According to a respected national survey, more dog owners than cat owners say their pets make them happy. It also reveals that more cat owners are single. I can understand both conclusions.
Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. But first, here's the data.
According to the General Social Survey for 2018, nearly six in 10 American households have at least one pet and 36 percent of those that only have a dog say they are "very happy." Cats? Not so much. Only 18 percent get that warm and fuzzy feeling from their furry feline friends. Of those that have both? Well, happiness is right smack dab in the middle at 28 percent.
However, the survey shows that dog people are just slightly happier than those without pets, while those who have cats are significantly less happy than those with no pets at all.
Reflecting the well-known and obvious stability of dog owners compared to cat owners, the General Social Survey showed that dog owners are more likely to be married and own their own homes than cat owners. We all know that being married and owning your own home leads to absolute bliss.
Now, why am I not surprised at these conclusions?
I'm a dog owner. My 11-year-old Red Husky, Sundance, is a calm, loving, furry friend who loves to snuggle and show affection. In fact, when my wife, Jackie, and I are snuggling on the couch, he sticks his nose in between us. He just wants to be loved, too.
While it's been a long time since I had a cat -- I did when my kids were young --they were always a nuisance.
Their litter boxes stink. Hell, there are dozens of videos on YouTube to show you how to do it? Really? It's that bad?
They are aloof. They don't come when you call. They slink around. They get tangled up in all sorts of stuff. They do not listen. And all they do is whine and go meow.
My dog Sundance, however, actually talks to me. When he needs to go outside to potty, he comes to me and gives a little whimper and then heads for the door. He patiently waits until I open it, then goes outside, does his business and comes back to be let in. And he sleeps through the night without a sound.
When we go to the freezer for ice cream, he jumps up out of his big doggy pillow, runs into the kitchen and patiently waits for his Dogsters doggy ice cream. He likes the peanut butter flavor, but I usually buy him mint because it helps freshen his breath.
Now, I grant you, cats don't sniff at people's crotch, which is one habit I've been unable to get Sundance to quit.. He is an irritatingly frequent crotch sniffer, which is embarrassing when strangers come to the door. But then again, it's a good way to get rid of those you don't want to talk to.
On balance, I can see why dog owners are happier than cat owners. I can also see why more of them are married. You know, in the movies it's always those lonely single women who live in apartments that have cats. Also, cats have that aloof, leave me alone attitude, a trait also common to many females who are unattached.
I think this all makes sense.
Now I ask you, can a cat howl on command like Sundance does in the video above?