I have made no secret of the fact that I like animals.
However, with apologies to Mr Orwell, not all animals are equal.
There is a distinct ranking amongst animals, and their ranking depends on a lot of factors. Dogs of course are at the top. It would be hard to imagine life without a dog. Dolphins are up there at the top too, and I have often thought that they would make great pets. Unfortunately we would need a bigger bath though, so that idea has been shelved [for the moment].
The bottom of the scale is pretty crowded. It is occupied by wasps, amoebas, politicians and cats.
I don’t know why I’m not that fond of cats. I did have one as a pet some years ago, and he was great craic. His one redeeming feature was that he was convinced he was a dog. He loved to go for walks with me, and used to sit patiently on a gatepost if I nipped into the pub for a pint or five. I missed Chip when he finally cashed in the last of his lives.
Since Chip, my attitude to cats has hardened somewhat. One of the best explanations of the difference between cats and dogs was explained by the comedian Jack Dee –
Dogs [says he] will watch you putting up a shelf and will say that they don’t know what you are doing, but they are sure that you are doing it right. Cats, on the other hand will take one look and say that it will fall off the wall within ten minutes.
The reason I mention cats is because we are being plagued by one. He belongs to a neighbour and the little fucker [the cat, not the neighbour] seems to think he has a divine right to leer at Sandy and me through the glass door to the garden. Sandy, unfortunately takes great exception to this liberty, and to be honest, I don’t blame her. This objection usually takes the form of plant pots flying off window ledges, overturned chairs and considerable damage to my ears. Out of misguided respect for the cat, I keep Sandy indoors until she has calmed down a tad.
I am getting a little tired of the cat’s antics however, and each time he pulls his little glass door stunt, he sinks a little lower in the animal scale. In fact he has just about fallen off it, so next time he tries his little stunt, I’m going to open the door.
Sandy is quite impressive when she does her impression of a cruise missile.
It should be fun.