Today I am chatting with Marla Press about her new book … I’m a Dog, You’re a Cat; Love Lessons From Our Furry Friends.
When I found out that Marla had written a book about dog/cat personality types I was instantly hooked. The simple classification makes it easier to understand interpersonal communication and personality types. For example, not only do I have an affinity for cats but I would be classified as a cat. Even that little bit of information explains some of my interactions with the “dogs” in my life.
As I read through the book I had many Ah Ha! moments. I’m a dog, You’re a cat is not only amusing and FUN but it actually helps … a LOT!
Melanie Rockett: Tell us a bit about your background. (where you live, what you do for work, your writing background, etc.).
Marla Press: I live in Houston, Texas and have been here for the past 18 years. My day job is representing money managers for a mutual fund company. While writing a book about dogs and cats seems worlds away from the financial world, it has actually helped me in a big way. Once I determine if someone I am calling on is a dog or a cat, I tailor my presentation accordingly. It’s kind of fun to do.
My writing background has always been limited to either pretty technical writing (work related) or client correspondence. Writing this book allowed me to tell other people’s stories.
Melanie Rockett: I’m a Dog, You’re a Cat; Love Lessons From Our Furry Friends, is your first book. How did you arrive at a decision to write the book?
Marla Press: I began dating a wonderful man about 7 years ago. He was 50 years old and had never been married. My very wonderful and caring friends told me to run for the hills! I really liked him but didn’t completely understand his “cat” ways.
I began corresponding with a very good friend of mine (who now is referred to in the book as my “cat coach”) and explained that I didn’t understand how I could really like this guy, I got good vibes, but he doesn’t call while I’m traveling for business. She said, “maybe he’s busy.”
If you like someone, you call them 50 times a day (at least at the beginning)! She suggested that Ken (the cat) was more like her, and her boyfriend (now husband) is more like me. “You mean that you and Ken are more like cats and Randy and I are more like dogs? Oh my gosh…I get it!”
The more I started talking to people, I realized that the best relationships were those of cats and dogs. I interviewed over 70 people and heard such great stories. “I’m a Dog You’re a Cat: Love Lessons From Our Furry Friends” is a compilation of those stories that I gathered.
There were so many and they were so wonderful!
Melanie Rockett: At its core, “I’m a Dog. You’re a Cat,“ is about personality types and communication styles. You belong to the “dog pack.” How do you determine whether you are a cat or a dog?
Marla Press: There are many personality tests that exist. Everything from a very scientific “Meyers/Briggs”, Kolby Connective Index and the like to “what tree am I” and “what color do I represent”. The truth is that most people are a combination of many things and change based on the situation in front of them. Dog/cat is a very simple, easy to understand way to determine how people normally act at their core. Most people have owned an animal sometime in their life. If not, they at least know someone who has. Observing how a cat acts (typically) versus how a dog acts (typically) is a very easy tool to help anyone determine their own action based on their known knowledge.
As an example, if I am having a meeting with someone and I can determine pretty quickly that they are a cat (do they greet me with tons of enthusiasm or are they a bit more reserved?) I make sure that my meeting is very concise, clear and focused.
I truly believe that by reading this book and seeing the examples of dog/cat behavior, people can really get a good handle on how to approach their own relationships just a little bit better.
Melanie Rockett: Can you give us an example of a cat/dog communication interaction?
Marla Press: One of my very favorite examples of dog/cat differences and how they look in people world is that of toys. Go to a pet store and look at the difference between dog toys versus cat toys. Dog toys are all about fun! Fuzzy, squeaky, aerial…dog toys are designed for joy and playfulness. Cat toys on the other hand; a bell in a ball! That is designed for torture. Puzzles, torture! I look at my friends who are cats as well as the boyfriend cat and he LOVES puzzles, brain teasers, cat toys. I on the other hand am all about fun. When you start paying attention to communication types based on dog or cat behaviors, you realize how much fun it can be and how true it really is.
Melanie Rockett: You have a fabulous website that goes along with your book. Are you planning more books along the same line? Different books or projects?
Marla Press: I have so many stories that I have collected over the years doing the original research, another book seems like a natural next step. However, I see dog/cat as so much bigger than a few books in a series. Dog/Cat is a communication tool. It’s huge! It’s the next best way for people to be able to relate better to one another. It starts with getting people to look at the website and the book. The next step comes from those that understand and love the tool of dog/cat and desire to utilize the process to improve communication in a variety of situations. Hold onto your Frisbees and your Catnip, exciting things are on the horizon for Dog/Cat!
Dog/Cat enthusiasts can keep in touch with Marla Press at her delightful website I’m a Dog You’re a Cat.
You’ll find a cute Dog/Cat personality quiz and a cool selection of dog/cat cartoon images and products.