Readers respond to "Cat People vs. Dog People" and an interview about our dwindling water supply.

Published August 30, 2002 7:00PM (EDT)

[Read Cat People Vs. Dog People."]

So the debate rages on. Cats or dogs?

What I see is that the sex associated with a given animal really looks to the animal to fulfill the desires they have that are denied them in society.

So, women like cats for their "independence" and ability to be solitary, even though women tend to be more social creatures then men.

Men like dogs' "loyalty" and "friendship" and companionship, though many men pride themselves on being forever a bachelor, not to be domesticated.

There are so many other things. The whole "cleanliness" issue that cat owners talk incessantly about, how cats are so much cleaner, how dogs will slobber, stink and lick themselves. But no, cats don't do that. Yet these same people have no problem letting the cat who has just pawed in a litter box to cover his own shit, jump on the counter where they are making a sandwich with the same paws.

How about the fact that dogs are claimed to be so "loving" and social, yet you never hear of a "cat-mauling" case where someone was viciously attacked and killed by a tabby?

Personally, I too find myself in the dog camp. But my heart does melt at the sight of a kitten playing with a ball of string, or being carried by a small child.

Oh well, I guess I am a partisan after all.

-- Jeff Holsinger

Laura Miller's slain darlings have just provided me with yelps of delight, howls of glee and the realization that Cintra Wilson will have to move over and share my undying respect for wickedly dead-on writing that satisfies in every way.

Thank you, Salon (and Ms. Miller), for bringing me such pleasure at such a bargain price.

-- Jeanean Slamen

I'm a cat person all the way (I'll spare you the reasons why). I'm also a guy, and lately, I have to say, I'm really hard-pressed to see any "mysterious connection between women and cats." The mystery to me is that, by my estimation, about 80 percent of the single female population of Chicago has gone completely dog-crazy, apartment living and long winters notwithstanding. Some people have suggested to me that it's a personal security issue, others that it's backlash against the "single woman with cats = kooky spinster" stereotype, others that taking the dog for a walk is an easy and effective way to strike up relationships with cute strangers. I don't really know or care what the reasons are; I just have to deal with the consequence, which is that my dating options are severely constrained by my dislike of dogs. I wonder how long it's going to take for the conventional wisdom to pick up on this trend -- as far as I can tell, "men prefer dogs, women prefer cats" still prevails, and it just ain't true, at least around here.

-- Keith Ammann

I've just finished reading Laura Miller's article about "cat people vs. dog people," and I find myself thinking it's too bad you can't line litter boxes with online magazines. Miller doesn't bother answering her article's focal question (which sort of pet person is more boring?). Instead, she whines tediously about some bad books she read.

I suppose there's a certain value in knowing what book not to read, but it would be nice if Miller offered some alternatives instead of condemning the entire domestic animal subject area as a waste of time. She should consider reading one of Vicki Hearne's books -- I'd recommend "Animal Happiness."

-- Dan Heller

Laura Miller's "Cat People vs. Dog People" was fun and motivated this Dog Lover poem by me: Loyalty, Smoyalty, Ruff, Ruff, Tough, Tough. Stinky fur, Smelly breath; Noodge and drool, Get off my stool. Little hairs, everywhere. Pee pee and poop, endless and misplaced. Always cleaning after, they're never disgraced. Shit-lovers, crumb-snatchers; untimely barks, the grossest farts. Damn the canine-haters; man's best friends are great human imitators.

-- Steve Fader

[Read "Not a Drop to Drink."]

It is surprising to me that in an article about the worldwide quest for fresh water, the Great Lakes and current political attempts to divert water to golf courses in America's Southwest and elsewhere was not even mentioned once.

-- Wendy S. Williams

In the article "Not a drop to drink," one issue that did not seem to be raised is the percentage of water the nation uses for the irrigation of cattle and livestock. A typical person consumes a few thousand gallons (2,500?) of water per POUND of meat that they eat. Meat production is an extremely inefficient use of water.

Another reason to become a vegetarian.

-- Neel Master

I took great interest in your recent interview with the author of "Water Wars." I was especially appreciative of comments like "The privatization of water is very, very complicated" and "There are a lot of complications in paying for water" among the "Clean Water is a Basic Human Right" rhetoric. Unfortunately, the complexity of a problem does not excuse us from coming up with solutions. From what I could gather from this interview, Ward doesn't have any suggestions. (Generalized Bush-bashing, though fun, doesn't count.) Startling, really, considering how many there are to choose from. Where was the discussion of revision of water prices to better reflect the opportunity cost of provision, informal vs. formal water markets, the tendency of centralized government control of water allocation to result in inefficient hydraulic projects undertaken to serve purely political ends? As convenient as it is to pretend otherwise, water is a commodity; it is subject to economic reality. Avoiding economics for polemics is not going to get us very far.

I am glad to see more attention paid to the violent conflicts that occur, at least in part, due to disagreements over this vital resource. Too bad, though, that partisanship trumps problem-solving in this venue.

-- Sally Williams

"Weather used to be more predictable"??? That was the capper on a long string of unsubstantiated doomsday facts. If in fact everything in Ms. Hansen's piece is true, give us some documentation. The arm waving detracted from an otherwise interesting piece.

-- Laurie McGuinness

By Salon Staff

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