“You’re really the cat lady, aren’t you?” accompanied by an eye roll.
“No, I’m not the cat lady.”
“Come on, you have all those cats and you talk about cats all the time, you’re a cat lady, admit it!”
“What if I had ‘all those dogs’ and talked about dogs all the time, would I be a dog lady?”
“There is no such thing as a ‘dog lady’.”
“But what would you call me?”
“A person who lives with dogs.”
“Then I’m a person who lives with cats.”
“What’s the problem with ‘cat lady’?”
“I don’t like your attitude.”
That was face to face with someone who thought he was being friendly and actually complimentary. The eye roll negated any positive sentiment he may have had.
And this from electronic communication…
A friend had just rescued another dog, and another friend remarked, “You have five dogs now! Good thing they’re not cats!”
I asked, “What would be the problem if they were cats?”
I never received an answer, but I’ve had that question answered in other conversations. A person with five dogs loves dogs. A person with five cats has a social disease.
“Hey, I’ve got a social disease!”
No quoting West Side Story lyrics today, but keeping cats has always had a stigma, usually associated with women, usually single, childless women who live alone and care deeply about cats, women who…sound a lot like me.
This label has been persistently slapped on my back for decades because I totally fit the profile. But I have flatly denied this label from the beginning because it’s not true of me and I have never wanted to perpetuate the cat lady myth for myself or for the welfare of cats.
I find cats to be wonderful companions and so inspiring I’ve produced a body of creative work inspired by the cats I’ve lived with and others’ cats as well. When I see a cat in need, as I find too many of them to be often by human hands, I will help that cat up to and including taking it into my own home and caring for it. The truth really is that…
And I’m not the only one—cats actually outnumber dogs as pets and yet cats receive statistically less than half the veterinary care of dogs, are abandoned at higher rates and a shocking 70% of all cats who enter shelters for all reasons never find another home but are euthanized. Cats are mistakenly seen as “throwaway pets” who “don’t require care” and the people who care for them as somehow misguided.
Petfinder® has launched a campaign entitled “I Am a Cat Parent” to encourage people to think of cats as equal to all pets and people who love cats as regular people just like everyone else and prove that “Everyone Can Love a Cat”—even guys.
Click the link above or any of these three Petfinder graphics and you’ll find links to stories, testimonials, videos and graphics telling the truth about living with and loving felis catus. If you love your cat and cats in general, add your stories and experiences to the campaign through the PetFinder website. Perhaps your story will help convince someone that living with cats is the way to be.
Recognizing Cat Rescuers
Many thanks today to the volunteers who spent wild Friday and Saturday nights trapping cats for the Frankie’s Friends mobile spay and neuter clinic today to help initiate care for a feral colony of about 25 cats found on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The mobile unit is also providing spay/neuter for other cats in need as well. Not sure how many cats will be attending but one volunteer trapped 20 cats including one without an eye and one without an ear—at left you see ten of his traps. So far this year he has trapped over 100 cats for spay, neuter, care, foster and rehoming, including Mama Kitty and her kittens, and also regularly makes runs to shelters to pick up cats and kittens who have foster homes for medical care, socialization or to avoid euthanasia.
He also rescued a cat named Knight who was rescued from being euthanized in a shelter because he has FIV, or “feline immunodeficiency virus”. FIV is similar to HIV in people but infected cats can live a long and healthy life with the virus. They can also live with other cats without infecting them —because FIV is most easily transmitted via saliva through bites, spaying and neutering and keeping the cat indoors so that it doesn’t fight with other cats has been found to be the most effective way to stop transmission. It’s not contagious to dogs or people in any way. Read An Impassioned Defense for the Adoption of FIV+ Cats for more detailed information.
“This cats purr rattles his cage!” said his rescuer, who is keeping him in his home with his other cats and dog. “He’s a big baby!” He’s looking for a home for Knight, who is an adult, neutered, has had all his shots and is in good health. Did we say he was a real lover? If you want a cat who loves to be held, loves to be cuddled, loves to play, loves people, other cats, dogs and life in general, please contact Donnie at dlgst18@Mail.rmu.edu.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Join Petfinder for “The Internet Is Made of Cat Parents”
Join us for the Petfinder Blog Hop beginning April 12—write a post, link on Facebook or Twitter, help break the sterotypes and let people know you love your cat!