Sunday, June 14, 2009

On Popular Myths


Particularly the one fed to us by cartoons when we were children – the myth that cats chase mice, and dogs chase cats. It’s not that it’s not true, but rather that there is a lot of detail that is left out. The truth is that most cats will try to play with absolutely anything that moves, including mice, birds, cars, feet and interestingly enough, dogs. They don’t actively chase anything (although they will stalk and attack anything that is mildly interesting, including furniture). However, it is the second part of this belief that annoys me most. So many people believe that dogs chase cats, which is true, but only for a dog that has never had an encounter with a cat, and it is merely a result of the dog’s insatiable curiosity for new smells. In at least half of the cat-dog encounters I have ever seen, the dog has not chased the cat, but has rather approached cautiously with a slightly wagging tail, and then been hissed and spat at, and eventually scratched on the nose. After that, the dog will pretend to ignore any cat it encounters. It is unfortunate that all of this information cannot be conveyed in a simple three word statement, such as "Cats chase mice."
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