Can a Dog Person Become a Cat Person?

Sometimes people are broken up into two categories: dog people and cat people. I’ve always been a dog person. My folks got a dog when I was nine years old and they’ve had one ever since. Though I’ve never truly owned a dog since moving out on my own, I still consider myself a dog person. The funny thing is that I’ve inherited four cats since then (not all at the same time – I’m not that crazy). And while I’m still not a cat person, I’ve come to accept cats and even grown to love cat people (you know who you are).

I make mention of this because recently one of the cats I’ve inherited, Walter, is doing his best to turn me into a cat person.

Can a dog person turn into a cat person?
Stoic Walter just might turn me from a dog person to a cat person

Walter’s Harrowing Tale

Due to the ineptitude of Walter’s owners, he’s currently trying to recover from a nasty bite wound he received because said owners left him outside all night. True, he probably could’ve backed down from the altercation that led to the bite, but he’s no pussycat. In fact, his toughness is playing a big role in swaying me to the dark side.

Another factor in my possible conversion is the way Walter is handling the prolonged suffering from the bite. The day after the Fight in the Night, Walter was quite lethargic and limping horrendously. He spent his whole time laying around in this crummy old foam cushion we gave him for a bed. Concerned, we inspected him and found nothing out of the ordinary. We even took him to the vet for a professional inspection. The vet found a puncture wound, but there was no blood or sign of infection – though Walter was running a slight fever. He gave us some antibiotics and called it a day.

A few days later, Walter showed signs of life, though he still had a terrible limp. The antibiotics were definitely helping the fever, but not much else. So back to the vet he went and without complaint – even the vet was impressed with his stoicism. X-rays were taken and no damage was found. Perhaps the owners need to take a cue from their cat and handle the situation with a stiff upper lip instead of freaking out like ninnies, the vet insinuated. Admonished, we headed home with our tails between our legs and resolved to give Walter adequate time to heal.

Fast forward one week. Walter is still limping egregiously but seeming to get stronger. He managed to pull himself up on his favorite kitchen stool where he likes to keep an eye on household activities – in this case, dinner. I happen to notice some liquid running down the stool onto the floor and thought maybe I’d spilled some milk or something. I inspected closer and got a whiff of pure rottenness. Definitely not milk. Did Walter puke?

Walter is one tough cat
Walter’s bite wound and the origin of the puss leak…ew.

I started to move him so I could clean up the mystery substance and as I grabbed him I uncovered the mystery. A stream of puss oozed out of the puncture wound as I picked him up and I noticed the area was quite red and swollen. The infection had finally set in and Walter was now dealing with a monstrous abscess. Clearly the antibiotics were not strong enough.

Back to the vet – and again, no complaints from Walter. This time the vet cut a half inch incision (no anesthesia mind you) under the abscess to allow continuous drainage. Walter made nary a peep. We also received some more potent antibiotics.

So far, Walter finally seems to be improving. His abscess still leaks a little but his limp is better and sometimes he even tries to break into a run. Despite the hilarity of the way he looks running on three and a half legs, I applaud his toughness and determination.

He has won my heart over and I think he’s earned some kind of treat. Considering it’s winter and he spends a lot of time in the garage, I think I’m going to replace that crummy old foam cushion with a real bed. A nice heated thermo cat bed. What tough guy doesn’t appreciate some nighttime warmth?

One Final Note

Walter is certainly living up to his namesake. This is a quote from legendary HOF running back Jim Brown.

“The first time I saw him…I saw him make this one run. He fought for every inch… Spun around. Accelerated. And I said, ‘Oh my goodness! What kind of animal is this?’ The strength, the tenacity. Give me the heart of [Walter]. There’s never been a greater heart.”

Brown was talking about Walter Payton, Chicago Bears HOF running back, and a man known for his toughness. He’s also the man for which our tough guy Walter was named.

After watching Walter the cat handle his ordeal with stoicism and toughness, I think he’s living up to his name.

—Ryan Varney


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