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Pets in poetry, prose and proverb

Dawn Armstrong
Special to the Appeal

Cats

• When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction. – Mark Twain

• If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr. – Barbara L. Diamond

• The real measure of a day’s heat is the length of a sleeping cat. – Charles J. Brady 

• The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don’t buy love for nothing. – William S. Burroughs

• I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul. – Jean Cocteau 

• There are no ordinary cats. – Colette 

• Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons. – Robertson Davies  

• When a cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except to put up with it until the wind changes. – T. S. Eliot 

• If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air. – Doris Lessing, “Particularly Cats”

• When the tea is brought at five o’clock And all the neat curtains are drawn with care, The little black cat with bright green eyes Is suddenly purring there. – Harold Monro “Milk for the Cat”

• When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime for her more than she is to me? – Michel deMontaigne  

• There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats. – Albert Schweitzer 

Dogs

• In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. – Edward Hoagland, “Dogs and the Tug of Life” 

• My little old dog: A heart-beat at my feet. – Edith Wharton 

• A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. – Ogden Nash

• No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as a dog does. – Christopher Marley

• If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. – Will Rogers

• There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. – Ben Williams

• A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. – Josh Billings

• A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. – Robert Benchley

• If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. – Mark Twain, “Pudd’nhead Wilson”

• The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. – Samuel Butler

• Man is troubled by what might be called the Dog Wish, a strange and involved compulsion to be as happy and carefree as a dog. – James Thurber

• Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. – Roger Cara

Cats and dogs

• In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog who will worship him and a cat who will ignore him. – Dereke Bruce

• If a dog jumps on you, it is because he is fond of you. But if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer. – Alfred North Whitehead

• It often happens that a man is more humanly related to a cat or a dog than to any human being. – Henry David Thoreau

• It’s funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn’t it? – Eleanor H. Porter, “Pollyanna”

• Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions. They pass no criticisms.  – George Eliot

• Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.” Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA.