Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

By Bradley Trevor Greive. Photographs by Rachel Hale. Andrews McMeel Publishing. $19.99.
Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

The title says it all here. If you’re a dog fancier, you’ll love it. But cat fans will find this, well, uh, disgusting, clueless, upsetting, repugnant, or you fill in the blanks.

Greive’s text and Hale’s superb photos complement each other beautifully throughout this treatise of literary grenades tossed toward America’s No. 1 pet, population-wise.

Witty and sardonic, Greive’s impassioned homage is both charismatic and contentious over 224 pages.

In the opening chapter, “Overture,” where Greive recognizes we live in age of cats, he barks, “Cats are filling every crevice of humanity like exploding popcorn.

“… At the risk of inciting a Cat Fancier Jihad, I contend that the rise of the cat and the collapse of the human civilization are inexorably linked.”

Greive moves on to lament cats require “little effort and virtually no emotional investment to flourish,” noting that stray cats are 15 times less likely to be claimed by their owners from a shelter than their canine counterparts and are also 30 percent less likely to be adopted by new owners.

The author candidly notes that he is pro-dog, not anti-cat, adding that “the principal purpose of this book is not to criticize cats or their owners but to champion the many exceptional virtues unique to dogs.”

He quickly adds, “By claiming cats are equal to dogs as pets, the bar has been raised so impossibly high that felines can only fail, and in falling suffer greatly.”

Here are a few more memorable snapshot quotes:

  • “ . . . Dogs match up to people, but people must match up to cats.”
  • “Dogs are social, cats are sociopaths.”
  • “To dogs, you are the greatest love of their lives. To cats, you are the courtesan of the moment.”
  • “Dogs see you as a parent, partner, best friend and soul mate. Cats see you as a source of warmth and food.”

Throughout, Greive writes with verve and infectious enthusiasm, but Hale’s saucy, yet spirited, visual characterizations leave you asking if the author’s intent in traveling this tumultuous psychological landscape is to educate or entertain.