When I was a little girl, I believed -- for much longer than I should admit -- that all dogs were boys and all cats were girls.
I believed this despite the fact that when I was about five I had a dog named Daisy. But I never for one minute believed that Daisy was a girl.
(I didn't believe that Lassie was a girl either, even though Timmy would cry, "Go get help, Girl!" And it turned out I was right.)
I had strong reasons why I thought all dogs were boys: They were rambunctious, loud and smelly.
I rest my case.
Cats, on the other hand, were graceful and delicate. I think I was 12 before I realized that the word Feline was not a synonym for Feminine.
When I finally understood that there were actually girl dogs and boy cats, I was quite embarrassed.
But now that I think about it, I had no reason to be ashamed of my mistake. It's actually perfectly reasonable to associate dogs with boys and cats with girls.
First there's the way they play.
Dogs will chase a ball or a stick -- over and over and over and over. They are never bored. There's a mindless joy to their repetition. Sort of like Baseball. And whatever toy they have, you can be certain they will completely destroy it in no time at all. I had a cat however, who always took her toy to bed and cuddled with it. (I admit this may have had something to do with catnip.)
Then there's the loudness -- which I have already mentioned. I'm not saying women are less talkative than men. I am saying there is an astounding volume to boys. Especially when they are in a group.
And speaking of groups, men are much more comfortable in packs. Of course, they call them teams. But it's really the same thing. Women need their alone time. So do cats. Cat-related alone time is usually about 19 hours a day.
Let's compare Patience. Dogs are not patient. They will knock you over to get to the door first. Eat like the food bowl may explode in five seconds. And, rather sweetly, will greet you like you have been away for 3 weeks, not three hours.
And they hunt the same way. They charge after their prey, yelping and jumping and completely crazed. When a dog is successful with his hunt, it is mainly due to power, enthusiasm (and sheer luck). I have yet to see a dog sneak up on something. A cat gets her prey due to patience and strategy. I've seen my cat sit by a stack of boxes in the cellar for 12 hours.
Peeing. I learned very early on from my cousins that when a boy feels the need to pee, he just whips it out and pees. In the middle of a dodge ball game, and Johnny has to go.... Well, right over there by the bushes, Johnny. No need to even call a timeout. Us girls need a bit more privacy. Cats too. They have their personal box and if you walk in on them during their nature call, they are not happy, and will usually walk away and come back another time. And they don't need to pee constantly. I had a dog, Sarge, for seventeen years. Walking him a quarter of a mile meant stopping every seven feet to pee. Five minutes of walking and 25 minutes of peeing. Dogs love to pee. Boys think it is pretty special too.
And finally, while we are down in the nether regions, there's grooming. Cats love to be clean. They bathe and bathe. They wash their little faces and their little ears and their little tails and their little paws.
Dogs? Only interested in their genitals.
I rest my case.
Read more from Nancy at her blog, Not Quite Old.