Follow Us:
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It’s a Cat and Dog Story

In the game of one-upmanship, which among the two, evolved from a common ancestor, has a better chance at winning?

Written by Ranjit Lal |
January 12, 2022 2:52:01 pm
cat and dogCan these two favourite pets of humans live happily ever after? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Ever since they separated from their common ancestor, some 43 million years ago, cats and dogs have been at each other’s throats, with no quarter given or asked for. Worse, they have drawn us into their long-standing rivalry and it is said that there have been cat people and dog people ever since the Stone ages. Down In Jungleland (DIJ) now asks representatives of the two species, on their opinion of themselves and each other, as follows:

DIJ: Why do you both think that you are the superior species? After all, you have the same common ancestor.

Cat: We are superior: we’re cleaner, more independent, more intelligent, better-looking and more of us are kept as pets by humans than old bow-wow here and his ilk!

Dog: More intelligent? Bah! How many of you are used for tracking down criminals, or sniff out drugs and bombs or help rescue humans buried under rubble or lead the blind? We’re much warmer, more affectionate, and sensitive and take our owners for walks three times a day so they keep fit! We know how to make ourselves and them happy. You are cold, calculating and selfish! If more people keep cats as pets than dogs, it’s only because people no longer care too much about anyone or anything apart from themselves, which is why the world is in such a hostile, violent place today.

Cat: The only reason why you fawn over humans is because they have control over the supply of Marie biscuits!

ranjit lal “The only reason why you fawn over humans is because they have control over the supply of Marie biscuits!” (Photo: Ranjit Lal)

Dog: FYI, my owner made chicken soup the other day and all the cats in the colony landed up on his doorstep loudly mewing away. Also, only kittens mew, so you never really do grow up.

DIJ: The first reaction of any dog on seeing a cat is to chase it. Why do you do that?

Dog: It’s in our genes: if it runs, chase it! And the first reaction of Kitty-Galore here on seeing us is to run! By the way, pussy, there are so many more breeds of ours than of yours, so, don’t talk to me about good looks.

Cat: Yeah, from those that resemble hairless rats to those that look like hairless elephants and those that have run headfirst into locomotives!

DIJ: It is true, that when a cat owner gets back home from work in the evening, his or her cat is quite likely to walk out of the door with its head held up snootily, with nary a greeting, while dogs greet you like a long-lost friend.

Cat: So needy both of you are, no? Always wanting to be petted and cosseted. We don’t mind being left home alone all day but yes, once you get back, it’s our turn to go walkabout and paint the town red.

Dog: Go out so you can kill birds. Do you know you’re the biggest threat to avian life?

Cat: We hunt. And often we will bring back our kills for our human owners who are incapable of doing so.

Dog: Yeah, like everyone appreciates a butchered rat on their pillow! Like an after-dinner mint!

Cat: And what do you think foxhounds do to the poor fox?

Ranjit Lal “And why do people cross the road when they see a black cat coming their way?” (Photo: Ranjit Lal)

Dog: Fox-hunting has been mostly banned now. Besides, they’re only obeying orders, which is more than you are capable of doing.

Cat: We are beholden to no one!

Dog: Except chicken soup.


Cat: We have been held in high esteem by humankind since forever. The Egyptians, poets and writers — Charles Baudelaire, Pablo Neruda, Ted Hughes, Mark Twain, Doris Lessing, Charles Dickens… So many writers can only write if there’s a cat on their laps. We’re the original laptops! Our purring soothes nerves! Your bark shatters Gorilla Glass!

Dog: High esteem? Bah! You were also persecuted en masse. And why do people cross the road when they see a black cat coming their way?

Cat: Out of respect!

Dog: No! Because they think you are evil!

Cat: Who are you calling evil? We don’t roam the streets in gangs looking for little children to maul and eat. Or with that crazed rabid glint in our eyes…

Dog: If children or adults pelt us with stones, we have the right to defend ourselves! And rabies is a virus — like COVID-19 and Ebola. You can get it too…would you like a dose right now?

Cat: Are you threatening me?

Dog: Cool it kitty; put those knives away! If I had rabies, I wouldn’t waste it on you.

Ranjit lal “And there are so many famous cats: Puss in Boots; Tom, the Cheshire Cat; Puddy Tat; the Chief Mouser at No.10; Garfield…Who do you have: White Fang?” (Photo: Ranjit Lal)

Cat: And there are so many famous cats: Puss in Boots; Tom, the Cheshire Cat; Puddy Tat; the Chief Mouser at No.10; Garfield…Who do you have: White Fang?

Dog: Too many to name actually and I’m not into name-dropping. So many have got bravery awards from the armed forces and police… There was Hachiko, the Japanese Akita, who waited outside a railway station for nine years for his dead master to return.

Cat: What a dumb-ass!


Dog (growling): Hey, who are you calling a dumb-ass?

Cat (yowling): Who do you think, bow-wow?

Dog: Ever noticed how in the films, all the evil bosses usually hold and stroke cats, while plotting the end of the world? They know a kindred spirit!

Cat (spits and snarls): Buster, your world is going to end pretty soon if you don’t shut up.

DIJ: Hey, cool your jets, guys. Next week, we’ll talk about your wild relatives: tigers, wolves and so on. But you know, there are so many YouTube videos showing cats and dogs living together happily and harmoniously in the same home. It’s so wonderful to see! What do you think of those?

Cat and Dog (together): Fake news or they’ve been lobotomised!

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Eye News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard