Why Cats are Individualists, and Dogs are Collectivists

Cats Get What They Want

Humans didn’t domesticate cats, cats domesticated themselves. They marketed themselves properly to show their value to humans, and in exchange got value back from the humans.

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Me and Leo

See, humans often had these big barns that kept the rain and cold out, with comfy hay to sleep in. The only problem was that rats were into staying warm, dry, and comfy. And the problem with rats is that they are dirty, carry diseases, and eat your livestock’s food. Cats are much cleaner, cuter, and seem to carry fewer diseases that hurt humans.

So when cats noticed that there were kitty Edens strewn about the countryside, they decided they wanted a piece of the action. I mean a warm, dry, comfy place to live, with an all you can eat rat buffet? Score!

Lucky for cats, humans would rather have cats living in their barns than rats. The humans were pleasantly surprised to find adorable little kitties in place of the disgusting dirty rats which infested their barns.

And thus was born the mutually beneficial transactions which would lead to the domestication of the cat.

Cats took an individualist, market based approach to getting what they wanted. They didn’t try to make a law that humans had to be nice to cats. They didn’t try to elect President Pussyfoot to secure them a position in the barn. They set up their lives in a way that worked for them as individual cats. They sold their services, by showing their target customers how much use they could be.

This ended up being of massive benefit to all catkind, even though individual cats were the ones who had to make the initial move to live the life they wanted. And yes, it was a risk! Some cats probably got ran out of the barns with brooms. Or worse, humans may have mistook the cats for pests, and had their slave-pet dogs run them out off the property!

Cat’s offered humans a service, and the smart humans took it. It was a grassroots, individualist, bottom up approach that worked for each cat from the outset.

A Slave Species is Manufactured

Dogs on the other hand, show a perfect example of a top down approach, which benefits “the greater good” but not necessarily individuals. Dogs got taken for a ride by humans.

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Jake and Stella (look at those commies snuggle)

Let’s start with the fact that humans literally created dogs, where-as cats existed in nature and have not been significantly changed during all the years of their domestication. Humans bred the cute friendly wolves, and killed the ugly mean ones, and said, “it is for the greater good of the species that some individuals will suffer.”

The wolves were first lured in by the camps of the humans, who would leave bones and scraps lying around. The camp wolves got to eat the scraps, and the humans were happy to have an alert system that told them if anything, especially other humans, were approaching the camp. So far so good; not too different from the cat situation.

But then the humans decided that there were other services they wanted the wolves to fulfill, that the wolves weren’t super interested in, like fighting to the death with the humans, and pulling their sleds and such.

So humans started taking the camp wolf pups with desirable traits for their own pets, and killing the ones they thought diminished the early doggy gene pool. Thus humans began to design the ultimate slave species; they genetically engineered dogs to be the perfect collectivists by choosing only those predisposed to obedience to reproduce.

Of course it helped the cause that packs of wolves were already hierarchical societies. So naturally, dogs were inclined to be obedient to the alpha of their packs, which was the human. It was this top down approach which meant a “greater good” for the species of dog, in that it will always be improved… according to what humans see as improvement.

For the individual dogs however, it is was the luck of the draw whether they would be better or worse off. They had no control over their destiny, and no leverage in the interactions. Contrast this with the fact that I once had a cat who moved in with the neighbors because they fed him tuna fish, and because we had gotten a dog he wasn’t too keen on.

Yes, I am a cat person, and I am not ashamed. I love my adorable slave-dogs as well, but they are just that, slaves. My cat ignores me when he wants to, and that makes the love he chooses to give me worth that much more. The dogs are compelled by their slavery to “love” me.

The individualist cats set themselves up as equals in an economic transaction which benefited them from the beginning. The collectivist dogs were engineered to suffer if that was the command of their social engineers. Cats kept an opt-out clause in their contracts; dogs were too interested in the “free” giveaways to notice that they were being enslaved.

Comment to let me know if you prefer cats or dogs and if you agree with my assessment of the situation. In my experience, cat-people are generally dog lovers as well (as I am myself) while dog-people are vehemently anti-cat to the point where I wonder if their ex left them for a feline.

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7 thoughts on “Why Cats are Individualists, and Dogs are Collectivists

  1. we keep both a cat and a dog and find that dog it much more useful. It’s possible cat keeps mice out of the house but dog alerts us to intruders and attacks other animals that attempt to steal produce.

  2. My cat teaches me a great deal about mindfulness. Like when I start eating dinner and he scratches on the kitchen blinds to go outside. Or when he swats at our shins and chases us to his water dish when he’s thirsty because he’d rather purr and swat than meow too much. I just have to breathe in, breathe out, and say “that’s my Kitty.” But I do embrace his cat quirks. And I like the chase for affection or the rush of the affection a cat will occasionally volunteer to me. I can’t deny though that I’m so much more drawn to the unbridled human-engineered joy to a heavy dog that jumps on my legs and nearly knocks me over when I pass him on a walk. And the way they can chase balls on beaches, my heart sings.

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