Dear Crabby, Should I Get a Cat or a Dog?

Dear Crabby, I’m out on my own for the first time and I feel I need to get a pet. Should I get a cat or a dog?

Sincerely, Justine A. Friend


Dear Justine,

A furry friend can bring joy and happiness to any home. It can also bring chewed-up slippers, vomit in your slippers, and even missing slippers. Basically, you won’t be using your slippers again. It can also bring you fur balls, dead animals, and early morning barking. A Goldfish would be easier!

However, I bet you’re looking for more of a companion than a fish would be.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a huge cat fan. I dog will be your best friend, likes cars rides, and may offer protection for someone who lives alone. Mostly, the Crabby family has had dogs.

Dear Crabby with a Laptop ComputerThe best dog we every had we didn’t even own. A neighbor dog used to wander into our yard and camp out on our back patio. It was good with kids and our pets. Never barked. Enjoyed being petted, but never asked for it. And, at the end of the day it would go home. Best of all, we didn’t have to feed it or care for it. She was a wonderful dog and would visit about once per week. Then, nothing. We assumed she got old and passed away, but we never found out.

Some people like cats. I don’t care much for them. A cat will hunt and leave you a surprise for you (probably in your slipper), but a dog will go hunting with you. A cat will howl its head off in the car, but a dog will keep the driver seat warm for you while you’re in the store. And let me throw this warning in before some wack-job sends me an electronic letter – Never Leave Your Pet in a Locked Car on a Hot Day! Anyway, a cat sleeps most of the day and uses a litter box – there’s something to be said for that. A dog has to be let out several times per day, taken it for walks, and picked-up after it. A cat, takes care of all of that for themselves.

I find that dogs require more attention and are good for active people. Cats are better for less active people. Then again, a dog needs a sitter if you go on vacation. A cat would be fine on its own for a long weekend – fill up the food bowl and go – it will probably be sleeping in the same place when you left.

With the kids gone, Mrs. Crabby and I enjoy a more quiet life without the burden of pets. However, as I sit here and write this, I’m taken by the idea of how easy a low-maintenance cat would be – still don’t like them – over a needy canine.

Anyhow, the grand kids provide enough entertainment when they visit and somehow, something always happens to my slippers – guess that’s not just a pet thing. So, either a cat or a dog would work, depends on how much time you have to spend with the critter. When you do decide, I suggest you adopt from a no-kill shelter. Adult animals need homes too, kittens and puppies are cute but mature pets know the ropes.

Best of luck to you!

Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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