The Crazy Cat Lady Phenomenon

With each miserable attempt at a relationship, I find myself more intrigued by the prospect of retiring from dating forever and becoming a crazy cat lady. I’m deathly allergic to cats, but it would still be much less painful than dating. If I had to choose between a little wheezing and a heart that’s snapped in two, there’s really no question there. Besides, terrifying bloodshot eyes and a hacking cough might add to my overall persona. I’d have to invest in some Winnie the Pooh sweatshirts and mom jeans and stop washing my hair, but that’s doable. I already have a broom and I’m certain I could effectively yell at the neighborhood children while running down the street waving it frantically in the air. They’d probably be doing something super annoying like breathing too loudly. Damn kids. Do you think the APL has some sort of ‘Box o Cats’ promotion running? I saw on the news that some jerk threw away a perfectly good box of felines recently. Dumpster cats have got to be good for my cat lady street cred. The least amount of effort that I have to put into this, the better. The concept of taking in random strays wasn’t very effective with men, so I’m assuming it wouldn’t work out all that much better with cats. Besides, I don’t want to end up with some mangy, one-eyed cats. I’m crazy… but I still have standards. Ok, so that’s up for debate.

I’m not really sure how many cats you need to own before being elevated to the status I’m attempting to achieve. Do I start out with a six pack of cats or go right for the full case? I don’t even know what they eat. I mean, besides lasagna. Duh… everyone knows that! The closest I’ve come to cat ownership is back to back episodes of Tom and Jerry cartoons. Evidently, cats are idiots and mice are ruthless little assholes. Wikipedia won’t teach you that handy little fact.

I have a friend that might be able to tutor me in my quest to be the ultimate crazy cat lady. He rescues cats on a fairly regular basis, and I’ve always openly mocked him in the past. He essentially collects cats. Oh… and also guns. This unusual duo of hobbies earned him the affectionate nickname ‘Cats and Ammo’. I’m not entirely certain that he doesn’t shoot them just so he can ‘rescue’ them immediately thereafter. Relax. Don’t go calling PETA. You cat lovers really can’t take a joke. When it comes down to it, it’s probably a horrible idea. I don’t really want one of those ‘Hang In There’ posters with the kitten clinging to a tree branch hanging in my bedroom. I hear that’s mandatory. If my luck with cats is anything like my track record with selecting men, I’d end up with some Stephen King ‘Pet Sematary’ incarnation. I think I’m at least three terrible boyfriends away from being cool with that.


3 Responses to “The Crazy Cat Lady Phenomenon”

  1. 1 David Colister
    January 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing another great piece, Jen. Your self-effacing and at times delightfully sarcastic sense of humor is refreshing. On my own FB page I posted that none of my friends should worry that I’d become a crazy cat lady, that guitars are in fact my cats ~ guitars shed less, but shred more. And, just as you suggested, some of my cat lover friends couldn’t take a joke, and commented things along the line of, “Better to be a cat lover than a cat hater.” Really?! How revelatory. Oh well, I have no control over who GETS what I post, let alone who reads it.

    A little later I thought about it: What I really needed to do was to define WHAT a crazy cat lady is, in order that my feline eccentric, but not crazy cat lady, friends wouldn’t be offended. First, I thought, “Hmm… how MANY cats does it take to qualify to be an official Crazy Cat Lady? If we set the bar too low, say three or four, well, then the “crazy” threshold will be too high. If we set it too high, say, twenty, then we let too many who honestly qualify in every other regard off the hook. But it also occurred to me ~ the Crazy Cat Lady must live ALONE with her cats, no matter how many she has. Any kids living under the same roof, thereby deviating the complete devotional attention of the cats to the Crazy Cat Lady, and all bets off! And the Crazy Cat Lady has to agree to being just that ~ by conceding that interacting with cats has actually become more enjoyable than interacting with men, or people in general. Or, that they’ve given up trying to meet a man, and have taken up pets to fill the attention void. Mom jeans, unwashed hair and brooms are just props, the visible accouterments of someone who has… capitulated, or succeeded and is no longer available. 🙂

    From my experience, Crazy Dog Ladies are FAR worse than Crazy Cat Ladies. Dogs require more attention and maintenance, and are more of a lifestyle. Cats are so independent, and are easily self-amused. It’s easy to forget they’re around, sometimes. Just feed them lasagna, and they’re good to go! Personally, I love Italian food so much that I’ve long joked I’ll eat anything that ends in a vowel… a, e, i, o, u, or y. I guess Puss and Boots would agree. I mean, try to think of an Italian dish that doesn’t end in a vowel. 🙂

    Dumpster strays can get you a long way toward the one thing you really need for true Crazy Cat Lady street cred: the cat scratch marks on the face and all over the hands and arms. You can’t get that kind of street cred with declawed, prissy pure bred Himalayans or Persians. Cats and Ammo wouldn’t approve. 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed your writing, immensely, Jen, and look forward to reading more from you, as well as your comments to my posts. You have a beautiful mind, and are a sentient, passionate soul. In so writing, you wear your heart on your sleeve. But you don’t come off as wimpy or whimsical, and you’re not living in a fairy tale world, waiting for a frog to turn into a prince… they never do. Quite the contrary, your underlying strength and self esteem ring through resplendently. You’re not going to find many men with a compatible intellect and wit who are capable of challenging you. That’s evident enough from your writing.

    All you can do is put yourself in the places where the kind of man you want to meet is most likely to be. Among the best advice on dating I’ve ever received was to make a list of all of the attributes I preferred in the woman I wanted to meet… interests, education, proximity from where I live, etc. And then to ask myself where those women would be or frequent near me. But the hard part is next, actually getting out and going to those places, trying to put yourself in a position to meet the kind of man you know if right for you. That takes time, effort, money, and taking care of yourself physically and emotionally to always look and be at your best… it takes work. And most people, if they are honest with themselves, would concede they don’t do enough to put themselves in a position to meet the right kind of people. They’d rather lament the one that got away than to pull themselves together and get back out there looking. When you think about it, all of the people we meet or date who come into our lives are random strays, our standards aside: They come into our lives from some other place beyond our consciousness up to that point… just stray into our lives. Some come playing the “Stray Cat Strut”. Some come playing the “Stray Cat Blues”. 🙂

  2. July 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website.

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About the Broad

A humorous look at dating in your mid-thirties and the other hilarious things that happen around us on a daily basis.

January 2011
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