Saturday, October 01, 2016

What Makes the Best Pet? Cats or Dogs?

Me and "Bobby" - 1953

While perusing my photos this morning I came across the banner photo I took of my late friend Dick Thomas's feral cats.


Dick Thomas and Ron Tipton - 1986 (30 years ago!)



I took this photo about thirty years ago at my friend Dick Thomas's country home in Pennsylvania.  Dick hired me at Girard Bank in 1965.  I didn't know him before he hired me.  We became friends during my twenty-one year employment at Girard. 

Dick lived in the city but had a "country place" in Chester Country near several big farms.



He used to feed feral cats that gathered at his place.  This was a picture I took of some of those feral cats.  Dick died some years ago, I wonder what ever became of those thirty or so feral cats. 


Dick's feral cats waiting for their meal

I love cats.  Bill doesn't.  That's why we don't have cats.  I had a cat once when I was a teenager.  I've written about him before. He was a gray tabby cat that took up with our family when we lived next to a manufacturing plant.


"Bobby" - my first pet - 1954

I loved that cat.  He was my first pet.  I named him "Bobby" after an upperclassman I had a crush on at that time of my life.  

I had Bobby for a few years.  One day I came home from school and no Bobby.  I asked my Mother "Did you see Bobby?"  She said "Oh, Pop (which is what we all called my father) took him to the SPCA because he was marking the front door."  




So that was the explanation for what happened to my loved pet.  My father took him to the SPCA.  No "Father Knows Best Moment" where he sits down and consults with me. No maybe betting Bobby fixed so he wouldn't mark the front door.  Just take him to the SPCA where he was probably put down.  

Regular readers of my blog know that I've written about this episode in previous posts but you know me, when I start writing my blog I just go with the flow and this hurtful episode just burbled up again. 

So of course I always wanted to get a cat again.When I moved in with Bill I suggested that we get a cat for a pet.  Guess what? Bill hates cats.  He told me when he was a kid he used to tie tin cans to cats' tails for "fun."  Oh yes, that was Bill when he was a kid. 

I pushed for a cat but Bill was adamantly against it.  He suggested a compromise.  He said "Let's get a Pomeranian dog.  They're about the same size as cats.  So that's what we got.  


Me posing for a Christmas card photo with our three Poms - 1986

Guess what?  I LOVED those dogs!  We had a total of five Pomeranians.  Two when we lived in center city Philadelphia.  Then three more when we moved out of Philly and moved to the country.  


My "fan" club

However, at this time of our life we have no pets.  Bill doesn't even want to have Poms.  He can't take the loss any more.  So here is my dilemma.  If I outlive Bill, I plan to get a pet or pets.  What to get?  Cats or dogs?  

Any suggestions?



Me with Babydoll and Horace (the father of Babydoll) - 1989




27 comments:

  1. I love this post. We have had both cats and dogs. We lost our last dog at age 14 years before we came here from NC. I (notice I did not write 'we') wanted company while my other half was either working,singing, volunteering or working on a book. I felt like I would not be able to take care of a dog properly if my health degraded in the few years to come, so I went for a cat. Being a bleeding heart liberal and save the world person, I wanted an adult cat that someone abandoned or the owner died. So I got an adult cat who jumped into my arms as I entered the overcrowded cat room at the shelter. I love him to death, but like any middle aged human/animal, he came with baggage and a hidden past. But he is here to stay. My biggest complaint is all the dust from the kitty litter! OMG, it is everywhere!!

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    1. Oh Jimmy, now I want to know what baggage and hidden past your shelter came came with. My Mom also rescued shelter cats. I remember one, a black female cat she called Cinderella. I don't know what her (the cat's) past was but she sure didn't like men. If I got too close to her as I walked into the backdoor of my Mom's modest ranch house, where Cinderella would be casually perched like a wise Sphinx, she would give you a swat, claws totally extended. She loved my Mom though.
      Ron

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    2. I'll post about him tomorrow.

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    3. Looking forward to your post. Have to find your blog Jimmy!
      Ron

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  2. that's a hard one ..... but a dog and daily walks keep you healthy!

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    1. Roger,
      I love them both and just may get both!
      Ron

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  3. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Once again I emerge from lurkdom to throw in my two cents somewhere. I grew up bi-petual, so I see no reason not to have both. Just make sure they get along. They each can serve different needs. You own the dog, the cat owns you and it is devastating to lose either. I hope you have a long time before you have to decide.
    Deedles

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    1. Deedles,
      I agree with you, get both! Why not?
      Ron

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  4. Ron, I didn't get a chance to comment on your previous post about friendship, but it was really good. I could identify with a lot of what you said.

    As for cats and dogs - I love all animals but I've always been partial to cats. A lot of relatives on my Mom's side of the family had cats, so I was used to them. I think my personality and temperament are suited to cats. I'm nocturnal, mysterious, independent, warm and fuzzy,...and a bit odd.
    I actually think cats are easier to care for than dogs. And you don't have to take them outside for a walk every time they have to crap.

