People who have several cats are stigmatised. Discuss

The Establishment

Are people who have a household with at least several cats stigmatised? I can’t be sure but I have a strong felling that a lot of people, perhaps the majority of people regard someone who keeps at least several cats as a bit odd.

The interesting fact is that provided they are not cat hoarders, people who keep at least several cats are probably the most normal people in the world. They are not odd but they are individuals, who have their own thoughts and ideas and tend not to follow the crowd.

Perhaps people who keep several or more cats are “outsiders” meaning they don’t fit in nicely with mainstream society, which is the exact reason why mainstream society probably considers them to be “odd”. Anyone who does not fit in is automatically a danger to people in the mainstream. If you are a free thinker you are dangerous to mainstream society because you can upset the status quo (the way things are).

So, my conclusion is that a person who keeps several cats can be quietly stigmatised (behind his back) not because he keeps several cats but because he is seen as a free thinker and an outsider who can upset the status quo. In stigmatising him or her mainstream society forces him out of the way. He is kicked into the long grass where (s)he is less of a danger.

Also a person who lives alone and who keeps several or more cats might be seen as a person who has difficulty accepting the norms of society or difficulty in accepting the behavior of people. This is another reason why they are considered a danger and stigmatised.

In society you are either in or you are out. The “establishment” shuns anyone who breaks ranks. The establishment are those people who are desperate to maintain the status quo because they are very comfortable with it, thank you very much. They are the politicians and the business people – bankers, the powerful “elite”, who want to keep the “masses” down to use them to their advantage.

If you keep a lot of cats and are not a cat hoarder you are automatically not a part of the establishment.

Photo by Bosc d’Anjou

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People who have several cats are stigmatised. Discuss — 25 Comments

  1. I think it works a little both ways. If I didn’t have to keep mine indoors I’d have a few more for sure. But I am the one usually making the decision to step away from society. People constantly tell me I should come to dinner or I should come out and it would be good for me but I never want to so they think I’m weird. I don’t care if they think I’m weird however – if anything I get a bit of a kick out of it. They obviously think I’m normal enough that they want me to come out with them so in the end it’s me who is calling the shots and they who are quietly thinking I’d be better off with more of a social life but obviously they don’t know best, I do. Its a constant theme in my life all this.

    • I get the same thing, Marc. Even my best friend keeps hounding, “you need to come with me and do something fun”.
      I DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY – BOTTOM LINE!

      • Ye me too – that’s exactly what I do, and I don’t second guess myself over it. I notice alot of people go out because they feel like they have to to be normal even if they don’t particularly feel like it. If I am totally honest with myself I know exactly what I do and don’t want to do and although I do make and effort sometimes for friends it is a compromise. I rarely do it now, I just go home after work and I’m very happy to be there. If I don’t go out at night for an entire month or year I couldn’t care less but it seems to agitate people close to me. But those same people are often unsatisfied about things in their life or they don’t know what they want to do but they can’t “just stay at home all weekend” yet they might be tired so they just end up feeling anxious. I don’t like feeling anxious and I never feel anxious at home. Very rarely do I feel like I need to go out for the sake of being out.

        Coming back to cats – many ask me if I get bored “being on my own all the time” and therein lies another point – I am not alone, I’m outnumbered by cats. Some people don’t consider cats as company. I consider them as great company, much different to humans and again, I never feel anxious because of them, well almost, and they satisfy my need to not be alone. The lady I am sort of seeing loves cats very much indeed but she doesn’t derive the company she needs from them. She needs to go out and see people and yet in a way she doesn’t even want to – it’s hard to tell if she is just anxious because she feels she should go out more with people or whatever. I don’t know. What I do know is even a very long time ago before Gigi, my first cat, in Canada, I was the same about going out. I didn’t need to. At times I did alot and other times not at all – I did go out alot but in terms of people I was close to or in relationships with it was always the same theme where I go out as a compromise because the other person needs to.

        If I have to go out over the weekend for a day or on both days I really start to miss the only free days I have in the week with my cats. Saturday for me is a day I look forward to spending with my cats more than anything. I even get up very early and hang out with them and then, since its a day off, when they go to sleep I have a nap with them and often where they choose, be it in the living room on the couch or in the bedroom. I look forward to that. Others who are close enough to me to see that is what I am doing, who know my approximate timetable, think it’s just not normal in a bad way and insist I should go out and perhaps pay a bit less attention to the cats. It makes having a relationship very difficult. I am beginning to think maybe impossible, if you put your cats first before anyone or anything – which I do and I am clear about it. If I lose half my day off going shopping or for a walk then when I get home I say to the lady that now it’s time to play with the cats who haven’t had me during the day for nearly a week. The lady doesn’t like it but so far accepts it but it’s not satisfying – she thinks I should pay more attention to her. To be fair she only visits for 5 days at a time every couple months but she’s coming more often now and I’m not sure what to do – she wants to come and live here maybe in a year. I don’t think that would be fair to my cats who have no freedom to explore the great outdoors and who sleep a lot and are probably quite easily bored. I owe it to them, at least until in the countryside in a nice new home where they are free to go out and enjoy the nature, to be there and connect with them as much as possible really. It’s not fair if they feel bored and stuck. It’s a huge responsibility for other lives which I have. I would never have children, I am struggling to do right by my cats as it is.

        Back to the article – yes, stigmatised and I kind of enjoy it it actually, I mean I enjoy the fact that people don’t get it, sometimes, just because it reminds me I am doing things on my own terms and being true to myself.

    • You are an “outsider”. I mean that as a compliment and in the nicest possible way. You are not living in a cave or anything like that but I think you know what I mean.

