COURTESY OF ALIZAY JALISI
Spoiler alert: I can’t choose. I love them both for different reasons. But I didn’t always start out this way.
I would say I was born a dog lover. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. They are generally friendly, outgoing and loyal to a fault. They make all kinds of noises, ranging from “rao rao” to “rrrrrufff, rrrrrrrufffff” and more. But when I was four, my life changed forever.
On a crisp fall morning, I stepped out of my apartment complex to go for a walk with my mom when I met the meanest dog ever.
She was a loud chihuahua with a raspy, growling bark, and she almost bit me when I reached down to pet her. And her human didn’t even try to hold her back from biting me, which was rude. For years afterward, I was scared to pet a dog again.
In high school, I volunteered at the Baltimore Humane Society, where I learned a lot about taking care of cats, rabbits, birds, mice and *gulp* dogs. I also overcame any fears I had in the past and really fell in love with the brave and endearing animals I met there. I felt ready to have one of my own. In college, I adopted my forever friend.
Interestingly, my cat and I almost never met. The day that I went to the Baltimore Humane Society looking for my first pet, I met many friends but struggled to find the right one for my household.
Some were too energetic and loud, others too lazy and quiet. I was tired and ready to go home, but then I decided to look again, one last time. I found him.
As I walked past his cage, he gazed back at me with his large, hopeful, green eyes through the glass door.
I tapped on the glass, and he got startled. He retreated backwards and looked away. I sighed and moved onto the next cage. But I could feel his eyes on me, and I just had to turn back. I asked a staff member to help me take him out of his cage to a playroom. As soon as I put him down on the ground, he brushed his tail against me, crawled right into my lap and started purring. It was true lurrrrrve.
Sheroo (that’s Urdu for “little tiger”) and I have been inseparable ever since. He’s there to lay a paw on my shoulder whenever I cry, to lick my face whenever I come home after a long day, to stay up meowing with me during an all-nighter and to lay in bed with me when getting out of bed is just way too difficult.
Now if I’ve begun to lose any of you heartless creatures who aren’t quite cat fans, just hold on a minute. I guess now that I’m a spring semester senior, I can unabashedly say that my favorite way to spend a depressive episode is to lay in bed and look at cat and dog memes and videos.
Where do I usually find my memes and videos, you might ask? In all the Facebook groups, of course.
Good places to start are “Cat City” and “Big Hecking Group of Dang Doggos.” And if you’re in any of those groups already, you know that true aficionados don’t just appreciate the floofers, they speak the lingo.
That’s right, they can communicate in doggo speak. If you’re still with me, here’s a quick, illustrated 101 on doggo speak. Regardless of where you fall on the cats vs. dogs debate, I think we can find love, unity and peace through a common language.
A smol babbie dog, hasn’t yet done a heckin’ adult. Usually talks in smol borks, awoos or ruffs.
A fully grown dog, still sometimes called pupper because all doggos are really puppers at heart. Usually talks in big bork borks, awooooooos or ruff ruff ruffs.
A special term reserved for our especially wooly and furry frens. Could be either pupper or doggo.
A smol babbie catto, that hasn’t yet done a heckin’ adult. Usually talks in smol mews.
A fully grown cat. Usually talks in big mews, meows and MEOWWWWWWWWS. Considers oneself to be royalty; hoomins are peasants.