Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's Wrong With Being a Cat Lady?

I don't understand the stigma against cat ownership for single women in this country. I just don't. This is coming from a person who, besides being single and owning a cat, is also a library clerk. I vaguely fit a number of stereotypes. I even wear glasses.

Stereotypes never encompass a whole person. That's why I'm glad the 'cat lady' stereotype is getting turned on its head by a number of single businesswomen. These women choose to be single and to own cats, because cats are independent animals. I've known this for years. That's why I have two of my own.

I like dogs. I think they're sweet and affectionate, and they're always at your side. Always. Which is why I own cats. Unlike dogs, who require a lot more attention and energy, cats often would be just fine without you. They don't need you as much (except at meal times) and don't hesitate to let you know it. They choose to be with you, and that's what makes a relationship with them so special.

Not all cats are the same, either. Just like with dogs, it depends on the breed and the personality. Cats have a name for being aloof, unloving, arrogant creatures, and women who own them have to be the same, right? After all, they don't need men. They don't own dogs. (I'm not going to compare the two. I'll let you make that leap yourself.)

It's a choice and its ours to make. So why does society (or men) have such a problem with it?

I have a theory. They're jealous. They feel unneeded. We no longer require their validation. We're beyond their reach and their influence because we've made the choice of an independent pet while we decide the route of our lives. (if you think that sounds ridiculous, we're on the same page) They suggest we're replacing men with pets to make us feel bad... as if there's something wrong with it.

Figaro guarding my purse
Since I've had my cats, and an on-again-off-again dating life, I've been so happy.

My cats never argue with me, never patronize me, never insult my appearance, never feel inferior because of my paycheck, never expect me to change. They only hurt me when their claws are out, and my oldest cat even withdraws his when they contact flesh. He literally pulls his punches. How many people do that in relationships?

So if society and men tease us because they're bitter and resentful, what can we do about it? Well, we can beat it. We can change it. We can rise above it. Let them stew in the juices of their sour hearts, because we're not giving them attention. And we'll continue not giving them attention until they treat us with respect again.

What would it prove if I got into a relationship I didn't want just to no longer be a single 'cat lady' library clerk? What would it benefit me or the poor guy I was leading on? Why do men need to see a woman with a man to prove she's worth something? I think that's the bigger question here. Not the type of pet a woman has.


  1. Bravo! This isn't snarky at all--it's wonderful. I'm not single, but I have three cats, and they're quite needy in their own way. Chloe needs tons of affection, Samba needs to be with me at all times, and Sophie needs me throw her toys so she can fetch them. I'm so tired of the stereotype that cats are aloof and unfriendly, and women are crazy for owning them. But I think women are just as much to blame for perpetuating this stereotype as men are.

  2. You're so right, Holli. Every cat is different. My little tabby is an affectionate lap-cat, and my big manx is independent and thinks of himself as king of the house. He's my 'protector'.

    I'm glad this stereotype is changing. Women do perpetuate them quite a bit themselves. A lot of the feeling in this post was inspired by a personal experience.


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