Posted by: kathandroger | November 25, 2015

Dog or Mog?

Many years ago I used to keep pigs. They are my favourite animal; intelligent (but not too intelligent), affectionate and very trusting. The only problem with pigs is that they eat, well, like pigs. The constant supply of foodstuffs becomes a chore, and it is fair to say that they really do need some outside housing, although in Dorset at one time our local publican had two pot bellied pigs behind the bar. They did not pull the pints though, and conversation was limited. So now our house animals are a cat and a dog. Again conversation is not the main attraction, although talking to the dog is a favourite pastime of the missus, often in preference to talking to the old geezer. They are both lovely when they look like this.IMG_3267


But what are their merits? Well, a dog always seems pleased to see us, wagging the tail, barking and generally taking delight purely in our return.  The cat may raise its head from slumber, but in general only to say “I’m just having a nice little kip, bugger off and leave me alone”. And cats really aren’t much use around the house; granted they may catch the odd mouse, but then the entrails are often left for us as tributes to their hunting ability. And I am always upset when a perfect bird corpse is left as a trophy. The dog, on the other hand, is a fearless, enthusiastic and absolutely useless hunter, but endlessly amusing when chasing a scent when we have seen the animal going in the opposite direction. Walking the dog can be a chore, but here, in our pretty countryside, is a pleasure. The cat will sometimes join us, but often lags behind and has to be carried. The feline’s friends never seem to appear, but canine mates are often encountered and usually greeted and played with, and other owners become friends too, though not often played with. I am always interrogated after walking the dog as to how her bowels have performed. She usually does her business well enough to asses her wellbeing, whereas the cat, although burying the evidence, often chooses my building sand pile. This does not seem to matter much in making mortar for building, in fact it may improve adherence, but it was not quite so welcome this summer when a brace of two year old guests decided to make sandcastles!

When it comes to obedience there is no comparison. A dog will usually do as it is told as long as it is not deaf or completely stupid, although with our big terrier there is always a delay, often for a wee, before obeying. The cat will take absolutely no notice until something is hurled in its direction or a very, very loud noise is made. Our early warning system, the dog barking, has been less effective since her hearing loss, but she can still go ballistic if the cat is deemed to be getting extra food on the forbidden worksurfaces.

Neither makes much mess in the house, the odd footprint on Kath’s newly ironed sheets maybe, but nothing that won’t wash out. Funny how cats love to sleep on freshly washed clothes, or in the middle of the bed.

So what about the cost of it all. Both eat like pigs, but not from the same trough, and most meals are unequally shared. The cat will then have a cleaning session, whereas our dog has yet to be washed-she smells a bit of old dog now, but does manage to bite out the odd tree branch or fox poo stuck in her coat, and Kath always tarts her up before are weekly visit to the local market. Vet bills cost a fortune, though visits are rare, often only to buy anti worm and flea potions which sometimes work. The dog goes to friends or comes with us on holidays, but the cat can manage alone with our automatic feeder for at least a fortnight, and is completely nonchalant on our return!

In summary, both are a delight at home, fighting with the cat and singing to the dog whilst stroking her belly are two of my favourite pastimes now-poor old bugger. The days of singing to the wife and stroking her belly are long gone, and I am too scared to fight!IMG_3268


  1. Our cat brought us a grass snake to the bedroom at 7.30 the other morning. We were not impressed, nor was the snake. But she has eliminated dozens of mice from the environs, so we forgive her.

    • We had a similar event last year, but Dennis only bit the heads off two lovely grass snakes and left them on the compost heap! I wonder how much the local wildlife would benefit if we all got rid of our cats?

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