There are now more cats than dogs in British homes. A cat is not surprised ...
So the penny has finally dropped. Cats now outnumber dogs as domestic pets. The big surprise is not that you are now second in popularity to us cats but that you were ever on top in the first place.

Everyone always makes such a song and dance about how you can be trained to do things. Look at sheepdogs, guide dogs, St Bernard's, they say. Well, yes and no. The limit of the domestic canine is gobbing on the morning paper. Sure, you can be trained to sit up and beg if there's a chocolate doggy treat involved, but that's about the size of it. Anyway, if you're so bloody clever, why can't you crap directly into the pooper-scooper?

What's more, you're a health hazard. Toxocara canis causes eye problems for 100 people a year. Admittedly, my own output may not be germ-free, but at least I dig a hole first. You and your chums litter the streets and pleasure gardens of the land with 1,000 tons of little surprises every single day.

Look at it this way: if it suddenly became fashionable to own a goat, do you think townsfolk would stand by and let it excrete on the pavement while its owner whistled nonchalantly, lead in hand? I very much doubt it. Not that you could be trained to go for a walk on your own like a normal person. The reason dogs were put on a lead in the first place is simply because they couldn't be trusted not to worry the sheep and frighten the horses.

I'm not blaming all of you, of course. I doubt very much if a basset hound ever did much more than bore anyone to death - although some of your relations have been known to tear the faces off small children.

The fact that your numbers have dropped half a million in the past five years proves that the poor deluded public has finally cottoned on to the fact that, in addition to your disgusting personal habits, you are also very high maintenance. I wash myself, groom myself, exercise myself, let myself in and out. I'm a grown-up and I live with my humans on equal terms.

People complain when they are compelled to care for elderly humans who smell, sit on the most comfortable chair and can't wash themselves, and yet they happily take on you and your kind. If grandad sat on the best armchair licking his backside, he'd be put in a home pronto. You can't even take exercise unless you're tied to a length of string and dragged through the mud by some hapless human. Walkies forsooth; 60 per cent of adult male humans can barely find time to spend five minutes a day with their own kittens. Who's got time to walk a dog these days?

And cat's breath never smells as bad as dog's breath. That's why it's called dog's breath.

Anyway. Must go. It's time to scratch the furniture.

SOURPUSS

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