From Elisa Black-Taylor
You may laugh at the title, but don’t think it can’t happen to you. This article is going to be fun, with a bit of research thrown in for good measure.
First of all, let me say my daughter’s daddy once said to me “It’s either me or the cats”. He’s not the first husband to make that remark. I’ve heard from several cat ladies who have given up their relationships in favor of cats. One man, whom I met while purchasing cat food, asked me “just how long will that new cat I got my wife, live?” You should have seen the look on his face when I told him 20-25 years if well cared for.
I was tempted to tell him the cat would likely outlast his marriage, seeing that more than half of marriages fail.
Cats are better than spouses for several reasons (this may be true for men out there who prefer cats to women). First of all, they don’t complain. Well, maybe sometimes, but they use a kinder method of making their needs known. Cats also don’t fuss when you wake them in the middle of the night to tell them you love them. They’re most likely up playing in the middle of the night, anyway.
When you feed a cat, it doesn’t tell you its not hungry, wants something different or the food wasn’t correctly prepared. It may turn up its nose and walk away from the food bowl, but a cat won’t verbally abuse you over a meal. And yes, I’ve sent a few spoons flying towards men who didn’t appreciate my cooking. Never had to throw a spoon at a cat.
I’ve been thinking about this topic for awhile now, and decided to write on it when I stumbled across a study conducted by Dennis C. Turner, PD, ScD. Dennis will be among the presenters at the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations’ conference to be held in Chicago in conjunction with the AVMA from July 19-23.
As it turns out, Dennis has done a lot of research into cat behavior. During his research, Dennis learned that cats are more effective than dogs in easing symptoms in depressed individuals, especially women. He believes cats accept the amount of love a person is willing to give. Cats are more careful in approaching a depressed person and more likely to stick around longer that a dog would. Dogs are about “me” time, while cats are more willing to offer comfort.
We all knew that already, didn’t we? Dennis has also co-authored a book with Paul Bateson that you all may be interested in. It’s called The Domestic Cat:the Biology of its Behavior (3rd edition). There’s a lot of new information in this new edition and its available on Amazon. If you Google “amazon The Domestic Cat:the Biology of its Behavior” you see the book listed.
I feel much better about the decision to share my life with cats instead of a partner after reading this is becoming the norm. Here I was thinking I was a crazy cat lady recluse. It’s nice to know there are quite a few like me who have chosen to share their life with cats instead of a significant other.
Hmmm…I wonder if any studies have been done on successful businesswomen who share their life with a cat? So much less “brain clutter” at work when your cat is the love of your life. Not true when you’re in a relationship.
I am curious about one thing. Do any of you have a significant other who’s ever given you an ultimatum between them or your pet? I went through the same experience with my dog Dreyfuss, where I was given an ultimatum. Back in 2006, I decided to keep the dog and lose the man.