THEY'VE BEEN REVERED, FEARED, immortalized as characters and sunglass shapes, and within the past decade, provided lol moments through GIFs and memes. Still, however famous Grumpy Cat, Choupette or Hug Your Cat Day ever get, cats continue to be underdogs in the competition of cat versus dog. In a survey conducted by the University of Texas in 2010, 46% of 4,565 respondents, recruited via search engines, portal sites, mailing lists and word of mouth, described themselves to be dog people, while only 12% were in favor of the feline. Even from personal experience, having both a dog and a cat in the family, I've had more friends and acquaintances express fondness for our Golden Retriever, with only a few taking a liking to our Persian cat.
But what we cat lovers lack in number, we supposedly make up for with intelligence. Conducted just this 2014 by Carroll University, a study reveals cat persons to be smarter than their canine-loving counterparts, with a correlation suggested between intelligence and temperament. “It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog.” Explained Professor Denise Guastello. “Whereas, if you’re more introverted and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”
Sounds like a stretch but hey, I'm not complaining.
Cat fans or not, spending even just 15 minutes with a cat is said to promote the production of serotonin, which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. A 20-year study at the University of Minnesota even found cat owners to be 40% less likely to die from heart attack and cardiovascular disease. While such findings are still challenged, there's no reason not to hug the cat long after National and International Hug Your Cat Days have passed. And while we're at it, why not channel Leigh, Brando, Picasso, Farrow, Cobain, Newman, Bergman, Fonda, Hemingway, Bardot, Harrison and Dean getting cuddly with some kitties?
“If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.” -Terry Pratchett
Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Pablo Picasso, Mia Farrow, Kurt Cobain, Paul Newman, Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda, Ernest Hemingway, Brigitte Bardot, George Harrison and James Dean, images from fanpop.com, gettyimages.com, imdb.com, mtime.com and anothermag.com