I recently realized a startling truth about how I am perceived by my friends and work colleagues. They think I am a Crazy Cat Lady.
What was my first clue? It all started last Christmas, just over a month ago. Every single present I received pertained to cats! Every. Single. Present. I received a gorgeous cat quilt from my employer and her mother.
My friend Hope gave me a set of file folders, with sweet photographs of felines on them. My ex gave me a Grumpy Cat desk calendar.
Fast-forward to January 31st, my birthday. My presents included a book entitled How to Speak Cat, some cat notecards, cat bookmarks, and two pretty pillows that matched my cat quilt.
While I was grateful for all of this cat paraphernalia, I was also a bit… well, embarrassed. What caused this seismic shift in people’s perception of me, as opposed to only a year before? I don’t recall ever getting such a bounty of cat things on special occasions prior to this. And so EXCLUSIVELY!!! The only non-cat-related item I received on my birthday was a greeting card with an alpaca on it (my second favorite animal). So what gives?
Also, I only own two kitties: Jinx and Milo. I try not to post an excessive amount of photos of them on Facebook. Maybe one or two a week. (That’s not to say I don’t have hundreds more on my hard drive.) It’s not like I started a FB account for either cat, or tried to make one of them a national star, like Grumpy Cat or Lil Bub. (Although Jinx does “tweet.” You can follow her on Twitter @EvilKittyJinx.) Don’t you have to own a certain amount of cats to be considered a Crazy Cat Lady? Like, at least 5??
I used to associate the term Crazy Cat Lady with an older woman, in her 50s or 60s, who wanders around her house all day in a bathrobe (covered in cat hair, of course) and slippers. I’ve since modified that stereotype. You can be a crazy cat lady in your 20s, as demonstrated by this hilarious Coca Cola commercial, featuring Taylor Swift and her Scottish Folds (plus a coupla dozen “extras”).
So I asked my Ex (probably the wrong person to ask) why people see me this way. He chuckled, then replied; “Because you fit all the criteria! You’re approaching middle age, you’re unattached, and you BLOG about your CATS!”
Personally, I think that not only am I still technically “sane” because I only have a pair of kitties, but also because I don’t spend extravagant amounts of money on them. They don’t have a $200 cat “mansion”… Just a minimalist, $30 cat tower that consists of a platform, a tunnel, and a scratching post. I don’t cook for them (unlike my late mother, who used to broil tilapia for her cat, Mickey). I don’t dress them up in funny outfits…
Hehe… Well, not usually.
I don’t initiate conversations with total strangers about my cats. Nor do I carry photographs of them in my wallet, like some folks do with their grandchildren.
What are YOUR thoughts? What constitutes a Crazy Cat Lady (or Man)? How many cats is TOO many? Am I overreacting to all of this? Please, comment away!