Can I Own a Cat and Be Single and Not Be a Cat Lady?by Chiara Atik on January 24, 2012
If you’re single and female, nothing is more damning to your social life than admitting you have a cat. I know, because yesterday, during a lively work-discussion of how many single women in New York actually own cats, “and not even ironically,” I was forced to meekly admit that actually yes, I own a cat, and yes, I am single, but I swear, I swear, I swear, I’m not a “crazy cat lady.” In fact, I think cats (and their owners!) are unfairly branded in the world of dating, and it’s high time someone took up their defense.
1) Dude, dogs are a lot of work!
You know what? I’d like a dog. I really really would. But dogs require long walks, lots of companionship, and, according to Cesar Millan, a calm, assertive pack leader.
Some day, I hope to have the lifestyle that will let me have a dog, and a long-term boyfriend who will help shoulder the responsibility, but for now I have a tiny New York apartment, a busy social life, and absolutely no desire to wake up 45 minutes before I normally do in order to take my dog for a walk in the snow.
2) Yes, I really love my cat…because it’s my pet.
When I come home from work, I am excited to see my cat. I think she’s the best, most adorable thing in the world, and, when we’re alone together, yeah, I totally talk to her.
But don’t all pet owners do the exact same thing? I’ve never met a dog owner that doesn’t talk to their dog like its a slightly less astute human. Even people who have disgusting animals, like snakes or spiders, have been known to say “Hey, buddy!” while approaching the cage.
Also….dog owners sometimes make their dogs wear human clothing. I would never do that! And yet no one ever mentions “crazy dog ladies”…
It’s way easier to have an active dating life with a cat than with, say, a dog. If I decide not to come home one night, my cat really doesn’t care. She’s all for spontaneity. If I bring someone over, the cat knows how to make herself scarce.
4) I don’t love cats, I love my cat
I mean, cats are fine, as far as animals go. But it’s my particular cat that I’m crazy about, not the species in general. Which means that I don’t own cat calendars, cat mugs, or posters with cute cats on them. (Which is again sort of annoying because, if I were married, I could own all this stuff and still not be labeled “cat lady.)
I mean, I will sometimes, with my mom, or with other friends who own cats. The person I’ve been talking to about cats most recently is a male friend who is married and therefore free to upload cat videos with abandon.
I adopted my cat because I wanted a pet. And that’s what she is to me, a pet. Not a substitute boyfriend!
7) Really? Cats are the issue?
There are so many way weirder animals that a woman could own. A ferret, for instance. I think it would be weird if I were like, a single woman alone with a ferret.
I have heard many (cat loving/owning) women who claim they’d never be able to date a guy who owns a cat. That it’s “creepy”. Seriously, WHAT is the deal here? Since when are cats a weird pet to own? And what could owning a pet really signify about your dating life?
What do you guys think? Are all single women with cats automatically labeled “a little crazy,” or am I taking this way too personally? Let us know in the comments!