Today's Bizarro is brought to you by a grant from the Jimmy B. Whatagain foundation. "Your name is what again?" "Yes!"
I'm a fan of animals of all sorts (with the possible exception of humans) and I enjoy exploring in cartoons the differences between cats and dogs. I used to consider myself a "dog person," but now, after living with cats for a number of years (a much easier pet in NYC because you don't have to "walk" them) I like them both equally. They are very different, however, sort of like comparing drama with comedy. Not "apples and oranges" different, more like Shindler's List and Meatballs different.
We have two cats who list this address as their own, but still regularly foster dogs. So we get both experiences, without committing to 15 non-stop years of walking a dog three times a day. Plus, we travel a lot and dogs shouldn't be left without their family too often or for too long. The cats, on the other hand, can't wait for us to leave and sometimes even change the locks.
There is a movement among animal rights folks to expunge the word "pet" from our vocabulary in favor of "companion animal." The feeling is that "pet" is a derogatory term. It is also suggested that we replace "owner" with "guardian." I personally find PC language to be suspect because most attempts are erroneous. In the case of race language (i.e. Oriental/Asian, black/African American, etc.) the term to be replaced only seems derogatory when racists utter it with disdain. "Oriental" is not an innately derogatory term – it means Eastern. Why is "Asian" better? Making a racist switch words, won't change their bigotry. I am, of course, not talking about obvious racial slurs or slang.
Regarding the "pet" and "guardian" issue, I agree with one but not the other. I don't find pet to be a derogatory word, in fact, quite the opposite. "Pet" denotes "favorite."
"Owner," on the other hand, I have given up. I don't think one should "own" a sentient being, so I say "guardian." As anyone with pets knows, they own you more than you own them.