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The question of whether dogs or cats make better pets is a rather subjective one. Some people want certain things out of a pet, and other people want other things; there really isn’t a blanket answer that applies to everyone. But there are a number of things to explore here, and fortunately, I don’t have a dog, so I have time to explore the topic thoroughly because I don’t have to get up and walk my dog every two hours.

Normally I’m not one to argue from tradition, but a simple examination of world history and world cultures – conducted by skimming a few Wikipedia pages for about six minutes – should be helpful. It turns out that dogs were domesticated about 5,000 years before cats were. This is interesting, and not just because my primitive worldview that assumed the Earth was created by God a mere 6,000 years ago just got completely shattered. Why were dogs domesticated first?

The answer is simple. Dogs are kind of dumb, so humans were able to get them to do what they wanted them to do really easily. Sure, dogs do work if you want them to, but so does my computer. Besides, I don’t need a pet to do my work for me. That’s what significant others are for, and I don’t have a farm anyway. I need my pet to cuddle with me and be adorable for the two hours a day when I’m in my apartment, and be able to attend to itself for the rest of the time, when I’m out living my interesting life and going to bars and clubs, and indie rock shows, and work, and school and swanky restaurants.

We’re all college students living exciting and interesting lives. We don’t have time for dogs. Maybe we will someday when we have kids and yards and we need actual motivation to leave the house. But cats are okay with being left in the house all day. All they need is open blinds so they can stare at the outside world during the four hours a day that they’re awake. And on those rare occasions when I do venture to my apartment, my cat is always willing to cuddle with me and be adorable on my lap while I watch reruns of “Family Guy” and pretend to study for my classes. And if I need a nap, my cats snuggle up on me and calm my nerves. Dog owners don’t get to take naps because dogs bark incessantly.

Okay, back to Wikipedia. It seems that while cats were being worshipped because they are so obviously godlike, dogs were being eaten, and the ones that weren’t being eaten were forced to engage in slave labor. And dogs are still being eaten in many different parts of the world.

Sure, cats get eaten sometimes too, but not at the same rate that dogs do. I have no statistics to back up that assertion, but all of this seems pretty simple to understand. Cats were worshipped, and dogs were either eaten or forced to do hard work against their will. And since religion is more relevant and more ubiquitous in modern society than slavery, I’m going to assume cats are better and more important.

I don’t have time to walk my dog eight times a day, and I have a fast metabolism and a 24-Hour Fitness membership, so I don’t need the exercise either. Walking doesn’t really count as working out anyway. Did you know that archaeologists found a cat buried with a human over 9,500 years ago in Cyprus? Isn’t that adorable? That would never happen with a dog, because the dog would’ve been tilling a field or sitting at the front door waiting to be taken on a walk. Or maybe the person did have a dog, but they decided to serve dog at the funeral and he was right there.

Now, I will concede that dogs are useful in at least one way that cats are not. Dogs are total chick magnets. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, try walking a dog along Ring Road around noon on a Tuesday or Thursday. Boom, you just scored digits from half a dozen hot sorority chicks.

But do keep in mind what really just happened. They fell in love with your dog, not with you, and most nice restaurants don’t allow pets. You won’t have to worry about looking that up on your restaurant-of-choice’s Yelp page, though, because none of those sorority chicks are going to call you back. Besides, what does it say about you and your “game” if the chick-magnet benefit of owning a dog is an actual factor in your decision about which pet to have? Now, think about how this would have worked out if you had a cat. By the time your new girlfriend met your cat, it would mean that you already had her back at your place, so it’s essentially game over at that point.

By the way, dogs smell awful no matter how often you bathe them, so even if having a cute dog nets you success with the ladies, having a bed that smells like a soggy dog makes it that much harder to finally score. Plus, you never want to take your girl back to your place, because all your roommates hate you because you have a smelly dog. Cats, on the other hand, have already evolved to the point where they bathe themselves. If I wanted my apartment to smell terrible, I’d go the next year without cleaning it. True, there is no good place to put the kitty litter box, but just clean it once in a while and buy good litter, and you don’t have any problems.

Look, cats are more popular on the Internet and they are the more popular pet worldwide. There’s a reason why “Loldogz” and “Keyboard Dog” don’t exist. Society has agreed that while dogs are useful, cats are much more adorable and are therefore superior. So liberate yourself and get a cat as soon as possible.

Charles Hicks is a fourth-year religious studies major. He can be reached at cbhicks@uci.edu.

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