“Any dog’s a good dog, as long as you’re not a psycho.”
So says Bill Burr in an extended confessional rant about dogs picking up on their humans’ moods.
“I didn’t realize they feed off your vibes. If you’re chillin’, they’re chillin’. If you’re sleeping, they’re sleeping,” Burr says.
“But if you’re a psycho like me, and you’re standing in front of the TV screaming at the ref like ‘Dude, you’ve gotta be f—-ing kidding me!’, I didn’t realize the dog was gonna be in the corner like, ‘Yeah, you gotta be f—-in’ kidding me! This is bullsh!t! I don’t know what this guy’s mad at, but I love this guy!’”
Thirty thousand years of human companionship have forged dogs into the animal world’s foremost people experts, more well-attuned to human moods and behavior than any other creature by several orders of magnitude. Dogs can smell our emotions, read intent in our body language and gauge our sincerity by the way our facial muscles twitch.
If a dog’s favorite person is amped up about something, the dog is too.
But cats? They just don’t care.
When humans act out, cats are more like annoyed roommates.
“Excuse me, but you’re at a nine and I need you at about a two, okay? Some of us are trying to sleep like civilized people.”
“What?! Can’t you see I’m upset? You should be concerned.”
“Not my problem. Remember what I said: A two. And dinner better not be late! I don’t care what those guys on the TV are doing, my bowl needs to have fresh yums at the strike of dinner o’clock.”
If it doesn’t impact their food, territory or the quality of the service they’re receiving, cats don’t want to know.
So while I might be on the edge of my seat watching the Yankees’ Aaron Judge take a 3-2 pitch with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, Buddy’s probably thinking, “Damnit, can the Yankees lose already so he stops moving around? I need a stable lap and some peace and quiet!”
Any cat’s an ambivalent cat, regardless of whether you’re a psycho.