Cats deserve more credit

My relationship with my cat opened my eyes to the truly loving bond cats hold with humans. I realized cats have been disregarded by society and this needs to change.


by Becca Speier, Photo Editor and Writer

As I was growing up, I was always greeted when coming home with the differing pitched barks that could be heard through my wooden door. I remember begging for a puppy when I was in kindergarten because I was convinced that I had to love dogs the most — which seems to be the preconceived notion many Americans have. Dogs are supposedly a “man’s best friend,” but I never felt fulfilled with the six dogs that I was surrounded by. 


Somehow, around third grade, I had convinced my dad to take me to an animal shelter just to look around. After strolling around the shelter looking at the different kinds of animals up for adoption, I came across the cat section. To this day I still consider this as destiny. 


Walking through the big red doors that separated the hallway from the cat area, my attention was immediately caught by a tiny, but extremely fluffy, tabby kitten. I had to hold myself back from sprinting to his cage because I know I could scare him. 


Immediately picking up this little kitten, there was an electric connection. I knew right then and there I had to take this cat home. After a smallish tantrum begging my dad to let me adopt it, my dad gave in. 


I decided to name him Maxwell but would call him Max for short. Driving home and singing to the little kitten the lyrics to the song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson, I knew that Maxwell and I would have an unbreakable bond that no other animal would measure up to. To this day, my cat is my favorite pet and can comfort me like no other. 


Every day when I am getting ready to go to sleep, Max jumps up onto my bed and crawls up right next to my face. He curls up into a little ball and falls asleep right next to me. When I wake up the next morning, he has usually moved down to my feet. This action is just one of his ways he expresses his love. 


I’ve learned that cats can be more compassionate than dogs. After a long tiring day, when I lay down in bed and Max craws up next to me while he is purring — the joy it brings me is unexplainable. The love many cats show each human needs to change the saying: “A dog is a man’s best friend.” 


During the time of Ancient Egypt, they praised and honored cats for their protection of the god-like Pharaoh. Cats became valued members of families, earning as much respect as any human. 


Cats have been protectors of humans ever since, only wanting their owner to prosper and to never see harm. This is what a true best friend wants: prosperity and safety.


Cats have been disregarded by people as uncaring and mean, while society focuses on favoring dogs and portraying them as the superior animal. 


I understand why some cats can be seen as uncaring animals when first introduced to them. But, just like humans, many of them are shy. It takes a little introduction for cats to truly show their colors. 


They are not just some moody animal that hisses when you reach for them. They hiss because they are nervous and unsure if they can trust you. Their claws almost are never out, except when they need play time and are enticed by their toys. 


Once they are introduced they show their true loving feelings. They lay on your lap, follow you from room to room, sprawl across the floor trying to get your attention. It is hard not to focus all your attention on cats once you truly make a bond with them. 


Holistically as a society, we should focus on accepting that cats are equal to dogs. They are just as much of “man’s best friend.” Cats should be viewed as a caring member of your family, just as they were in Ancient Egypt. 


I know for certain, just like the Egyptian people praised their cats, I see Max as a major part of my family. In my eyes he will never be able to do any harm. He is not only just a pet my family has, but he is a best friend too.