Why Cats Annoy Dogs

More than anything else, dogs are highly sophisticated security systems. Everything we know about dog psychology--intense loyalty, hair-trigger barking fits, bone-headed singlemindedness--can be explained in terms of this. Neal Stephenson knew this when he wrote Snow Crash; a book where (among other things) dogs are grafted with technology to create the ultimate security system.

Dogs, I'm convinced, feel most comfortable when they're fully aware of their surroundings. At any given time, a dog maintains a coordinate grid of all active entities within its domain. Mom is upstairs at the computer. Dad is in the kitchen. The child is in the living room. Each of these objects are represented (as it were) by a glowing dot on the dog's projected mental landscape.

This is why cats annoy dogs. Everything about the cat is antithetical to the dog's security sensibilities: the stealth-like motion, the lack of scent, the insistence on privacy. The cat is represented in the dog's mind not as a discreet coordinate, but as a probability field. Feline stochastic distributions are deeply unsettling to the canine psyche, and are classified as a threat for no other reason than that they don't honor the dog's right to be in full knowledge of the situation.

It's left as an exercise for the reader to find analogies between this and the current US political climate.

Comments:

A very astute observation.

Our dog's behavior reinforces this hypothesis. We frequently observe her literally running over the cat, as though to say, "you choose to be invisible, so there."

I'd also postulate the irritation is likely heightened by the feline ability to cataport.

Posted by Louis F. Springer on November 03, 2007 at 06:02 AM MDT #

"Cataport." I'm adding that one to my vocabulary. :)

Posted by Greg on November 04, 2007 at 02:02 AM MST #

Ha. "Dogs are from Newton, Cats are from Heisenberg"

Posted by Brian Utterback on November 05, 2007 at 03:13 AM MST #

Hopefully this is not offensive to anyone. My question is this, Why are men more interested in owning dogs, more so than cats. Cats, you don't have to worry about cleaning, other than changing their litter box. Dogs, on the other have to be cleaned, etc... However, cats do not protect the home, as dog have been known to do. Also, there are some homes in which both cats and dogs are present, and both the dog and cat(s), do get along

Posted by Anita on November 06, 2007 at 12:54 AM MST #

It's not so much that my animals don't get along, just whenever the cat is inside the dogs are on edge. There's an outburst on average every half hour, but never any fighting. Despite all the posturing, they're pansies.

Posted by Greg on November 06, 2007 at 02:08 AM MST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

My name is Greg Reimer and I'm a web technologist for the Sun.COM web design team.

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today