It’s time to bring to a close the age-old debate about whether dogs or cats — and the people who prefer one to the other — are smarter.
Not because the general populace has accepted the final resolution of the issue (easy — cats, paws down), but because we have a more pressing question:
Are house cats smarter than humans?
I know — you were expecting something more profound, but as we learn as we age, some of the deepest issues seem simple.
My whole point behind the question has to do with a quote from author Neil Gaiman, whose observation caught my eye:
“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.”
Anybody who has owned a cat knows that they do their own thing, and getting even two of them to agree on something we want them to do — or for that matter, getting even one cat to do something that we want it to do — is a feat indeed.
And yet, getting a number of humans — thousands, or even millions, of them, to do the same thing at the same time is something that happens every evening when whatever it is on TV comes on, and households wrap their entire existence around the next half hour, 45 minutes, or 2 hours.
This has been a part of our culture and lifestyle for so long — 70 years or so since the TV was willingly invited into our homes, 100-plus years since movies entered general human existence — that we consider it normal and can’t see any problem with it. But how many people seriously contemplate the term, “mass media,” and wonder just who the masses are (it’s us, you know).