For Fuck’s Sake Don’t Get A Cat

October 2, 2011 § 29 Comments

One of my oldest friends dropped round yesterday.  I was in love with him when I was nineteen.  He was – and still is – beautiful and brilliant and I still love him (but don’t get any ideas, alas the moment has passed and the difficulties are insurmountable…)  Anyway, I was asking after a friend of his who never got married or had children.

He told me she had told him she was getting a cat.  He had begged her not to, as that really was the beginning of the end.  She had ignored him, and everything he had feared for her had come to pass.  Now, whenever he rings her, she interrupts the conversation with, “Hey, Puss, hang on a minute, don’t worry, don’t worry, I am just talking to X, I won’t be a minute.  Puss, puss, puss this, puss that.”

“She sounded like Mrs Slocombe,” said my old friend, “on Are You Being Served?  Talk about Substitute.  Man, child, you name it.  The lot.  Of course she doesn’t have a new boyfriend; all her emotional energy is going into the bloody cat and no man wants to compete with some bleeding tabby.  They don’t come anywhere near her.”

I made a feeble attempt to stick up for the woman.  “She never had children.  I am lucky, maybe if I didn’t have children…?”

“For fuck’s sake, Plank, you’d never get a cat; don’t ever get a fucking cat!”

The funny thing is, call me catist, I want to get a cat about as much as I want to get a dog (cf. Get A Dog).  Plankton With Cat is like a sign up saying, Sold.

If I ever happen to mention I am thinking of it – not that I ever will unless I become completely deranged – it is your duty as loyal readers of this blog to beg me not to and to tell me I have completely taken leave of my senses.

I think we all know that I will have well and truly thrown in the fucking towel, the day I decide to get an effing cat.

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§ 29 Responses to For Fuck’s Sake Don’t Get A Cat

  • Ella says:

    Tell you what – why don’t you wait until no one has has kissed you, or hugged you, or even touched you for a few years, and THEN see how you feel about getting a cat.

    • MissM says:

      This is a valid point. How would any one of us know what we would do when we are denied loving physical contact of any sort for a number of years. It can so easily happen, happily married folk may end up widowed, children can move overseas, friends can move away also, people do end up alone unintentionally rather often. There but for the grace of God go I and all that. (Actually I fear I will go there, a thought that freaks me out no end.)

      It is a pretty basic human need to have something that is alive and warm around. I guess someone could decide to bring back the homeless alcoholic they found sleeping under the bridge on their way to work as a last resort, but I think I would rather a dog or a cat. Something with four legs and fur may be a poor substitute for a decent human being, but if there is no decent human being available, well, beggars can’t be choosers.

      Having said all that I’d still consider getting a dog before I would get a cat. At least walking a dog I might meet people to talk to, and I really do want to avoid the crazy cat lady look.

      • Mezzanine says:

        I agree. I have a cat. She’s lovely and everyone who meets her falls in love with her, including men. Find a man who loves cats – sorted.

      • Bambi says:

        WHAT, Mezzanine? And add yet ANOTHER criterion (“Must like cats”) to Plankton’s already-very-lengthy list (c/f My Criteria, 15th July)….??!!!

        Purr-leeeze, NO!

    • The Plankton says:

      Fair point, Ella. Am not there yet, but fair point. Best Plankton

  • John says:

    P Please do not get a cat. One cat leads to another cat and then another and then there are kittens and eventually you are running a home for unwanted tabbies. Your life will be ruled by them. They scratch the furniture, shit in the kitchen sink if their bloody cat litter box has not beeen changed, and they wake you up in the middle of the nght because you have turned over in bed and disturbed their sleep. Believe me I had an ex gf with a cat – never again.You could even think of getting a man! They are less high maintenance. 🙂

  • june says:

    O plankton youve just had me in stitches, how funny.

