I am woman, single, of a certain age and sharing my home with two felines. For some people these facts place me into borderline cat lady territory – although I believe that 3 or more cats officially crosses the line from pet owner to collector.
In a world that seems to be divided into those who love cats and those who don’t, for years I was in the latter category. I grew up with dogs and large dogs at that. Dogs that knocked me over with their over enthusiastic greetings, yanked me off my feet during walks, and slobbered into my shoes when at rest.
I did not come over to the cat side until I was in my early 40’s and I was given a ‘free’ kitten by a neighbour. Of course that word ‘free’ excludes the costs of vet visits, shots and neutering.
Elmo was the first. A black and white beauty that acted more canine than feline. He came when he was called, fetched balls of paper, and was an adept escape artist that went missing for 2 weeks once. He returned in the middle of a thunderstorm. It was a Hallmark moment.
Elmo sickened suddenly and had to be put down at the age of 9. Who knew you could get so attached to a cat?
Once you lose a cat, it is amazing how many people have kittens to give away. Finn was left at my doorstep in a box. Jem followed a few years later. Due to her owner’s allergies, it was my house or the local shelter. What could I say?
So here I am. A woman of a certain age. Living with cats.
Do I dote on my cats? Not extraordinarily – unless you think the occasional treat of bacon is an overly affectionate gesture.
Do I talk to my cats? Yes I do. I converse on many levels with my housemates, and they are always harmoniously agreeable to all my opinions and views. I also sing sometimes, and they do not cover their ears and tell me to tone it down.
Do I sleep with my cats? Yes I do. And besides sometimes laying on my head in the middle of the night, they are very accommodating bed mates – never hogging the blankets or taking up most of sleeping area.
Am I a cat lady?