A groomer’s business is animals. She has to understand the temperaments of  different species, breeds and the individual personality of the client on her table right now. The groomer has to apply all that knowledge with the spot sensitivity to her client’s moods because, like a vet, she is poking around in some very personal space.

So, here’s an introduction to the groomer’s world.

First off, let’s take one small step towards ending the polarization of how we humans view the animal world. It’s time, friends, to end the division of this world into dog people or cat people. Let’s not fight about it anymore.

If you love dogs and think cats stink, that’s great.

My current kitty is semi-feral barn cat and decidedly on the aloof side. She delights in making everything that belongs to the man in my life smell ever after of cat pee. So, yes, cats stink.

If you love cats and think dogs are smelly, stupid and full of drool, I can live with that too.

My current puppy is a yorkie who fits into every stereotype about small dogs, with the exception of being a fashion accessory (he won’t sit still long enough to cram into a purse—not that I’ve tried).  The sound of the doorbell launches him off the couch, yapping and dancing around the room. I spent years patiently, quietly and unsuccessfully trying to train the yap out of him. Now I think of him as the doorbell and let it go at that. It’s easier to adapt my thinking to his behavior.

There are reasons why both the cat and the dog do what they do. Despite what my husband says about the cat, her incontinence isn't personal.

. Mr. Fergus is only doing what terriers were bred to do: i.e. bark at everything. Bark at finding a rat, bark at finding a tunnel to a rat’s nest and, most importantly, bark to alert fellow pack mates that there’s fun to be had over here. Fun that involves killing  mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits or anything else that squeaks.

It’s hardwired into that space between the ears. Take it from me.

Realistically, we’re the ones that can understand and adapt to them better than they can to us. We’ve evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to be adaptable to the world around us. Our animals have been selectively bred over a relatively short time to fit our needs.

In other words that chihuahua peeking out of a Gucci purse is there because somebody thought it would be a good idea.

Why? Well, that’s a whole other question.

So, for the next few posts, I thought we could learn a bit about our pets and why they look the way they do, why they act the way they do. Why cats scratch the furniture and why they hate dogs.

Or do they...