Do pets make you perform better?

I was looking at Instagram recently and came across a picture of John John Florence (current World Surf Champion) meeting the famous cats, Didga ‘The Most Talented Cat in the World’ and her brother, Boomer. They are famous for having incredible abilities, and have been trained by their owner, Robert Dollwet, who is a professional animaltrainer.

The fabulous furry siblings do things like ride skateboards, balance on skim boards, and also SWIM. In the SEA.

They also ride on the backs of their sibling dogs whilst they swim, and Stand Up Paddling is no problemo for these magnificent, bodacious felines.

That made me think about people who achieve great things, and wondering if having a furry companion encourages people to attain greater heights of achievement.

Kelly Slater has his cutiepie dog called Action The Dog. Seeing as Kelly has won the World Surfing Title eleven times, this makes me think that perhaps Action The Dog has enhanced Kelly’s surfing abilities purely by being near his side.

Mick Fanning, three time World Champ, has his furry companion as well. And as we all know, Mick is an outrageously talented, truly phenomenal surfer.

Lisa Andersen, four time world surfing champ, has a furkid that’s so cute it looks like a toy.

Isabella Nicholls, the body-double surfer in the movie The Shallows, has a number of hairy hounds.

Ok, there is no doubt in my mind that animal companions enhance the abilities of their owners. (or their staff, if the human lives with a cat.)

But the big question is: which animals are doing a better job?? Is it cats or dogs?

We need to delve deeper into this issue…and not only look at surf legends.

Stephen King, for example, one of the most prolific and scary horror writers, has included both cats and dogs in a number of his stories. Cujo, the story about the dog that traps a family in their car in the middle of nowhere springs to mind. And Pet Semetary featured a cat that came back from the dead. King is the owner of both cats and dogs.

Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner and author of novels such as The Old Man and The Sea, had as many as twenty three cats at any one time.

A quote by Hemingway:

‘A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.’
He referred to his cats as “purr factories” and “love sponges”.

Charles Bukowski, another prolific writer, was quoted as saying: “The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll live ten times longer than if you have ten. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever.
It’s truly ridiculous.”

Pablo Picasso, the Spanish artist, had a beloved Dachshund named Lump. He also had a boxer dog and a goat called Esmeralda. But Lump was the favourite and ruled Picasso’s house. Lump ate at the dinner table, slept in Picasso’s bed, and relieved himself against one of Picasso’s tall sculptures, treating is as his own latrine. Picasso drew inspiration from Lump
and included him in a number of his paintings and sketches.

Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, owned a pet Hawk, a pet Deer, and two Xoloitzcuintli dogs.

Hemingway, in addition to his 23 cats, had nine dogs, a cow and an owl.

So perhaps that says it all.

Kurt Cobain was a cat lover. Just saying.


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