Friday, August 12, 2011
I Second That Emotion
One of my dog-loving friends—yes, I have these kind of friends, too—recommended that I read an interesting review in The Economist about a new book on man’s best friend. My friend was correct in thinking that parts of the review would resonate with me.
Who better to write about man’s best friend than John Bradshaw, a biologist who founded the anthrozoology department at the University of Bristol, England. He knows whereof he speaks.
As Bradshaw writes in Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, the emotional range of dogs is much more limited than the spectrum of emotions that we human beings feel. Dogs live almost exclusively in the moment. Although they experience joy, anxiety, and anger, they are not equipped to be introspective, or to feel pangs of guilt or to suffer from bouts of jealousy. Many dog owners do not believe this overall assessment to be true. Naturally, we Cat Ladies appreciate that the grass is greener on the other side.
I would like to introduce Mr. Bradshaw to Mr. Lucius, a cat who displays every emotion under the sun, and then some. Lucius is this girl’s best friend, and while I may lack the impressive pedigree of a professional anthrozoologist, I know a sentient creature when I see him. Scientific research is not necessary to support my observations of the overwrought feline named Lucius, and I couldn’t imagine him with a non-volatile personality. God forbid he should ever act like an obedient dog.
Query of the Day: How do your cats cope with their mood swings?