  2. The more I see of the way society is going the happier I am to be an outsider.

    Women who keep cats are often labelled in the most awful ways. I guess that’s extending to men now too.

    In UK TV drama, women with cats are often portrayed as the rightful recipients of abuse and mockery. I’ve seen so many examples of this, sometimes abuse of their cat by others is shown as comedic.

    If I’m a danger to the status quo because of my free thinking, then so be it. I’m happy. More and more in the UK we are under pressure to conform, to accept everything without question. We are becoming the epitome of the Prozac Nation, cowed and compliant.

    The more austerity we endure, the financially worse off we become, the more those of us who are animal stewards are going to be labelled as deviant.

    Suits me fine.

    • Yes we often get asked why we help animals and give what we can to their charities when people are in need. I always reply that we help people too, not with money apart from our Charity Coffee Mornings, but in other ways and there are more people who care about people and give for them, than animals.
      Some people just can’t seem to accept that we can care about animals and people also, do they want people to have everything and animals to have nothing?
      Sometimes it seems so.

      • Some people get very offended if you dont treat humans as sacred and above animals in terms of altruism. They get very offended when a disaster happens and you are worried about the cats even though the whole world is trying to help the humans and everybody is focused on the humans, especially the women and most of all the children.

        I feel like I want to try and help cats, and after that all animals and after that people.

    • Outsiders are better people 😉 We are thinking. We don’t just accept mainstream dogma.

      Men who keep cats are sometimes branded “gay”. A typical reactionary reaction from the unthinking mainstream. Gay does not come into it. Men who like cats can have any orientation.

      I am the same as you. They can take me or leave me. Sod ’em. I think it is better to be a free thinker and form your own ideas than be a conformist although life is harder if you don’t conform.

      • There’s that saying “I don’t want, what don’t want me”

        Terrible grammar, but it sums it up.

        This use of the word “gay” is strange too, homophobia is rife and you find it in some of the most surprising places. The word “gay” has also changed slightly in meaning over recent years to mean “lame” or “pathetic”

        I have never had a partner who didn’t adore cats and never would. Cat loving men are definitely keepers. My current keeper is of 26 years 🙂

  3. The most cats we have had at one time here was four, we are only supposed to have two in a rented house but as two were black and two black and white, people who didn’t know them individually thought we only ever had two lol
    As Babz and I look a bit alike also (we are taken for twins at times which is a compliment for me being seven years older) so people here who don’t know us well call us both Catwoman lol
    We are looked upon as a bit weird by those who don’t know us well (and also sadly some of our family) because we are sisters who choose to live together, cat lovers, veggie, use nothing tested on animals, won’t donate to any charity using animals in research etc, such as the cancer research race for life (in which some nieces take part for all they say they love animals) and because we like doing what we can for people as well as animals.
    But it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, we have the right to live as we choose, just as everyone has that right.

  4. I openly admit that am a “LONER” by nature although i have spent most of my life working on ships where human integration is a necessity for ship management.After my normal engine-room duty it was either reading books in the comfort of my cabin or watching movies in the “Smoke Room”,etc, mostly to myself.I was considered a bit weird compared to most ship-mates and hence i understand the definition of “STIGMATIZATION”.No doubt after quitting shipping i took a passion for writing and travel, the seeds sown during my shipping voyages.Just because a person keeps many cats or lives alone with a few cats doesn’t make that person abnormal, its just that the persons nature differs from the majority of his or her peers.As long as the person is not a cat hoarder, having more cats than he or she can financially or emotionally support its perfect to have a few cats akin to a few dogs.Ultimately any individual,male or female who lives beyond the normal norms of society is usually stigmatized, an accepted fact of life.Unless a billionaire or a celebrity(Infamous or famous), majority of us humans have to live by the normal rules set by society or face stigmatization.

    • Completely agree with you Rudolph. You know that I am the same. I struggle to integrate with mainstream society because I reject it. When I worked in Paris, France for a couple of years in the late 1970s I become friendly with “outsiders”. We are not really outsiders. We just don’t automatically accept the status quo.

  5. I am also known as the “cat lady” here. I live with SEVERAL inside cats, have several semi-ferals outside on and under my deck as well as caretake 3 feral colonies in remote, but close proximity, to me.
    I do live alone and find what you wrote above to be true. I most certainly have difficulty accepting the norms and some of the behavior of people.
    I am not a hoarder and have rehomed several cats over the years.
    The drawbacks of my situation included frequent harrassment from animal control and folks “dropping off” cats and kittens because I am known to be a cat lover.

    • I want to hug you and give you a medal. You are welcome her. You are thought of highly here. We are better than the reactionary, terrified, establishment. 🙂

      • We are who we are and with our own minds and thoughts and opinions and although we don’t always agree we respect each other because we all love cats.
        ‘Yes men’ are boring people who only want everyone to like them, well I don’t care who likes me or not, I am who I am.
        Half woman half cat lol

  6. Dee I think you are marvellous for what you do. I also think it’s a terribly sad indictment of society that you get harassment from AC.

    Wear the Cat Lady badge with pride!

    • Thanks, but many of us do remarkable things here – Ruth, Barb, Ruth AKA, Rose, Michael, Marc…the list goes on and on. We follow our passion, we make sacrifices, we do what we feel is right. For me, it has been lifelong. I have “cat radar” amd can spot a hungry cat anywhere, ie. parks, parking lots, abandoned buildings. I carry a load of cat food in my car just for the purpose of feeding those hungry ones. It’s a way of life. My day begins around 2AM and I don’t stop until I feel that all is satisfied and as safe as they can be.
      Am I thought of as weird? I don’t care.

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