In Defense of Cats

Okay, so I know that the question of cats vs dogs is incredibly contentious. I don’t want to alienate anyone, so I’m going to say I’m not a cat-person or a dog-person. This is probably because I didn’t have much exposure to either when I was young. Yes, an aunt had a cat, and another aunt had a dog, but I was never around them enough to feel really comfortable. I’ve never really lost my nervousness around dogs. I don’t dislike them; I just don’t know how to be around them

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I got a cat when I was 12. He passed just as I moved out of my parents’ house, so I got two more. I’m still not big into cats as a whole, but I do love my two fur-babies.

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I feel like cats get a bad rap. Yes, they are proud, and can be aloof, but they aren’t total jerks. About a month ago, I read an article suggesting cats aren’t attached to humans because they exhibit no signs of separation anxiety when left alone. I’m certainly not qualified to comment on the study as a whole, but I will say that’s not the case with my cats.

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I know I’m sounding like a crazy cat lady, but bear with me! I’m convinced that the cats pick up on, and respond to, my moods. I’ve mentioned that my union went on strike for nine weeks, which was an incredibly demoralizing and awful experience. I got married five weeks in, which meant I had another four weeks with nothing positive to focus on. I am prone to depressive episodes at the best of times, but this was too much for me. I sank into a pretty bad depression. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t talk to anyone, couldn’t force myself to move. It was awful. I know I should be tougher, but it was a very hard time for me. During it, the cats did not move from my side. Sometimes both, but always one, slept on the couch with me, with the other one also within reach. I know the couch is a comfy place for cats to sleep, but I firmly believe they knew I needed their companionship.

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One final anecdote to prove that cats care: I was watching a movie that made me cry (Matthew’s death in Anne of Green Gables, if you must know). The gingercat saw me crying and leaped on my lap (he is not a lap-cat), and started kneading my stomach and rubbing his face against my face. He settled down when I stopped crying.

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So let’s all pause before we call cats “heartless” again. As I said, they can be aloof, and the way the cats shunned us before we left for our honeymoon was devastating. Yes, you have to work for their affection, but once you have it, they look after you as much as you look after them.

Questions:

Did you have any pets growing up?

Do you like cats or dogs?

Do you humanize your pets?

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