Cats are from Venus, Dogs are from Mars: extract

…a parody of human relationship


It’s a little known fact that cats and dogs originated in quite different parts of our solar system, and thus are totally alien species to one another. Arriving on Earth in the far distant past and then adopted by humans, they have quite forgotten this fundamental aspect of their history. That, essentially, is why modern cats and dogs have such disastrous relationships. Extensive research that I carried out prior to writing this book showed that there is a crying need for authoritative guidance for cats and dogs on relationship issues. All over the world, these animals are experiencing the same archetypal problems, and each ‘reinventing the wheel’. This book is here, at last, to meet their heartfelt needs.I’ve been travelling round the world now for fifty-nine years, giving seminars and counselling animals, based on the revolutionary principles contained in this marvellous book. Everywhere I go, I’m constantly moved by the heart-warming stories I hear about how well the material works in practice. “We just can’t thank you enough;” said Tiddles and Spot, a couple from Boysey, Idaho. “We owe everything to you.” Tiddles and Spot have now become franchised facilitators of my Partnership in Ecstasy Training™, and have become immensely rich in the process. The P.E.T. programme is now available as far afield as Outer Mongolia and Central Antarctic.And who knows, perhaps this book could teach humans a thing or two as well.

Chapter 1: How Cats and Dogs Talk to Each Other

Because they’re alien species, the methods of communication that cats and dogs each use are very different. A typical cat-dog conversation might start something like this:She: “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”He: “What’s that, darling?”Cats like to gossip about things which dogs may consider trivial minutiae, but which to them are basic life issues. Things like shopping, how much food costs, which fish is currently seasonal, and how un-busy they’ve been today. Dogs like talking about sticks, football, how far they’ve run today, their latest sexual conquests, how much territory they’ve got and the colour of their poo. But that’s only when dogs do talk. For the most part, they would far rather be out doing things. When dogs talk, they are straightforward and literal. They’re hopeless at hidden agendas, subtle innuendo or barbed ironic remarks. They say things like “I will love you unconditionally until the day that I die” – though only to humans – and “Take one more step and I’ll kill you”. Dogs have a much smaller vocabulary than cats; some of them really only know their own name. Cats have more mastery of subtle and indirect communication, and creative exaggeration. Cats can also use pointed silences very effectively, though they’re a bit wasted on dogs. Listening skills are crucial to relationship, and here too cats and dogs have differing abilities. Basically, cats only really listen to what’s being said when they are being stroked, cuddled or otherwise appreciated. The only thing that dogs really listen to is when their name is spoken. What they hear is a series of blurred mumblings, interspersed with occasional clear mentions of their name. Take Tiddles and Spot, for instance – a couple who came to me for counselling because they were experiencing communication difficulties. I told Tiddles that if she wants Spot to concentrate on what she is saying, she should insert his name into every sentence. For instance, she could say something like this:”Spot! Are you listening to me, Spot? Good, Spot. Now Spot, I’m going to say something very important. (Insert important message here), Spot. Okay, Spot?”Better still, she could find ways of cunningly working his name into her message, while referring to something else. For instance, she could say:* “Get me a spot of milk, would you?”, or* “I’ve just spotted a dog that’s much better-looking than you”, or* “What do you know about that spot of urine on my favourite cushion?”, or indeed* “I’ve got a spot on my nose. Would you squeeze it for me? And now for the dogs. Instead of listening skills, you have to develop other techniques that will make up. A useful ploy is to appear to be listening very carefully to what your cat-friend is saying, when you’ve completely blanked out. Fix your gaze steadily on her, holding your ears upright and pointing them towards her. That way she will really feel heard.(continues)