This week Colin got stuck under our house. During the half hour we spent trying to talk him out, I came to the realisation dogs don't speak English.

Colin is a jack russell miniature schnauzer cross and one of the best dudes you'll ever meet. He's cat-sized but much cooler than any cat. Dogs in general are better people than cats.

No matter how much you love your feline, deep down you know he or she is a bit of an ass. Loveable ass, sure, but still an ass. Maybe that's why you love them. The arrogant disdain a domestic cat shows for its owner is kind of cool.

But ultimately cats are the Donald Trump of the animal kingdom. Furry, smug, self-serving and dishonest.


I've had several cats in my time. Peterkin, Pippin, Mr China and The Punisher. I loved them all but did they ever really love me? I don't think so.

I caught two of my cats cheating. Getting fed at neighbours' houses. Operating with more than one name. Not to mention the torture and murder of native birds. Asses.

Dogs on the other hand are great people. Colin is cute, friendly and happy. Admittedly, he's also dumb, lazy and cowardly. Sometimes he wees inside if it's too cold to go out. He keeps me awake at night with his scratching and he munched my Barack and Michelle bobbleheads. Still, whatever happens, through thick and thin, I know Colin loves me. He's a truly great person.

Cats and dogs may be at opposite ends of the good/evil spectrum but they do share one thing in common. Their inability to understand English or any other human language.

People have long wished their pets could speak. From the ancient gods to puppets and animations, we love anthropomorphising animals. In 2016 alone we've had dozens of talking beast movies ... Zootopia, Finding Nemo, Angry Birds, Secret Life of Pets, Kung Fu Panda 3, Ice Age Collision Course, Bad Car, Quackerz, The Nut Job 2 ...

Sadly anything more than "sit, walk and come" is too much for the real animals. When it comes to basic human communication they're idiots.

He didn't understand any of these commands. Just sat there, wedged and humiliated, half out of the basement, half in, an increasingly sad look creeping over his face.


This became shockingly clear when our bunnies Harry and Hunga escaped their cage. All was going well, Colin's herding instincts kicked in. He was rounding them up. We nearly had them back inside when an evil ginger neighbouring cat, Taniwha, chased the bunnies under the house.

Colin took charge and raced full tilt after the naughty mammals. Seconds later the two bunnies popped out a drain hole in front of the house, like toast out of a toaster. This allowed for an easy catch and incarceration.

Unfortunately, Colin hit the same hole at pace, but being slightly bigger completely wedged himself in.

For a full half-hour my partner and I tried to talk Colin back into the basement. "Back up boy", "Push with your paws", "wriggle Colin, wriggle", "shimmy your way back under".

He didn't understand any of these commands. Just sat there, wedged and humiliated, half out of the basement, half in, an increasingly sad look creeping over his face.

Eventually I had to go under the house, wriggle 70 odd metres and yank him out backwards by his trembling paws. Colin was so happy and grateful. He jumped up and down and ran around and around.

Sadly, our celebrations were short-lived. Taniwha, who had stayed under the house, stuck his smug head round the corner. Colin knew exactly what to do. Race full tilt under the house after the cat. Whack, he got stuck again. Same cat, some hole, same punishing drag-through-the-mud rescue mission. Moron of a dog.

Animals don't speak human. A dog doesn't know what "be nice" means. If a dog isn't eating its food, telling him "it's good for you" does nothing. If a dog urinates on the couch, saying "I am very disappointed" imparts no information to the beast. As much as we would love them to, cats and dogs understand very little of what we say. The difference is cats are a bunch of arrogant, full-of-themselves, blow hard asses who wouldn't listen even if they could. Donald Trumps of the animal kingdom.