    Would you believe lots of my friends think i should get a cat, i did used to have one when i lived with my dad,it was a neighbour who left it when they moved, but he wanted it not me, and we had a cat door, i refused to have it without. It died before i moved which was handy as although it is my own flat, glory be i am not allowed one by the managing agents, and i am so pleased cause i can just say i am not allowed one.. Thinking about it plankton it is true, all my childless friends have dogs or cats, kids grow up. pets are always damm dependent on you, so ;like you no thanks. People say they are company! , do they sit up a table for a meal with you, or watch tv with you, take the rubbish out, ,have meaningful conversations , although a friend of ,mine says she talks to hers more than her partner, but that says something more about her relationship i think. No of course they bloody dont, so how the hell are they a substitue. Do not get one ever! .

  • Rory from Dublin says:

    Does this really good man friend know any nice men that he can introduce you too?

  • Lydia says:

    I have to be very careful what I say to potential men about animals as I dont’ like dogs and cats and most British people prefer them to humans. I nearly saw someone who has rottweilers. He broke off our first call as his friend arrived early and he had to lock the dogs away before they got to her.

    However I don’t think having animals stops you getting a partner. Plenty of men put their dog on their dating profile photographs as that apparently attracts women in and a classic way to meet suitable men and women in London if you live near one of the bigger parks is to walk your dog and get chatting to the attractive man on Hampstead heath or whatever else might turn you on. So don’t discount the animal route. As I hate dogs this would never work for me.

    As for physical affection yes people live longer who live alone if they have a pet and most of us need touch. Pay for a massage (and I don’t mean a sexual one unless you’re into that) if you need to be touched.

    The demonisation of women with cats and the fear by many of women alone as some kind of threat goes back to the 1500s and earlier. Women who are strong enough to be content with their own selves are villified by many and feared. They were often called “witches” and burned alive and today we are a little more civilised and imply there is som ething wrong with being single by suggesting that a woman alone with a cat is wrong. We never say it about men – ugh look at that repulsive creature a bat che lor living along with his dog – what a sad sad disgusting creature he is. The fact we villify single women and not men is esxist to the core particularly given single women in most studies are happier than married women. We shoudl be saying gosh how lucky she is to be alone, she avoid unhappiness, she will never be hit in a drunken rage, She won’t end up a virtual domestic servant or have to tolerate snoring or his criticism of her children and she will endure rows. No she is single, that wonderful thing and lucky her for being so. Gosh we all wish we could walk in her shoes.

    • june says:

      Now when you put it like that Lydia being a single woman living alone, doesent sound so damm bad. Why then do so many women not want to be in that position and seem to pity you if you are. I was talking today with my neighbour and fellow single woman living on her own about this. Unlike me she has been married twice and says would not again ever.

      I know i couldnt live with anyone all time ever, all i really want is someone who wants a relationship,, each have own place, do our own thing, but be companions no marriage, or iiving together, obviously someone financially independent, the last two i met from dating sites, neither had their own property,one lived in rent accommodation, had no job or pension! other lived with son, as he gave sons money from sale of his property to buy houses!and seem just interested in sex. Are there actually any solvent, males with own property, who just want a pleasant normal relationship with a woman, without marriage or ,moving in with her, i very much doubt it, men seem to be the needy ones today!

      • Lydia says:

        Absolutely tons of them , almost every one I speak to on the internet. Just search harder. Although I suspect a lot of men do want to move in. However there are a bunch who like their own “space” and write about wanting a woman who is “independent” ie they don’t want a financial drain on them or to have to tolerate living with her children. I think you ll find if you want a non live in boyfriend it’s not that hard.

  • Bambi says:

    For Fuck’s Sake Don’t EVER Get A Cat.

  • Penny says:

    Plankton, this woman with the cat sounds obsessed, if you are on the phone to a man you would not be going “puss puss puss”. Us cat owners do not behave like that! there is nothing wrong with having cats, families have cats! I have had cats for 10 years – only one, and its never put a man off! If it does put a man off then they cant be very interested in that particular woman. This friend of yours obviously doesnt like cats. We could say that about men who have dogs, and there are a lot of them – dogs take up far more time, but do women get put off? – no (well I dont but then I love animals).

