“The way I see it, my friend,” he says – in between his sips of teh o ais limau (ice lemon tea, minus the sugar, to be pedantic) – “is that there are two kinds of people in the world.”
“People who are like dogs, and people who are like cats.”
I sit there listening to him half-heartedly, drowning my sorrows in my bandung ais (iced rose syrup water, with lots of sugar and evaporated milk, to be pedantic).
“Dog people are like this – they are loyal, very affectionate and always excited to see you – they run up to meet you at the door even though you’ve only been gone for 3 hours and lavish you with slobbering amounts of love. Dog people will assume the best of you, and always want to be your friend.”
“…only if they like what they taste when they lick your face,” I said, remembering Pepper, our hyperactive King Charles Cavalier, God rest his soul.
“…right. So. And then, there are people who are like cats. Cat people are aloof, self confident, it matters little to them whether or not you love them or even if you exist, they couldn’t give a rat’s…”
“…as long as you feed them…” I interrupted.
“Correct! And the cat may take a temporary interest in something – be it a ball of yarn, a mouse, or a toy and then play with it – until it either dies or the cat loses interest in it – and then it just tosses it aside and moves along to the next thing that catches its fancy.”
“And you,” he points at me with the prongs of his fork, his maggi mee goreng dangling precariously on it. “The problem with you is that you are a dog guy who keeps falling for cat girls.”
I look up from my pink diabetic inducer drink, his revelation a small ray piercing through my cloud of depression.
“I think you should pay more attention to the girls who love you like a dog would love you.”
I remember hearing this conversation that a friend had some years ago as he was reeling from another disastrous putdown, and I thought it was really quite fascinating. Could we be so easily stripped back and just simplified into these two domestic creatures? I wish I could have heard his story in its entirety.
I never really grew up around pets (slow clap, KL upbringing!) but if I had to make a guess, I think I am more of a dog person – excitable, friendly, playful and ready to hump anything that resembles a leg.
I think about the girls I have fancied in the past, and yeah, certainly mostly dog people – warm, smiley, down to earth and great with people, and certainly Karen is about the most dog-loving-type person I know.
I certainly did not know how to handle the cat girls – the elegant yet aloof creatures, always distant and unattainable, the ones who loved to play games – although I could have liked some of them, those relationships were definitely over before they even began.
I do wonder about the cat girls. Over dinner yesterday, a friend postulated that there are two kinds of cat girls – those who are certainly supremely confident with set standards of who they would even consider worthy of their attention; and then there are those for whom it is a defence mechanism – perhaps they are really shy and try to hide their terror by behaving the opposite extreme, or perhaps they had been vulnerable and hurt badly before, and now all their walls are up.
As always, I am interested in other people’s love stories – and the chase: whether it is you bounding towards the object of your desire with your tail wagging so hard it could fall off, or even if you were the one slowly walking away, nose in the air, until a better one comes along.
May we all find someone who will love us the way we deserve to be loved.