Cats and Dogs

People who like pets generally fall into one of two categories, cat people or dog people.

Some, I guess, enjoy both animals, but most people prefer one or the other.

Have you ever noticed people resemble their pets? It’s especially true for dog people. Cat people, on the other hand, sometimes display cat-like personalities. A good friend once told me I was more of a cat person than a dog person. I don’t think it was meant as a compliment.

As a general rule, cats are present, curious, and content. They will sit on the couch and stare at you for hours. Dogs, on the other hand, are needy; they live to be loved. 

Cats are generally independent and aloof. Put out a couple litter boxes and some food and water, and you can leave a cat alone for days. When you return, they’ll look at you and yawn. A dog, on the other hand, will act like he won the lottery.

I admit to admiring cat-like qualities and frankly aspire to be more independently content and curious. However, I’d probably be better off if I focused my attention on being more dog-like, as unconditional love doesn’t come to me naturally!

Most of us, like cats and dogs, are unlikely to change our general nature. People are pretty much a “whole meal deal.” 

That being the case, it’s surprising how often we try to change people whose behaviors we don’t like. Have you ever tried to do that? If so, how successful were you?

The funny thing is, we usually are pretty accepting of the behaviors of coworkers and friends’; it’s loved ones that really get under our skin!

I will be the first to admit that I have been a complete failure in my attempts to fundamentally change anyone. I’ve found such efforts to be a “fool’s errand,” like scolding a cat for being aloof or expecting a dog to just “chill.” 

I am far better off when I direct energy towards changing myself instead! 

This, admittedly, has been recent learning.

Troubled by the behaviors of a loved one, I sought the counsel of a wise friend. After listening to me vent, she told me that the solution to my problem was clear.

I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to hear the answer.

She told me I was the problem! 

That really upset me, and it was only out of deep respect for my friend that I kept my mouth shut and continued to listen. 

She explained that everyone carries a burden. Even when that burden becomes our burden, we can be certain they have the heavier end of the load.

In retrospect, this advice falls under the category of changes I needed most but wanted least!

She was correct; it is easier to change our self.

Behaviors are usually “baked-in.” Cats and dogs accept us as we are. 

We are wise to do the same.


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