I read this article on XOJane the other day: “Cats Are Evil and I Hate Them.” It’s obviously meant to draw in all the people watching LOLCatz all day and drive traffic… but it’s still annoying. And I find it even more annoying because it was written by someone from The Good Men Project (which I’m starting to find is a really misleading name). The best men I’ve known in my life have loved cats — and animals in general.
It is completely deranged to me that any person would say, “I hate [insert type of animal]” and still be considered a good person. I don’t really like rats but I don’t go around declaring my hatred of them. They serve a purpose just like every other living thing on the planet. Hell, I even named the toad that lives in my basement. (His name is Badger, in case you were wondering.) And if someone were to declare how much he hates dogs we’d write him off as some sort of uni-bomber weirdo/possible serial killer. So why is it OK to go around declaring how much you hate cats?
The author of the cat-hating article seems to be basing his entire thesis on the fact that his girlfriend’s cat is a pain in the arse… as if there aren’t a million dogs across the country who make their owners’ lives a constant struggle. (Honestly, hasn’t this guy seen The Dog Whisperer… or It’s Me or the Dog… or Dogs in the City?) Frankly, if your cat is pooping outside of its litterbox and keeping you up all night, it’s probably your fault. Keep the litterbox clean and play with the cat more… don’t write the furry little guy off as an awful animal.
At this very minute, I live with two felines and a canine. I have lived with a cat almost every day of my life. Most of the pictures of me as a newborn on my first day home from the hospital have a Siamese cat named Solomon in them. Even before I was born, Solomon would sit on my mother’s gigantic belly. After Solomon died there was Ishtar, another Siamese, who was the coolest cat in history. These days I have Ruby and Jerry, a couple of strays who both ended up with me and have been living the good life for the past eight years. They are nothing alike, nor are they anything like the cats I’ve had in the past.
Ruby is exactly what I think a cat should be. She’s curious, and adventurous, and standoffish with strangers, and a complete love-bug with me. I’ve seen her beat up strange dogs that dared to venture into our yard. Just the other day when my friend came over with his dog and Ruby ended up getting barrel-rolled by Maybelle in the excitement, she jumped up, stood her ground and swatted at the intruder, and then bounced off the wall and leaped into the back room, away from all the excitement. In her younger days, she’d climb trees (and screened-in-porches) and come back down again with ease. The other day I was Facetiming with my cousin, and the cat jumped onto my desk and proceeded to walk back in forth in front of my iPad, sticking her butt directly in the camera’s view. And she seems to contain her killing to moles and rodents, which is nice for the birds.
Jerry is like the dumb Lab of the cat world. He greets everyone (except dogs) with purrs and love. He lays around the yard soaking up the sun or hiding in the shade. He doesn’t jump over things or climb on them. He just lays there waiting for someone to love him. And sometimes, if you pet him for too long and he gets excited, he’ll hump things. It’s weird, and I try to prevent him from getting that excited. He’s the kind of cat that dog-people love.
Cats are badass, hilarious, and generally do a lot more to earn their keep than the average dog. And anyone who doesn’t like my cats is going to find themselves SOL in my house. They live here. You don’t. Get used to it.
But I still wouldn’t call myself a “cat person.” Which is why I also have a dog… a dog who isn’t terribly fond of my cats. Don’t get me wrong, she won’t hurt them, but she does like to tell them what to do and if one gets a little too close for comfort, Maybelle will nip at them and basically say, “Get outta my face, feline!” I wanted a dog for a lot of reasons. I wanted to get out of the house during the day, and walking a dog is a good way to do that. I wanted a hiking partner so even when my friends were otherwise occupied, I had a trail buddy. I also find dog-training fascinating. Which brings me to another point…
Let’s start with a comment on the XOJane article:
exactly! I get a pet because I want to give love to an animal and have it give love back to me, not skulk away and make me feel bad for intruding when I try to feed/potty/cuddle it. Cats just make you feel bad about yourself for no reason whereas dogs are just like HEY GUYS I LOVE YOU ALL
If all “dog people” were as insecure as this comment makes them seem, I think the roles would be reversed and the “crazy old dog ladies” would get the bad rap. Also, it’s just dumb to think all dogs love all people indiscriminately. All you have to do is meet a German Shepherd to know that isn’t true. Those guys love their owners, and don’t give a crap about anyone else — and sometimes actively dislike everyone else, and that’s what I love about them. Dogs are awesome, but they aren’t your personal therapist.
What really annoys me though, is what this kind of attitude leads to. When someone like this gets a dog and takes it home only to find out the thing isn’t a constant ray of sunshine, and needs to go outside to poo at 6 a.m. in the rain, and to be walked twice a day or it will eat your house the dog ends up being ignored/neglected/dumped.
Yes a pet can be a great companion and help lift your spirits/lower your blood pressure/whatever, but they aren’t a fluffy cure for your insecurity. Maybe what these people really need is a cat to teach them to be more zen and not give a shit what anyone else thinks.
And now…more adorable pictures of my pets