The battle rages on, as old as Lady and the Tramp. But allow me to spin you a yarn:
The place: New Rochelle, a verdant suburb of New York. The year: 1955. The setting was my dad's childhood home. This was in the days when people had lots of pets and no one bothered too much about them. Having recently lost one of their two cats, my dad and his brothers went to the pound to adopt another. Instead, they were seduced by a lively black-and-white puppy who did tricks for them and whom they named Buttons. Although the family's young cat, Duchess, initially greeted the newcomer with suspicion and hissing, the next morning the family came downstairs to find the two, dog and cat, curled up together in a basket.
From then on, they were best friends. And when Duchess had kittens, Buttons was an active part of their lives, helping her to carry them between baskets and guarding over them at night. One day, tragedy struck. A neighborhood villain, a doberman named Snooper, came into the garage where the kittens lived, while Buttons was away, and throttled one to death. The family moved the kittens but Buttons was taking no chances and stationed himself in the garage, should the murderer return for more blood. Sure enough, a few hours later, he did, making towards the garage looking very big and menacing. Buttons, a small mutt, stood his ground and began growling. A fight started. It quickly became clear (says my dad) that Buttons was badly outclassed, and soon Snooper had him by the throat. The children had started screaming in panic at this point, but just then, something amazing happened: from the bushes flew Duchess, landing on the doberman's back with claws out, hissing. The shock of it was enough to get him to loosen his grip on Buttons and, as family legend has it, the two routed him, sending him home bleeding and whimpering, never to return.
This, I feel, should put an end to any rivalry, at least theoretically. Can't we love them all? Well, no. A scientist at the University of Texas authored the" Austinthe Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project," in which he identified the factors that make up a "dog" or "cat" person, and, wait for it, what it says about you: Reports CNN,
Dog people scored significantly higher on extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness measures, and lower on neuroticism and openness than cat people, the survey found. The effect persisted regardless of gender of the respondent.
"Once you know the findings, it kind of falls into place," Gosling said. "You think, 'of course, agreeableness and extraversion — dogs are companionable, they hang out, they like to be with you, they like your company, whereas cats like it for as long as they want it, and then they're off."
So, for the most part, conforming to stereotype. Of course, other factors can influence your preference: the animal you were brought up with, and which animal you, um, most closely resemble. And as to whether cat and dog people can find love together? Well, it's hard to say. But as Buttons and Duchess show, we can all just get along.