In my late 20s—long before the Age of Cat Videos—I had a yellow traffic warning sign on the wall of my office that read, “No Cat Stories.” I made it because I had the misfortune of working alongside a number of nice women who felt compelled to regale me with tedious tales of “Tiger” and his latest hairball disgorgement. These women clearly couldn’t read an audience, which may partially explain why they were all still single.
In the battle against cats, my only weapon is disdain.
I’m indifferent to the supposed charms of cats. Honestly, I don’t get what people see in them. Cats are never happy to see you, they don’t come when they’re called, and they mostly just sit around judging you and your life choices. “I don’t have to wear pants in my own home, Fuzz Aldrin!”
Certainly, kittens are entertaining for about six weeks, while they embarrass the entire felis genus with their lack of physical coordination and critical thinking skills. But once kittens wise up, the fun part is over, the power dynamic shifts, and the affection-to-poop-scooping ratio skews wildly to the latter.
I didn’t grow up around animals other than my siblings.
My mom grew up on a farm with livestock and, after escaping to the Big City, she had no intention of letting beasts of any kind—including my brothers and me—soil her new home. Plus, my dad was allergic to pet dander, so cats and dogs were never an option.
In fact, the closest any of us got to a mammalian pet was a couple of mice and a shockingly suicidal series of hamsters. For companionship, I got tropical fish, which explains why I’m incapable of bonding emotionally unless it’s from behind a glass barrier. To this day, salads bars are particularly triggering for me.
My house of semi-domestic carnivores.
When my friends stop by, they’re understandably confused to see numerous cats squatting in my home, none of whom are doing chores nor paying any rent. I then have to explain that, while I, personally, don’t have any cats, my wife typically harbors anywhere from six-to-eight of the freeloading fur-factories.
She loves cats more than anything or anyone. And, for that reason, my wife is willing to do all the vomit- and poop-cleaning that comes with having cats around. All I have to do is sit around and watch as my home slowly descends into a seedy, catnip den of iniquity.
Frankly, I never thought I’d end up married to a feline aficionado—much less a full-blown kitten trafficker—yet here I am, ankle-deep in kibbles and kitty litter. So does ending up with someone who loves the thing you dislike qualify as ironic? Or is it just unfortunate? I’m not really sure, but I don’t feel compelled to write a song about it.