I am mother to two domestic house cats. I don’t call myself a cat owner because, let’s be honest, if you have cats, you know they own you. Cats, unlike dogs, are very independent, and like very few people, don’t need constant praise to be happy. I have to admire that in cats. They know who they are. My cats give me a lot of love, a lot of laughs and occasional agita when I have to scoop the poop out of the litter box, or worse, scoop the poop elsewhere.
That said, I don’t understand why single women with cats are so maligned. Women traditionally have been maligned for not being married over the years in many ways, so I shouldn’t be that surprised that society demonizes the typical spinster with two or more cats as a “Crazy cat lady”. Women didn’t always have the luxury of finding the right guy, and many chose to be alone. Some had no choice. Some are widowed young. Others are divorced and replaced by a younger model. Men ruled the world and dating until recently, and women had to find a suitable companion. No one calls a woman with too many dogs a crazy dog lady. So what is it about cats except that a disproportionate percentage of single women have one or more?
Now I agree there are cases of women with too many cats, and they are not running a rescue. In fact, those types of women may be in need of a little rescue. But in general, I find the epithet of “crazy cat lady” to anyone who has a cat demeaning to both women and cats.
So I am taking back the cat lady power by saying, I, Mama Mafiosa, am a cat lady, and there is nothing crazy about me! It is true that I often like my cats more than most people, and I generally like people. But, to be fair, a lot of people really aren’t worth liking as much at cats. There are a lot of stronzi out there, and therefore to say I like cats more than those people doesn’t make me crazy at all. In fact, it just makes me smart.
There are many benefits to having cats. They are great company. They lie next me to while I read or watch television. They are, in fact, sleeping in their tree next to my desk as I work on this post. They churl and meow, which is how they talk to me. And yes, I know what it means like a mama knows her babies’ cry. They amuse me with their play antics. One of mine chases ice cubes from my ice dispenser. Both of them adore the laser pointer. They know when I am sad or sick, and stay with me like the best of loyal companions. And when I want to be alone, they leave me alone. Cats know about “me time” better than any domesticated animal. Humans rarely understand it as well as cats. And, lastly, I can sleep in the same bed with my cats, and there are no bizarre, awkward strings attached. (Please keep your minds out of the gutter!) Besides, it is a scientific fact that single older people who have animals live longer, healthier, happier lives. I can see why many women find cats better companions than an marrying or dating a man for all the wrong reasons.
I applaud the independence of these women. We certainly don’t need a man to make our lives complete. Although finding the right one can be very rewarding. Finding the wrong one can be very depressing. No one makes fun of single men with dogs, and there are a disproportionate amount of single men who prefer dogs to a wife. Why doesn’t society demonize them? Why are dogs somehow cooler? Or it is that men can be single without a stigma?
So let’s stop demeaning women with cats, and demeaning women and cats. It’s just a preference. Some people like dogs, some like cats, some like both, some like prefer a furry companion to a human one. There is nothing wrong with that. Let’s reserve the “crazy” word for people who truly are crazy, like serial killers and people with severe anger management issues.
And if any of you call me a “crazy cat lady”, beware of the tiger inside me. You might find yourself ripped to shreds on my next post!