Dogs or cats? The endless war.

My fourth grade son talks about the endless war between cats and dogs – a lot.

He’s not talking about the whole cats versus dogs thing from movies or cartoons. He’s talking about the ongoing debate in his grade.  It’s been raging for over two years now.

At this point, no one remembers how the whole thing got started. According to my son, the whole fourth grade is divided between cat lovers and dog lovers. You can’t like both. You can’t like neither.  You have to pick a side.

(I’m quite certain that “you can’t like neither” is a little wonky as a sentence. I can diagram it, it’s logically and technically accurate, but it sounds “wrong.” It’s the kind of thing my high school English teacher would have put a big red circle around and scrawled “awk” next to it.  

No, she wasn’t amused when I put wings on “awk” and turned it into a bird doodle on my essay. She wasn’t amused by the entire class screeching like “awk birds” when she returned our papers to us.  She eventually started writing “awkward” on our papers instead.  

She wasn’t a fan of long parenthetical interruptions, short paragraphs, or ellipses either. We got along like a house on fire. But I digress. I’m supposed to be writing about cats and dogs, not awk birds.)

It’s been a long debate. These kids started arguing about cats and dogs in second grade.  That’s practically their ENTIRE lives. It’s referred to as “the endless war.”

cats vs dogs

The endless war?

Apparently, there have been other, shorter lived wars during the period.  At one point, the whole class was fighting about whether Minecraft or Roblox was better.  At another point, they were arguing about chocolate or vanilla.

Those were passing fancies.

Within weeks, the entire class would settle on an answer and that particular “war” would be over.

Then they return to the ongoing debate over cats and dogs.

The war won’t end until everyone agrees.

That’s not going to happen.

(That should have been said with great dramatic flair and maybe a little background music. If this story was a movie, the special effects director would be called in at this point. Since I don’t have a “dramatic moment font” you’ll just have to imagine it.  No, I don’t have a snarky font either. I’m doing my best.)

Hence, an endless war.

root for the mouse

“Dogs or cats” rages on with no sign of stopping.

My son has actually prayed for peace. He’s asked God to put an end to the endless war.  So apparently the debate is getting a little old.

Here’s the deal. All but three of the kids are willing to agree that dogs are better than cats.  In the entire fourth grade, there are only three kids that are still holding out for cats.

Of the three, only one of them is really passionate about cats. The other two are sticking with cats out of friendship and loyalty.  Since one of the three owns a pet dog, I suspect he could switch sides in a heartbeat.

After my son finished praying for peace, I gently reminded him

Son, you could put an end to the endless war any time you want to.  You have that power.

His eyes got huge. He looked at me with breathless anticipation and asked me how he could possibly end the endless war.

All you have to do is agree that dogs are better than cats.

He looked away. His little shoulders drooped. His head dropped and he let out a deep sigh.


Then he looked at me.

Mommy… I just can’t. That would be a lie.

In many ways, I’m glad my son is willing to stand up for what he believes in. I’m proud that he has the courage to stand by his convictions.

Even if he’s the only kid in the entire fourth grade that is still really passionate about cats.

(Mrs. Karen Bush, if you ever read this, leave me an “awk” in the comments… just for old times sake. You were awesome.  You probably still are, but it’s been so many years I don’t want to be presumptuous. I promise I really do know how to write long paragraphs and refrain from stream of consciousness styled interruptions.  I remember most of what you taught me in AP English all those years ago. Thanks… for everything. Do you still have those brown boots you used to wear with the long tweed skirt? I loved that outfit.)

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Love this entire post Susan! It made me think of my favorite English teacher of all-time, who I am actually now friends with on Facebook. The world is awesome! And I am cracking up at the description of the 4th grade war…it sounds like a total doozy!-Ashley
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  2. Wow! I had no idea kids argued about stuff like that.
    Patty recently posted..Ashley’s 2014 Planner Set-UpMy Profile

  3. I didn’t finish my comment. Anyway, it’s funny because my dad was a cat hater. He believed that because he didn’t like cats no one should. He was that way until the day he died.

    I got my kids a cat and he nearly flipped his lid. He ranted and raved and I finally said: “Dad, what do you care? It’s our cat, not yours. You don’t have to live with it, feed it or anything else.” Then I changed the subject. I guess people of all ages have strong emotions.
    Patty recently posted..Ashley’s 2014 Planner Set-UpMy Profile

  4. Only kids are funny and cute like that. They should never grow up. That’s the best memory of fights I have as a child. Anyways, cats or dogs? I’m in a pickle myself regarding that matter. Dogs are the type of best friend that listens and follows you through thick and thin while cats are always there to cheer you up and protects you from your enemies (I hate mice). I just can’t pick one favorite. I love them equally.

  5. As funny as that is to hear about the cat vs dog war, as a 29 yr old man I can kinda agree that you have to choose a side. I actually have owned plenty of dogs and one cat. I enjoyed the time with my cat but it became clear after a while I wasn’t a cat person. I just seemed to mesh better with dogs. So maybe those 4th graders know something we don’t. 🙂

  6. It is pretty funny at first, but what strikes me most was how your son was firm with his stand. That is a very admirable trait, and I am sure that that made you a proud Mommy.

  7. I personally don’t like dogs but I guess there is no pet which is better than the other. It really depends on the owners perspective, and I think when it comes to dogs and cats, when you compare them based on strength normally dogs win, but when it comes to agility and flexibility it’s the other way around. So, they both have advantages and disadvantages.

  8. This is too easy. Dogs protect your home, you can train dogs and finally – it’s more fun playing with dogs than cats.

    Get a dog!
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  9. I'm glad your son is sticking up for his cats. Eventually he'll realise that dogs rule and cats drool though. Here are my 10 reasons why

  10. Dogs are the ones who are more close to humans as compared to cats… i have a pet dog whose name is Hatchi… I love dogs… great post… keep sharing posts like this…!
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  11. I love this question but I never quite have the right answer for it. Personally I love dogs because they’re loyal and obedient, which is something that makes me feel better after a long day at work. I love cats as well but when I come home my cat is the one who decides if I’m worth checking out at that moment..

    Dogs have evolved by learning how to manipulate us, it’s weird that I know this and still assume my dog thinks I’m the best person in the world.

  12. I love Dogs. They are loyal and loving.
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  13. I love dogs more than cats, wanna offend no one.

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