In the generalized conversational sense, dyed-in-the-wool "animal-lovers" almost invariably manage to excerpt from their tableau of affection at least one species. And you can sort of see why. Human beings, which are animals as well, can really be a pain in the patoot.
On meeting a dog or cat or falcon or elephant, there is a sense of relief: None of these is likely to lay out the scritchy-scratchy nuances of relationship or thought that human beings can. There is a bottom-line fuck-you to animals. They are what they are and they don't pretend to be anything else. You know where you stand. You may not like it, but there is a relief involved: The wiles of the Medicis are not a factor, however sneaky a Manx cat may be.
The entirely facile generalization above warrants a critique that any animal-lover may have close at hand, but which of us has not met the ass-over-appetite lover of cats who would clearly rather consort with felines than with a boyfriend or girlfriend? Intimacy is messy. 'Animals' are neat as a pin. They receive all attributions with a kind of blase certainty: Love 'em, hate 'em, extol or denigrate 'em and still they go about their business which, on occasion, rubs up against human perceptions.
On the one hand, wouldn't it be nice if human beings were as straightforward?
On the other hand, the human self-aggrandizement of animal-loving can get a bit cloying.
Not to the animals, of course.
Their hash is settled.
Fuck you ... in the sweetest tone of voice, of course.