They both come with four legs, sport fur and have found a cosy place in the hearts of humans… BUT cats are spiteful and dogs are loving, if you ask a ‘dog person’, and if you ask a ‘cat person’ dogs are needy and cats are independent.
The personalities of our furry friends are apparently so polarising that it’s pretty much assumed you can’t possibly like both. “Are you a dog person or a cat person?” is as standard a question as, “Are you Mac or PC?”
So when, as part of RedBalloon’s We Care charity program, five of us volunteered at the Animal Welfare League for a day and I found myself surrounded by ‘dog people’, I decided I’d take on the until-now secret personal challenge of bringing them over to the feline side. Did I succeed? Well, read on…
We arrived at the Animal Welfare League on a windy, cold Friday in June, a grey cell-like complex set on a large block of land in Ingleside. The spacious fields and prospect of hanging out with four-legged lovelies wasn’t enough to shake the sadness that was creeping into our hearts. The Animal Welfare League is a place for surrendered animals – little guys whose families have handed them in and basically said they couldn’t love them anymore. The people at the Animal Welfare League are angels for animals – taking in surrendered cats and dogs each week, rehabilitating them and caring for them with the aim to adopt them out to good families. While the staff provide shelter, medication, food and love to the animals, they need still MORE love (don’t we all?) so we were there to walk the dogs and, for me (and anyone who fell prey to my secret personal challenge), pat the cats.
The first stop was dog block number two, the place where all the medium to large canines lived. The pictures below are of Kristie (human) with Clara*, a large female Rhodesian Ridgeback x Bullmastiff, and Matt and Sarah (also human) with Snowy, a beautiful white 10-year-old Siberian husky. Snowy was as chilled as the snow she was named after but Clara was full of beans and pretty much ended up taking Kristie for the walk.
At the same time Nic walked (or ran, as she tells it) a gorgeous doggie named Marcelle who was reportedly “the most hyperactive kelpie” she’d ever met. Nic looked for her profile on the Animal Welfare League website the other day and apparently she was rehomed on June 24, which is awesome news!
Next stop was dog block 3, for the smaller pooches. Here Kristie fell in love with a tiny little Chihuahua x something named Tilly. Tilly was so tiny and Kristie was so smitten that I was almost expecting Kristie to put Tilly in her pocket and take her home! But there were no furry refugees spirited away at the end of the day.
After a few more rounds of the yard with various dogs I felt that everyone had spent enough time walking canines and that it was time to visit the kitty cats.
“I’m going to pat the cats,” I announced encouragingly. Everyone looked at me blankly.
“Does anyone want to join me?” I asked.
“I’m allergic to cats,” said Sarah. “If one licked me I’d be itchy everywhere.” So that was one down and three left to convert.
“I’ll come with you,” said Nic. “But only because Marcelle was a bit hard to handle and I need some downtime.” My hopes were fading – still, a potential convert was in tow.
Nic and I went to the cat rooms and started patting. There were fat cats and little cats, black-and-white cats and ginger cats, cats with long hair and cats with short hair, and even a cage full of little white kittens. I was in cat heaven, taking comfort in their sweet mews and cavorting from cage to cage, and I was in the middle of having my second snuggle with the sinfully silky Audrey Kitty when I looked over to see Nic…cuddling…a small black-and-white cat named Cody…for the SECOND TIME!
“He’s so sweet,” she said, looking up at me. “I wonder if I could take him home?” The delicious scent of victory wafted into the room…
Nic and I hung out happily in cat-land for the rest of the afternoon. The others paid an obligatory visit and stood back while we heaved the feline bundles out of their cages for a bit of show and tell. No one else touched so much as a strand of cat fur, except for Kristie, whose advances were rewarded with a nasty display of spite (or independence, depending on who you ask) – a swift swipe from a black cat that drew blood. So it was two down for the cats.
After more cuddles with cats for Nic and me (Nic and Cody hung out at least seven times) and a few more rounds of the yard for everyone else (Kristie was still attached to Tilly) we called it a day, and a successful one at that. We had brightened the lives of some shelter animals and I had succeeded at my personal challenge (I must say I was a little surprised to find that there were no stowaways in the car).
So maybe I didn’t convert Nic, I should probably really attribute that success to Cody. BUT we did leave with one cat person, 3 dog people and one newly converted catdog person (not to be confused with the cartoon), which proves you can love both cats and dogs. Because, as we discovered during our We Care day, one thing that isn’t different about cats and dogs is that they both need love…and lots of it.
If you are thinking about getting a cat or a dog a. Think twice – you really need to commit. b. Consider getting a rescue animal and visit the Animal Welfare League to find out more.
And for more pics of our day at the Animal Welfare League check out our album on Facebook.
* If any of the links to the animals don’t work, that’s a good thing – it probably means they’ve found homes!