The yin-yang of pets

Several weeks ago, the Nevada Humane Society hosted a cat convention, where 100 cats were staged for adoption at a local casino. As I took one last look around the room before we opened the doors, I saw all of our cats calmly and quietly nestled into the bedding of their individual cages. What struck me was how “cat” this was and this would never be the same scenario if they were dogs.

This made me reflect on my own life as a pet owner — specifically regarding cats and dogs.

Over the years, I have usually had both species as part of my family, but there have been times when that has not been the case. And at those times, I have always felt out of balance.

Each type of animal enriches my life, but in a unique way.

Cats tend to be more independent, calm, sophisticated creatures. Being around them gives me a sense of peace and helps me feel centered. I admire their ability to get comfortable and relax in a variety of situations. They bring peace and harmony into my life.

Dogs are usually more dependent, active and very loyal. They need others to teach them social graces, but the return is a strong commitment and bond. They enjoy being involved in human activities, whether it’s just a car trip around town, a hike in the countryside or a game of fetch in your backyard. They are my play buddies and give me a sense of being needed.

Life balance has always been important to me, and I am attracted to things that provide a yin-yang effect. Yin and yang has been defined as complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.

Cats and dogs are the yin-yang of pets. Most of us animal lovers gravitate a little more to one species over the other.

But for me, I don’t feel complete unless I have both in my life.

Right now, I have two wonderful dogs that are an integral part of my home life — my yang.

I spend the bulk of my day hours in an office that is a temporary home for some of our shelter’s special needs cats — my yin.

I have certainly made some broad generalizations here and do not at all want to take away from the individualities of specific dogs and cats. But my experience as a pet lover has led me to conclude that I feel more complete and well-balanced when I have both species integrated into my life.

If you haven’t already, consider giving it a try!


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