    My father - much like yours - ALWAYS got rid of my pets without telling me. He never took them to animal shelters, but rather just dumped them out somewhere. He did this countless times without any remorse.

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    1. Jon,
      Both (cats and dogs) have their very strong points. But I am probably partial to cats because I've always felt so comfortable with them and they don't need that much care. I like the fact you can open the door and leave them out by themselves, unless they're house cats. My one drawback with cats is that they like to jump up on things. I would have to clear a lot of surfaces in this house.
      I'm sorry to hear that your father was also thoughtlessly cruel towards your feelings and the feelings of animals. I've never understood how someone can be that cruel. They're lacking something in their humanity. It's just like big game hunters. There is something missing that they could thoughtlessly destroy something so beautiful and innocent in nature just for their own selfish pleasure.
      Ron

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    2. The worst thing about cats is that they love to scratch things - but I would NEVER have them declawed. Also, you might have to "cat-proof" the house when they jump around (and break things). My ten--year-old cat Scratch was always well-behaved. But my two younger cats love to run and play - and they've broken several things.

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    3. Jon,
      I would never have a cat declawed, never. That's cruel. If I did get a cat I would definitely "cat-proof" my house. I wouldn't do what my late friend Bob's partner did, always throw the cat on the ground every time their cat climbed. It's natural for a cat to climb. My friend Larry provides places for their cats to climb. But I think one has to be prepared for having a few things broken. I would definitely keep my computer keyboard away from my cat though! Larry has had a couple those instances where his cats have jumped on the keyboard and hit function keys that screwed up his computer.
      Ron

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  5. Both sounds like a good idea. Like you cat all those years ago, there are always mature pets in need of a good home. Old mellow dogs are much easier to keep up with than youngsters.

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    1. David,
      I definitely would rescue a cat (or two) from the local SPCA. I often look in the paper now and imagine who I would rescue.
      Ron

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  6. Ron,

    I always had a dog growing up until I married.:Red, Nellie, Peppy, Topper and Cindy. For many years we didn't have a pet, except a couple hamsters and an Iguana. This was because we moved a lot and lived mostly in apartments or rented houses. After we moved here to our own home, we got a puppy from the Humane Society, a Yellow lab. Wonderful dog, which lived for 17 years. In the late 1988 we started getting cats, lots of cats over the next few years. We currently have several cats living with us. I love animals period and cats and dogs both have their joys. I think much has to do with your own health and energy if the time comes you want a pet. Dogs take more energy and work to have. Cats pretty much take care of themselves as long as you feed them and keep the litter box clean. It can be very cozy, especially on chilly nights, to have a cat snuggle down on your lap. If you are up to it, get both.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      My dream is to get both. Another Pom and a rescue cat from a shelter. I often look in the local paper at the pictures of cats up for adoption. Someday, hopefully.
      Ron

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  7. Ron - I too loved cats when I was young. We always were able to take one from a litter at my uncle and aunt's farm. We took in another stray once when I was in my teens. Never really had any experience with dogs. But I think there are more pets than ever before in Toronto. Never saw so many people walking dogs when I was young even tho dogs were free to come and go unleashed back then. I'm pretty sure you could appreciate either easily - tho as some have said - dogs take more care and can tie you down more. It's easier for a neighbour to come and feed a cat if you are away than to look after a dog. My .05 cents worth. We don't have pennies anymore.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      I do have to take into consideration my travel plans. At least three times a year we go on our adventures. Maybe I'll board my dog or cat. It's expensive. Almost as must as a human being taking a hotel room! Something to think about for sure. I would love to have another Pomeranian though. I felt complete with a "little buddy".
      Ron

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  8. I have told you many times to get a dog.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      I have a feeling that some day in the future I will have both, a dog and a cat. So looking forward to it!
      Ron

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  9. A cat could be less difficult to take care of than a dog, regardless of size. I can't believe your dad took Bobby to the SPCA. What an awful thing for a child to have a pet taken from them for no good reason.

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    1. Bea,
      Even after all these years I still have a deep wound in my heart. I lost respect for him as my father from that moment on.
      Ron

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  10. Could write so much about this subject, Ron - as you probably guessed. But for the moment I'll be content to just say "Cats or dogs? Apples and oranges." (That story about your beloved cat being removed by your parents without warning still wounds me, so I can only imagine the painful tug you even now must feel in your own heart.)

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    1. Ray,
      When my Mother informed me that my father had taken Bobby to the SPCA I was stunned. I think that was the first time in my life I was that stunned. I just couldn't believe he was that cruel. From that time I lost some of my feeling towards him. He was still my father but I lost "something" that day. That he could be so thoughtlessly cruel to my pet and to me was almost beyond my comprehension.
      Ron

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  11. I could not imagine my life without dogs in it.

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    1. Oliver,
      My life felt complete with dogs. Now it doesn't. I feel incomplete. My hope is someday I can have a little buddy again like the Poms we had in the past.
      Ron

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  12. This is so beautiful and creative. I just love the colors and whoever gets it in the mail will be smiling.
    Kitten collars

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