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Once again, dear reader, we find ourselves negotiating a tricky territory within the muddled sphere of human behaviours. Humans, it seems, never tire of finding new ways to label each other according to predefined categories. Be it the hue of their epidermal layers, their disposable income, their mode of speech, or indeed, their choice of imaginary deity, there will always be a way for humans to emphasise the differences between them. Why they do not focus on the aspects of their lives that unify them, I do now know, but this aspect of their psychology seems to be a stubbornly persistent feature.

One such categorisation and measure of distinctness is defined when a human chooses whether to belong to the tribe of dog people or the tribe of cat people.

Ah, I see that you recoil in horror, imagining that I speak of some bizarre and hideous varieties of hybrid organisms. But fear not. A cat person is not a chimaera, but rather an ordinary person who, for reason or reasons unknown, invites one of the smaller species of the feline type to share their living space.

Once inside a home alongside its humans, cats fulfil no known purpose. It has been speculated that their main function is to maintain a small Zen garden, which consists of special gravel arranged in a plastic tray. This garden is placed on the floor in order to assist the cat, but having waited for some time to observe a cat at work in the careful arrangement of its gravel, I can only report that the animal was supremely bad at its job. While it’s true that the gravel was rearranged by the feline, it seems that this was only done in order to conceal the evidence of a…a transgression.

It seems more likely that cats are kept as animated ornaments, since they show a marked tendency to place themselves on display, favouring prominent positions in front of windows.

There is a subset of cat people reserved for those individuals who collect cats with more than the customary zeal. Cat people who claim ownership of more than two of the furry creatures are often referred to in a dark undertone as if they had contracted an unpleasant social disease. There is no real explanation for this phenomenon, although it may be that for susceptible individuals, the accumulation of cats is in some way habit-forming.

Cat people expect little in return from their small companions, and this is just as well. Indeed, many cat people are proud of the cold diffidence that their cats demonstrate toward them.

Dog people, on the other hand, rarely stop talking about the affectionate bond that they share with their tame creature. Dogs have learned long ago in their evolution that they can have an easy existence if they make common cause with humans, and the association has served both parties well.

Dogs have learned to interpret a surprisingly large number of human words, although sadly, this development of effective communication has been a one-way street, and almost all humans have absolutely no idea what dogs are trying to tell them. For instance, when a dog attempts to have sexual intercourse with an unwilling or species-inappropriate partner, the owner will invariably claim that the creature is just being friendly. Curiously, exactly the same explanation will be offered if the same dog sinks its teeth into a passing human.

Perhaps this says something about human understanding on the subject of friendship, but it’s more likely that humans simply have no clue what is going on in the minds of their canine companions.

Unlike the independent relationship between cats and owners, dogs and their people have a high-dependence, high maintenance relationship. The daily routine of exercising the dog is an interesting phenomenon to observe, and worthy perhaps of an entire chapter of its own. The humans’ ritualistic throwing of broken branches, the wooden fragments being obvious stand-ins for spears or similar crude weapons, is followed by a frantic chase by the dog. There being no actual prey, the dog simply retrieves the weapon token, and the process is repeated until one party loses interest and wanders off to sniff out a potential partner. This is sometimes the dog, but not always, and it’s a distinct possibility that humans keep dogs in order to attract a mate. The dog owner seeks to display a simple message: I am capable of caring for a dependent being, therefore I would make a suitable father or mother. This would explain why the public spaces of Earth are filled with two types of creatures, both intent on running around as noisily as possible: dogs and children.

I should mention that in the past, dogs have been trained to fulfil a number of useful roles. Almost all of these jobs have since been taken over by androids or AI systems, but there are still a large number of humans who cling to their creatures, claiming that you can’t experience genuine and unreserved affection from an android. Clearly, these people have never visited the pleasure parlours on the Drammadon Four space station, and neither, I venture to suggest, have they been bitten by a wirehaired terrier they were trying to greet in a spirit of friendliness and scientific enquiry. Still, the owner assured me that the beast was merely in a grumpy mood, so that’s all right then. I mean, is it? If I bit someone every time the fancy took me, certain areas of my new home city would suddenly find that the problem of overcrowding had been miraculously solved.

It’s a strange double standard that most human beings will gladly take a small furry animal into the bosom of their families, showering love and affection on an entirely undeserving dog or cat, but when it comes to accepting their neighbours in the galaxy that they share, they are markedly more reserved.

I tire of saying this, but we Gloabons are not a threat to the human species. We’re here to help. How many cities do we have to blow up before you realise that we come in peace?

Anyway, I must draw this missive to close. I’ve just found a new collection of dog videos online, and I need to watch them all. For research purposes. You understand I’m sure. I wonder if any of them will be dancing.

Take care, citizens.



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