Have you ever read the Wikipedia entry for “Cat Lady”?
“A cat lady is a cultural archetype or a stock character, often depicted as a single woman, a middle-aged or elderly spinster, who owns many pet cats.”
I’ll throw in that, stereotypically, she’s pictured as unattractive (like Eleanor Abernathy from the “Simpsons”) — I’ve never heard anyone say, “That Crazy Hot Cat Lady.” Just say’n.
But like with most stereotypes, there’s a grain of truth in there (yes, we plan our lives around our cats’ needs, so what?!), but the rest? It’s crap!
So here I am to finally murder these myths about women who love cats:
3 Cat Lady Myths That Need To Die
Myth #1: Cat Ladies Are Old
If you met someone online and told them, “I have five awesome cats” they’d immediately assume you were born before women could vote. On the flip side, if you typed, “My five dogs are my best friends,” they’d ask you what breeds you had and never even consider your age a factor in why you own so many puppies. What’s up with that?
Obviously there are plenty of older women with a family of cats, but that doesn’t make cats exclusively an elderly person’s pet. My grandmother worships her golden retriever and no one calls her a “Crazy Dog Lady.”
In fact, I think more and more young professional women are finding companionship in feline friends. With so many of us living in apartments, getting a dog can be too much: Even though cats need exercise, if trained from kittenhood, most will enjoy a quiet indoor life. And let’s face it: It’s nice to Netflix and Chill with a creature who doesn’t expect you to “chill.”
Myth #2: Cat Ladies Are Single or Lonely (Or Single AND Lonely)
We refer to dogs as “man’s best friend,” and no one makes assumptions about a man’s relational status based on his ownership of a canine. But if you own cats, it’s assumed that you must live alone and therefore, you must be lonely.
I think the biggest problem here is that living alone and being lonely are viewed by our culture as one and the same. What’s wrong with a woman enjoying her life without a partner? She can have cats — not because she “can’t get a date,” but because she might not want one!
But besides that, who says cat ladies have to be single? My sister is happily married and totally in love with her cat. She treats him like a member of the family, catering to his every desire, but she’s neither old, nor lonely.
Myth #3: Cat Ladies Are Frumpy and Unattractive:
Hidden in this assumption are two other stupid ideas: Older women are always frumpy and unattractive (because cat ladies are old), and you have to be attractive to be in a human-to-human relationship (because cat ladies are lonely).
I’ll ignore those problems today and focus on young, not-necessarily-single cat ladies. Who says we can’t be stylish? Cute? Desirable?
Ironic graphic cat tees? I’ll rock those with skinny jeans. Cat print leggings? Watch me make those look classy.
And hey, orange is the new black…. and you can’t see my Tabby cat’s shed fur when I’m wearing it.
But seriously. Think about runway-ready celebrities like Taylor Swift, Penélope Cruz and Eva Longoria who all adore their cats. And if you go back further, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor looked classy as ever holding their pet kitties.
Would anyone dare to call any of these ladies frumpy or unattractive? Um, nope. It’s a fact: Cat ladies can be gorgeous.
Who out there is a young stylish woman who loves her single or married life with plenty of cat friends? Share your story! Let’s bury these myths, once and for all.
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About the Author:
Natalie McKee rescued her cat, Pumpkin, from living as a stray when he was just a kitten. A decade later she writes at Leaping Cats about ways to keep your indoor cat fit, healthy and happy.