A few days ago, CNN ran an article on their front page entitled, "How are dog people and cat people different?"
The articles reports on a recent study by the University of Texas at Austin, which claims the following:
It turns out that the "dog people"--based on how people identified themselves, not on what animals they actually own--tend to be more social and outgoing, whereas "cat people" tend to be more neurotic but "open," which means creative, philosophical, or nontraditional in this context.This, of course, is old news to Lovecraft fans who have been well versed on this great debate for nearly a century. Lovecraft, who had "no active dislike for dogs, any more than [. . .] for monkeys, human beings, tradesmen, cows, sheep, or pterodactyls," was nevertheless explicitly clear about his position and essentially put the issue to rest in 1926 with his masterful treatise entitled "Cats and Dogs."
The U of T research, unsurprisingly, affirmed Lovecraft on nearly every point.Dogs, then, are peasants and the pets of peasants, cats are gentlemen and the pets of gentlemen. The dog is for him who places crude feeling and outgrown ethic and humanocentricity above austere and disinterested beauty; who just loves "folks and folksiness" and doesn't mind sloppy clumsiness if only something will truly care for him.
"To love cats," one of the scientists writes, "you have to be able to love things for themselves; they have their own life, they aren't necessarily dependent on you. Your dog kind of lives for you."
Compare that to Lovecraft's own words:
We own a dog -- he is with us as a slave and inferior because we wish him to be. But we entertain a cat -- he adorns our hearth as a guest, fellow-lodger, and equal because he wishes to be there. It is no compliment to be the stupidly idolised master of a dog whose instinct it is to idolise, but it is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a philosophic cat who is wholly his own master and could easily choose another companion if he found such a one more agreeable and interesting.Though we know not where on earth these people get money to perform research of this nature, it is always a thrill to see contemporary thinkers finally catching up to Lovecraft in terms of philosophical discourse.
Thus we say to Lassie and the rest of the bitches, take that!
Science hath spoken.