We have but to glance analytically at the two animals to see the points pile up in favor of the cat. Beauty, which is probably the only thing of any basic significance in all the cosmos, ought to be our chief criterion; and here the cat excels so brilliantly that all comparisons collapse. Some dogs, it is true, have beauty in a very ample degree; but even the highest level of canine beauty falls far below the feline average. The cat is classic whilst the dog is Gothic -- nowhere in the animal world can we discover such really Hellenic perfection of form, with anatomy adapted to function, as in the felidae. Puss is a Doric temple -- an Ionic colonnade -- in the utter classicism of its structural and decorative harmonies. And this is just as true kinetically as statically, for art has no parallel for the bewitching grace of the cat's slightest motion. The sheer, perfect aestheticism of kitty's lazy stretchings, industrious face-washings, playful rollings, and little involuntary shiftings in sleep is something as keen and vital as the best pastoral poetry or genre painting; whilst the unerring accuracy of his leaping and springing, running and hunting, has an art-value just as high in a more spirited way but it is his capacity for leisure and repose which makes the cat preeminent. Mr. Carl Van Vechten, in "Peter Whiffle," holds up the timeless restfulness of the cat as a model for life's philosophy, and Prof. William Lyon Phelps has very effectively captured the secret of felinity when he says that the cat does not merely lie down, but "pours his body out on the floor like a glass of water". What other creature has thus merged the aestheticism of mechanics and hydraulics? Contrast this with the inept panting, wheezing, fumbling, drooling, scratching, and general clumsiness of the average dog with his false and wasted motions. And in the details of neatness the fastidious cat is of course immeasurably ahead. We always love to touch a cat, but only the insensitive can uniformly welcome the frantic and humid nuzzlings and pawings of a dusty and perhaps not inodorous canine which leaps and fusses and writhes about in awkward feverishness for no particular reason save that blind nerve-centers have been spurred by certain meaningless stimuli. There is a wearying excess of bad manners in all this doggish fury -- well-bred people don't paw and maul one, and surely enough we invariably find the cat gentle and reserved in his advances, and delicate even when he glides gracefully into your lap with cultivated purrs, or leaps whimsical on the table where you are writing to play with your pen in modulated, seriocomic pats. I do not wonder that Mahomet, that sheik of perfect manners, loved cats for their urbanity and disliked dogs for their boorishness; or that cats are the favorites in the polite Latin countries whilst dogs take the lead in heavy, practical, and beer-drinking Central Europe. Watch a cat eat, and then watch a dog. The one is held in check by an inherent and inescapable daintiness, and lends a kind of grace to one of the most ungraceful of all processes. The dog, on the other hand, is wholly repulsive in his bestial and insatiate greediness; living up to his forest kinship of "wolfing" most openly and unashamedly. Returning to beauty of line -- is it not significant that while many normal breeds of dogs are conspicuously and admittedly ugly, no healthy and well-developed feline of any species whatsoever is other than beautiful? There are, of course, many ugly cats; but these are always individual cases of mongrelism, malnutrition, deformity, or injury. No breed of cats in its proper condition can by any stretch of the imagination be thought of as even slightly ungraceful -- a record against which must be pitted the depressing spectacle of impossibly flattened bulldogs, grotesquely elongated dachshunds, hideously shapeless and shaggy Airedales, and' the like. Of course, it may be said that no aesthetic standard is other than relative -- but we always work with such standards as we empirically have, and in comparing cats and dogs under the Western European aesthetic we cannot be unfair to either. If any undiscovered tribe in Tibet finds Airedales beautiful and Persian cats ugly, we will not dispute them on their own territory -- but just now we are dealing with ourselves and our territory, and here the verdict would not admit of much doubt even from the most ardent kynophile. Such an one usually passes the problem off in an epigrammatic paradox, and says that "Snookums is so homely, he's pretty!" This is the childish penchant for the grotesque and tawdrily "cute" which we see likewise embodied in popular cartoons, freak dolls, and all the malformed decorative trumpery of the "Billikin" or "Krazy Kat" order found in the "dens" and "cosy corners" of the would-be-sophisticated yokelry.