Dogs vs. Cats (a hypothesis)

Had an interesting talk with my hikers today about animal psychology and my theory on why dogs and not cats are man’s best friend.

My hypothesis has to do with the fact that a cat’s heart rate is much higher than a humans’ (150-200bpm resting pulse vs. 60-70bpm for a human). Cats are a bit more high-strung-they operate on a higher frequency. Large cat trainers will tell you that you must always be “present” around cats. This keeps them relaxed.

It’s similar to walking a dog. When a dog is being walked and you give up your leadership position, either by letting the dog walk ahead or getting distracted by checking your phone, talking, etc., the dog loses respect for you and takes over leadership. A dog wants to know that the pack is safe and packs need their leader. A dog may get anxious if put into a leadership position when you ought to be leading, and will react by being “bad”: pulling you, wandering, etc., attacking other dogs. They are just nervous.

Cats always are on high alert. I think this may have to do with their heart rate. If you lose focus around a cat, the cat will perceive you as unstable/unpredictable, and therefore a threat. My cat is basically half feral so I think she is a great example of this instinctual behavior. The cat may seem to suddenly “out of nowhere” attack or do something unpredictable. Usually, this is just because you simply weren’t paying attention. You weren’t on their frequency. Rabbits and birds have even higher heart rates than cats, and this behavior is similarly exaggerated. Their nervous systems are simply running on a higher frequency.

Dogs, with a frequency close to humans (60-150bpm) probably fit us like a best friend because they are easier to predict. Higher strung/high energy breeds (like pit bulls) exhibit more quick-turn tendencies which may explain why they are the black sheep of the species.

We are comfortable with animals we can relate to :-)

Random Thought of the Day: Our Bodies Are Not Ours

It occurred to me while brushing my teeth tonight that we are caretakers or custodians of all the cells in our bodies. If a tooth falls out, or a piece of hair, our “soul” doesn’t go with it (soul=awareness in this case). So in effect, we are taking care of something outside our”selves”. This is a revelation that can “allow” us to treat our bodies with more compassion. You wouldn’t harm someone else. Your body IS that someone else. Let’s treat ourselves with the same good and careful care we give others.

Create You

Sitting next to a group of Spanish speakers on BART, reminds me of how wonderful my life is. Sometimes, I’ll look around and everything is how I want it: I’ll be surrounded by interesting objects, people, perfect environments. As if I had designed or directed it myself. Because I kind of did design it myself. I kept moving until I found a place that would make me happy more often than not, and at times, constantly happy for days on end. A hot young French man spins French hip-hop for us while we lounge lazily on soft pillows among friends; an Italian man who loves pizza and art says hello (ciao) and invites me over; a Californian friend comes over to visit with her charming and cute little daughter running around, borrows costume clothes, opens a bottle of wine and looks up youtube music videos with me.

Life is good.

Heavy Illusions

Jumping out of the currents of a career
You are free
And yet the air feels different
Through your gills
You know how to breathe in water
It’s a little more lonely
At first
But they all seem to notice
And applaud the courage of your leap
Not yet willing to unlock
The golden handcuffs
But then another one breaks loose
And you start to realize
It’s not for everyone
That we cling as long as we need
To the illusion of safety
Because the mud feels really solid
Routine puts a weight on our shoulders
That guarantees
Tomorrow will look the same.