Friday, March 9, 2012

How to of the Day (Alternatively Titled: Why I am NOT a Crazy Cat Lady)

My friend Luisa and I discovered a little gem back when I worked at Belmont.  After spending probably an entire morning designing our iGoogle home pages, we both fell in love with the "How to of the Day."  Seriously, they post of the most useless "How To-s" ever.  When we find them especially funny, we share them with one another even though we don't share an office anymore.

This morning, Luisa shared this extra special gem with me.

Why is it wrong that she happens to have glasses and is reading a book?  Because she has a cat in her lap.  Oh good.
Now, I am aware that I am writing this post from a blag that literally mentions my cats in the URL.  But still.  I am not a crazy cat lady and I have a few "issues" with this how to and with teh stereotype itself.  Namely that they portray cat ladies in a completely wrong light.  Allow me to enlighten you. 

1. Understand what it takes to avoid having the term “cat lady” applied to you.

According to their description in this section, I am not a cat lady (don't worry, they'll prove this wrong soon enough).  I do not own enough cats to be considered an animal hoarder, nor do I want to.  I am also not middle-aged thankyouverymuch.

In addition, I take (tongue and cheek) offense to their statement about lack of boundaries.  Yes, I refer to my cats as my children and make decisions about my life based on how it will impact them.  
  • First of all, while I did not give birth to them, they are certainly a part of my family.  In fact, my cats cause way less problems for the rest of the world than your children (if you have them of course).  My cats would never throw food in a restaurant, scream in the grocery store, or stare awkwardly at anyone in public.  (1 point for cats over babies)
  • As for making decisions about them, if I just decided to up and move and leave them, it would be considered animal cruelty.  Damn right I make decisions based on how it would effect them!  I don't decide what I'm going to do on a Friday night based on how they'll feel and they don't dictate my travel schedule (1 point for have cats instead of dogs!) but when it comes to long-term, life-changing decisions you better believe they are taken into account.
2.  Examine your own behavior and the signals you're giving out

Let's look at this point by point.
  • Do you talk excessively about your cats and refer to them as your babies?  I mean, I don't think it's excessive.  I can go hours without talking about them.  But yes, they are my babies.  See numero uno above for how my babies are less annoying then your human babies.
  • Do you bring up the most tedious details about your cats when socializing or at work? Only when we my other cat loving friends.
  • Do you avoid social situations such as dating or having an evening with friends to be at home with the cats, fearing they'll be lonely or sad without you? NO!  They are however a good barometer for when I need some downtime and have been working (and playing) too hard.  And I can be gone for literally days at a time and my cats are fine while your dog can't go 6 hours without having to pee.  (Point 2 for cats over dogs!)
  • Do you keep numerous photos of your cats on your desk at work, perhaps even a huge wall collage of them?  Heck yes, I do.  I have to see your ugly chubby babies all the time.  Why can't I look at my cute fluff balls at work?  (No points for either cats or babies.  I'm sure you think they're cute.)
According to the article, am already a crazy cat lady.  Oh good.  And we're only on number 2. 

3. Remember that your cat is an animal while your friends are fellow human beings

I am well aware of this.  But that being said, I do think animals have feelings.  Hell, I talk to my plants.  Also, the graphics from this one are too awesome not to share.

 4.  Reduce the number of framed photos of your cat around your home or on your desk.

Must I go back to the mentions of children above?  Pictures of your baby crying, spitting up, or sleeping are acceptable but a couple pictures of cuddling cats are not.  Bite me.

5.  Choose to be social over staying home with the kitty

Lately it would be much better advice for me to stay home over being so damn social.  Being social is exhausting, expensive, and bad for my liver.  Just saying.

6. Avoid talking about your cat when on a date or with friends

My biggest issue with this step is that sometimes, especially when hanging out with my other animal loving friends, it's perfect acceptable to tell stories about my cats.  Or to stay up late texting friends about how their cats are cool.  (Seriously, my friend Sara and I have the best money-making plan ever.  The Paper Bag Wonder Tunnel.)
We're putting together DIY kits so you can make these at home!  And add-ons.  Stay tuned for the newest millionaires, my friends.
Scofield tested and approved.
The second issue I have is with the "...for example, if a friend is telling a story about what her baby did the other day, don’t butt in with a story about your cat" part.  I don't want to sound like I hate babies because I don't.  In fact, I find my best friend's children just about the cutest thing ever.  But I do not understand why people feel the need to share every single poop their baby has taken.  Tell me cute sorties about your children and I'll reciprocate.  But some stories don't need to shared and too often, those are the stories I get to hear.  Shoot me, please.  (Minus 1 point for baby poop / breast feeding / birthing stories)
7.  Stop at two cats.

Done.  Also a word of advice for my friends.  I was much more of a crazy cat lady with just one cat than with two because you feel so guilty when you come home and they're obviously lonely.  I never feel bad leaving them home when there are two of them!

8. Never dress your cats in clothing or costumes

I have never bought my cats any clothing other than bandanas, and those don't count.  Plus, if they're wearing bandanas to support their favorite football team, that doesn't make me a cat lady, it makes me cool.

9.  Spay or neuter your cats. 

No arguing with this one.

10.  Embrace the term. 

This is really the one I have the biggest issue with.  I shouldn't have to embrace any freaking term.  If I were an animal hoarder, sure, fine, that's wrong.  But part of the reason that animal hoarder seem to all be cats is that dogs are outside - the neighbors notice if you're hoarding dogs.  Old ladies get away with hoarding cats and that's not my problem because THAT'S NOT ME.

If I were an almost-27-year-old single girl with two dogs, I would be awesome.  But dogs are more expensive, they need way more time and attention than I am able to give, and they don't come potty trained. Same goes for babies.  Cats need food, water, and flea treatment, with the occasional vaccinations.  They take as much attention as you are willing to give but don't mind being alone for days on end.  They come litter box trained (for the most part) and I don't need to worry about how often they need to go out or being home on time to change a diaper.

Rant Over 

Please note.  I wrote an entire post about cats and didn't post a single picture of my cats.  This just proves my "I am not a crazy cat lady" point.

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