears of the feline family.
If you’re a cat person, I won’t hold it against you. I won’t even try to convert you to the church of dog. I can only speak to my experience. I am grateful for the cats in my life and happy that they bring people joy and comfort. Maybe someday I’ll get Freenie a kitten sibling. But for now, I’m glad that dog is my co-pilot.