Domesticated Libertarians

I think it is appropriate to anthropomorphize fully domesticated animals because they are, by definition, not feral. To the extent that they are integrated with the owner’s social group, they are no longer subject to their “natural” influences, and most of their behaviors are reactions to human influences. Of course, if they are mistreated, they will revert to dissociative, pathological (normal instinctual) behavior.

Thus, we can propose “personality types” that will adequately explain domesticated animal behavior within a human social context. While granting that each animal is neurologically an individual, they do seem to generally follow type. If nothing else, these types often determine human choices of which animals to associate with.

It has already been noted that dogs are instinctually “pack” animals and cats are not. Both learn from humans, however, how to determine who to trust, so their patterns of affection and viciousness tend to reflect that conditioning.

The properly socialized dog is obedient, loyal, and affectionate toward its pack members. The properly socialized cat is respectful and affectionate toward individuals it trusts, without granting any obedience, and has a limited sense of loyalty conditional on its personal comfort.

Politically, the dog is a tribal socialist and the cat is a libertarian. The question is, which do you need to learn from, in the traditional Chinese sense?

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