View Full Version : Cats and Dogs

19th March 2012, 02:56 PM
I had a question about cats & dogs in a spiritual sense. Why is it that horror films often portray cats more spiritually than dogs? seeing how dogs always get slaughtered or end up constantly barking at some open space in horror films, while cats end up either being part of the horror or just a spectator of the entire event.

19th March 2012, 03:11 PM
Cats were associated with Egyptian deities in ancient times, and later on were a favorite of Mohammed, who is said to have had many. So of course they were thus demonized in the Middle Ages (Please let's not 'go there' in a religious kind of way). So because they were associated with a different religion, they became associated with witches and paganism in general.
So it follows, since they were associated with witches and paganism, they became associated with anything 'psychically oriented'. However, I don't see where they become more associated with spirituality per se; in horror films they are usually witches' familiars or so.
If you have pets, though, you can see that they are all equally aware of energy, and possibly spirits. Some more than others, like people, I guess. But more. IMO. :-)

20th March 2012, 06:57 PM
A very good answer, CFT! It would seem that these stereotypes are carried into films, literature, etc. Even these days, some children's books still have "witches" with broomsticks and cats.

In reality, of course, animals are all "spiritual". Cats and dogs, being the most common types of pet and therefore closely associated with humans for many centuries (even millennia), have developed more telepathic closeness with humans. Yet all animals have spiritual awareness and no creature is "superior", just different.

6th April 2012, 06:42 AM
My cat gives me a bunch of positive energy. Just when I walk in the door and she is sitting there waiting for me it always puts a smile on my face. Two dogs upstairs too in the other apartment I get to see. I really just love animals in general. :D Maybe it's because you know they will never betray you and always love you for what you are.

6th April 2012, 09:49 AM
Maybe it's because you know they will never betray you and always love you for what you are.
How right you are!

6th April 2012, 07:32 PM
Hello, SleepyHead.

Dogs bark at open spaces in films because we perceive them as guardians. They spot danger and warn us of it since about 100,000 years back in our common evolution.

Killing dogs in movies is part of the horror movie makers' nasty "tricks." Humans are emotionally very close to dogs, we are conditioned to especially respond to their yelps of pain like no other creature. Not only we shaped the wolf, but in turn the dog shaped us. Horror movie makers play on that bond when they do cruelty to dogs because we respond so strongly to it, emotionally.

You can compare this with the movie "Equilibrium" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/). Humans take drugs to no longer feel emotions. There's a scene where the thought police kill a group of dogs that were illegally kept as pets. You only hear the yelps.The intention of the movie maker was to elicit a strong emotional response. I frankly couldn't watch after seeing this scene. Same with the first "The Butterfly Effect".

Try to name the Hollywood movie productions where you actually see violence being done to a dog. Contrast this with the intended audience, the mass appeal of a movie. You would see some interesting correlations. Blockbusters almost never seem to directly portray violence to dogs. Contrast for example "Alien" with "Alien III". John Hurt had his chestburster moment in plain view. The alien in "Alien III" comes from a dog, and the camera pans away before the moment. I find the latter one much more depressing, now that I think back to it...

Contrast this with one of the key scenes of "Independence Day". When the aliens blast up L.A. Emmerich makes a point of not only saving Will Smith's movie family but also their dog (in one dramatic leap). This elicits a positive response in turn.

As for the cats - everything that CF said. They just have a reputation of being mysterious, maybe also psychic, and also the witch archetype is still strong in modern storytelling. One of the commonly used pictures is to pair up a mysterious woman and a cat - the archetype in action.