I spend a good part of each day in the company of cats. Or I should say I share a house with two cats, Charlie and Maynard, who allow me time in their presence. They also allow me to provide them with food, multiple places to sleep and a lap to sit on if they so choose. Cats operate on their terms, not ours.
I bring this up because a person who knows me recently sent along an article, “The Best Things About Men Who Love Cats,” and I was pleased to think I might have some good qualities after all.
“For some people, cat-loving males evoke a negative and outdated geeky stereotype,” the story said. “Others see cat guys as kind, deep, smart and hip.” “Well,” I thought. “Someone finally recognizes my kind, deep, smart hipness.”
Then I realized that no, the person who sent it could just as well think I am an outdated geek.
Well, whatever I am, I am a cat lover, which puts me in the company of such luminaries as David Bowie, Marlon Brando, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, John Lennon, H.G. Wells and Winston Churchill. Bunch of geeks.
(For the record: I also have a sweet, goofy rescued greyhound named Nash, whom I love as well. I am neither a “cat person” nor a “dog person.” I am an “animal person.”)
But back to the article. Men who love cats supposedly respect moods, show responsibility, appreciate multi-dimensional personalities, and have a sense of humor. I suppose that’s all true.
When you have a cat you can’t help but respect moods because the cat is going to have them regardless of you. Same goes for the multi-dimensional personalities, a condition we accept in cats but would label a disorder in humans.
Showing responsibility in this case means you keep the food dish full and the litter box empty.
And as for having a sense of humor, let’s just say it helps. Especially when your cat, in the throes of what I call the Nine O’Clock Crazies, runs a lap around the house which ends with said cat climbing up your leg and torso and attempting to sit atop your head. This has happened to me. Recently.
Of the two cats, Maynard is the more active (see above under “Crazies”). Charlie tends to sleep all day, resting up for the arduous task of sleeping all night.
Maynard, on the other hand, is busy all hours of the day. He’s the one who gets onto the counter, tips over the water glasses, knocks things from shelves to the floor. Yes, thanks to Maynard, we can all rest easy, secure in the knowledge that gravity is still working.
And it is Maynard who hangs out with me in my office, as he is doing right now. For a change, he’s allowing me to use the office chair. Nice of him. In fact, Maynard is presently inserting himself between (a.) me and (b.) the computer screen. I think he’s looking for misplaced commas.
So am I a hipster because I like cats? No way. I’m just a guy who appreciates their independence, enjoys their company, laughs at their antics and thinks they make the house a little more fun. And now, if you’ll excuse me, Maynard wants his chair back.