Man's True Best Friend

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Dogs can't be trusted.

Dog-owners will tell you their slobbering canines are loyal and make the best friends in the world, but they are in denial.

In reporter Jim Keyworth's weekly Review column, Keyworth examines Rim country residents' feelings for their dogs.

He found that dog owners fulfill emotional needs, such as blind love and companionship, with their four-legged flea-scratchers.

Essentially, dog owners love their dogs so darned much because they "accept you no matter what you look like or how you feel," and "are always happy to see you and always on your side no matter how big of a jerk you've been," said two of Keyworth's sources.

What this tells me is that these dog lovers are really emotionally-bereft, attention-seeking human beings.

Now cats -- they're a whole different story.

Instead of loving you no matter what you do or how many times you do it, owners have to work for their cats' love and loyalty. And it does take work.

Like Ann Campbell, supervisor of dogs at the Payson Humane Society, said: Dogs will love you no matter what you do. They'll even crave affection and attention after being yelled at or severely scolded. Cats, on the other hand, never forget.

My brother is a typical dog-loving cat-hater. He once threw my cat Kiki across the room, slamming her into a wall.

To this very day (six years later), Kiki remembers him when he visits once a year from his home in North Carolina. When he walks in the door, she scurries under the bed and stays there until she is sure he has left. My brother could not earn her trust now if he wanted to.

Kiki is the perfect example of how good a friend a cat can be. Instead of jumping on me and licking my face when I bought her, Kiki kept her distance.

She was very jumpy and ran away whenever I tried to pet her.

But after weeks of patience and not losing my temper, as my dog-loving brother did, Kiki finally came around.

Today, there is no doubt who her mommy is. Although I moved out of the house long ago, Kiki still comes running up to me when I visit her, meowing her little heart out to sit on Mommy's lap.

As far as affection goes, she is not much different from a dog, but with deeper analysis and a hypothetical situation, I will show you how cats are infinitely more loyal than dogs.

Say Fido gets lost and you can't find him. You are broken-hearted because your dog of the past nine years will never return.

Meanwhile, Fido found a home in Chaparral Pines with a little boy who slips him yummy human food (cue drool, heavy breathing, whining) under the table.

At this point, Fido could care less where you are or what you are doing.

A cat, Kiki for example, will absolutely fall to pieces if it gets lost. It will look for the darkest, closest spot where it can hide and hope for its owner to find them.

If a nice passerby were to see that cat and want to take it home or help, that cat would either have to be drugged or forced to go along with them.

And from that day forward, it would never be the same without its true owner.

I will say this, however: There are a heck of a lot of cats and dogs in need of a home over at the Payson Humane Society. And whether or not dogs are hyper, drooling, messy creatures filling emotional voids in their owners' lives, they need a home too.

But cats, whose numbers are increasing daily, will face euthanization if they aren't adopted soon.

The Tonto Apache Tribe is encouraging Paysonites with $25 gift certificates for Payson Feed and Pet Supply if residents adopt a kitten for as low as $25. So basically, they are giving kittens away.

Cats, which are less cuter and harder to earn affection from than kittens, have a tougher time getting a home and also need some patient owners.

Whether it's blind love you are looking for or a truly loyal feline, adopting an animal will change your life and save Fido or Fluffy from going into the grave.

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