Mourinho on the Truth About Cats and Dogs

December 12, 2010 — by Suman

Mourinho y su perro

Among the football headlines in Spain this weekend: “Con perro cazas; con gato cazas, pero menos“–aphoristic words of wisdom gleaned from the Jose Mourinho’s press conference yesterday, which translates roughly to “You hunt with a dog; with a cat you hunt, but less so.”  Remarkably, this isn’t the first time the Special One has made the news for canine-related matters.

The comments about hunting with cats vs dogs had something to do with the injury to Higuain (el perro, we presume), which has left Benzema as el gato–Mourinho’s only option at striker.

Real Madrid mouthpiece Marca transcribed some Mourinho’s monologue, which gives the context:

Soy entrenador y entreno a los jugadores que tengo a mi disposición. El tema del fichaje es un tema de la gente de arriba. Yo ya dije que era difícil afrontar la temporada sólo con Benzema e Higuaín, ahora sólo con Benzema será aún más difícil. Si vas a cazar y sólo tienes un gato, tendrás que salir con el gato porque solo no puedes ir. Si vas con un buen perro, cazas más. Si vas con un gato, cazas menos pero cazas.

Watch and listen to some bits of the press conference:

Turns out that three years ago, while Mourinho was managing Chelsea, there was some controversy involving his terrier, which led to Mourinho’s arrest. From a May 2007 news article, headlined “Mourinho arrested after police try to take Gullit, his elusive dog“:

Mr Mourinho, 44, could face a criminal prosecution and a fine under Britain’s anti-rabies laws after being arrested when he allegedly stopped police officers seizing his pet dog. He was formally cautioned when he apparently resisted attempts by animal welfare officials to place his Yorkshire terrier in quarantine.

Acting on a tip-off from a vet, two police officers and an official from the Animal Health and Welfare Service visited the Chelsea manager’s Belgravia home on Tuesday night. Mr Mourinho, who was alerted to the visit after a telephone conversation with his wife, Tami, raced back from the Chelsea’s players’ player awards in Battersea.

He was told by the officers that they suspected he had brought the dog back from Portugual without it being properly vaccinated.

The Chelsea coach, who should be busy preparing his team for Saturday’s FA Cup final with Manchester United, at first refused to give up the pet, named Gullit after Ruud Gullit, Chelsea’s former player/manager.

During the two-hour stand-off Mr Mourinho said he had to take a phone call and went outside. When he returned, Gullit was gone. Mr Mourinho was then arrested for obstructing officers in the course of their duty and taken to a west London police station, where he was cautioned, fingerprinted and asked to provide a sample of DNA.

It apparently caused quite a stir in the English football world at the time–consider the banner Chelsea fans displayed at one of the subsequent matches above, or this columnist’s questions:

This afternoon, as the FA Cup Final kicks off, I shall be lighting a candle and saying a small private prayer for the safety of Jose Mourinho’s dog. These recent days have seen few stories as gripping, and few as mysterious. The more one examines the matter, the more closely the tale of Mr Mourinho’s disappearing Yorkshire terrier seems to, well, disappear. Facts fly away. It’s like trying to peer into a pile of confetti with a leafblower attached to your head. This is a dog that would defeat the locative capacities of Irwin Schrödinger.

The story was pretty murky to start with, but the rough line seems to be as follows. Some policemen or quarantine officers, estimations of their number varying between two and eight, turned up at Mr Mourinho’s Belgravia home. They had somehow conceived the idea that Mr Mourinho’s Yorkie, which may or not be called Leya, entered the country, or left it, without getting the right jabs, and therefore may or may not have rabies.

There was a disagreement, during the course of which, apparently, Mr Mourinho went outside, carrying the dog, “to make a phone call”. He then returned without the dog and told the officers that Leya had “run away”. At this, the officers grew suspicious. In the absence of the dog, they placed the football manager under arrest. Subsequently, “missing” posters appeared bearing a likeness of a dog.

Already, the questions proliferate. Can a Yorkshire terrier really outrun a football manager? When and how did the dog’s allegedly improper travel take place, and how was it subsequently discovered? How many expensively trained police officers does it take to arrest a Yorkshire terrier? And how expensive can their training be if a quarantine officer cannot tell the difference between a Yorkshire terrier and a mobile telephone?