Standing up for the “crazy cat lady” in this age of progression
The cat lady: lonely, mid-thirties, has two or more cats, at least one cat-themed item of clothing, and spends a lot of time reading about cats’ behavioral patterns. Did you know if a cat’s tail is shaped like a question mark they want to play with you? Fascinating! Cats are mysterious beings. I love them. I also love dogs and most other animals, except sloths because they look like if Helena Bonham Carter gave birth to a cat.
I’m currently cohabiting with three cats (long story) and I don’t identify at all with being a “crazy cat lady.” The only legitimate crazy thing about living with three cats is the amount of hairballs and puke I have to clean up. I could build a village from the insane amount of hairballs I’ve disposed of (for the record I Googled hairball village, because cat fandom has no limits, and fortunately there are none… yet).
Look, I’ve been late to things because I wanted to finishing watching a video of a cat ride a Roomba, but my cats aren’t the center of my life. And if they were, who cares? What’s so bad about a lady loving cats? We don’t call men who own 3 dogs “crazy dog men,” we call them “future sensitive husbands.” Even men who own multiple cats don’t get the same negative wrap as women cat owners. It obviously stems from the spinster stereotype, but unless I wind up on an episode of Animal Hoarders, I can’t help but feel a little offended at this sexist generalization.
Cats are some of the oldest animals mentioned in history. They were worshiped in ancient Egypt as part of the cult of the goddess Bastet. They were depicted as a fierce lioness or as a woman with the head of a cat—so badass! Cats boarded ships from Europe to America with Christopher Columbus, and they were official employees of the USPS in the 19th century because they cleaned up the mice. Wait a minute, does that mean my cat should be getting an unemployment check? That selfish monster could’ve been paying rent this whole time (looking into this, I’ll get back to you).
Dogs are great, but they like EVERYTHING. Cats are selective, so when a cat chooses me to rub up on me, I feel special. Also, you can leave cats alone for a day or two and they are totally fine. Dogs will pee all over your new Charlotte Olympia cat flats if you leave them alone for more than 6 hours. I haven’t forgotten about that, Roscoe.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman loving a cat. Maybe she just likes the company of a cute fuzzy cuddly pal? Maybe she loves dogs too, but her apartment only allows cats? Maybe she found a stray kitten in a garbage can and nursed it back to health because she is a nice person? The stigma of single women owning cats because they want children but don’t have a partner to raise one with is ridiculous. Maybe she loves her career and doesn’t have time to get married or have a baby? There are so many other reasons women own cats than the stereotypical spinster one. I think it’s time to get rid of the “crazy cat lady” title altogether.
I freak out when I see cute cats. I’ll have conversations with stray cats. I’ll ask them their names and wait for the answer, I don’t care! There’s a reason the Internet is obsessed with cats—they’re amazing. You can give them funny names like Balki Bartokomous or Chairman Meow. They have amazing thigh gaps. You can blame things on them like farts, or an email to your ex-boyfriend that says “I miss you.” (Fluffy walked across the keyboard I SWEAR!)
Besides, I’d rather have a cat ignore me and make my apartment smell like poop than a man doing the same.
Mayim Bialik takes down the cat lady stereotype