    You just have to get on with your life and not worry about these things, men do!
    So if you want a fucking cat, go and get one!!

  • EmGee says:

    I have 2 cats, I love cats: they are easy maintenance, fun to watch, affectionate, etc. I just got the 2nd one as a companion to the first, so the 1st won’t get lonely when I am gone for extended periods. When I think about it, maybe this gesture also has something to do with the fact that I feel lonely without someone of my own species to interact with. Hmmm.

    On the other hand, I had a cat years ago who was a loner, she would have hated having to share her humans with another cat.

    I find it appalling when I hear of people who get a cat or dog out of loneliness, especially when they aren’t animal lovers to begin with. It almost always ends badly for the poor animal. As for people whose pets are their ‘children’, well live and let live, it isn’t harming anyone.

    Having a pet is just another personality indicator, like preferring the city over the country, being vegetarian, etc. If you can live with it fine, if you find the filthy beasts abhorrent, move on, plenty of fish, etc….

    Not every man runs from a woman with cats, there’s more to it than that. My late husband liked cats, and every time my ex bf calls, he asks after the kitties too, being a cat loving person himself.

  • MissBates says:

    Cats — {{shudder}} — they freak me out. I also don’t do sensible shoes, or dowdy cardigans, or fall in love with the vicar. I try to flout as many of the spinster stereotypes as I can . . . ; )

  • Dawn says:

    I’ve had a cat all my life. I also have a dog. She has never facilitated meeting anyone. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong.

    And I have not been kissed, hugged or touched (except by my massage therapist and no, it’s not THAT kind of massage) and a very, very, very, VERY long time. The cat is lovely, but he is no substitute for the touch of another human.

    So I say, get a cat if you want one. Just don’t dress it up and talk to it during phone conversations with humans.

  • MissM says:

    Don’t forget it is also a lot easier to get a cat than get a man. Imagine if we could just wander down to a local shop or shelter and make a choice from a selection of men who are all available and in one place and the only difficulty is deciding which one appeals to us the most.

    In fact it is so simple that I wish I could feel satisfied with just a cat for company. If what we want is to feel happy and contented in life what difference does it make how this is achieved? I am with Lydia in that there is something terribly sexist in sneering at women who have cats. It is not the answer for everyone but that is true for everything, we are all different.

    • Lydia says:

      You can. Just go to a country where money is short and you can have men begging for you. A good proportion of men do it all the time – Englishman with younger Japanese/Thai/Chinese wife. YOu can even go on package holidays and interview the women in Eastern Europe. May be if it does not already exist we could invent it for women. You could certainly pick one up quite easiyl in Africa. I noticed that 66 year old wheelchair bound white woman who has been kidnapped in Kenya and taken to Somalia has a black 30 something boyfriend I think she’s 39,

      Men will compromise to get a foreign bride. Women won’t. Women are their own worst enemies on some of these issues.

  • Aussie Girl says:

    So much for trying to debunk stereotypes Plankton!
    I have followed you with great joy until now.
    How lucky for you to have been married once and have had the joy of children. Many, myself included have not had the luck. I suppose I could have had 6 children to different fathers by now but alas I have morals, so instead I have cats.
    Am I crazy? – Yes but in a good way.
    Do I have cats? – Yes, four actually.
    Am I a lady? – Yes, last time I checked
    But until I dress them up in little outfits, take them everywhere I go in a custom built pram whilst wearing a t-shirt with their picture on it and set places at the table for them during dinner parties…….I an NOT a crazy cat lady!!!!!!
    I thought this project of yours was meant to give non planktons an idea of life in our shoes and therefore foster a little understanding. Instead you have thrown stones from your glass house at people you seem to consider even further down the food chain than yourself.
    Lets re-engage the compassion shall we?

    • Lydia says:

      Yes, I think women in their 40s who are divorced with children very very lucky. Had we waited to 40 to find someone and perhaps then never had a child never mind a husband how much worse might thave have been for those of us who want children I(not everyone does and many delight every day in a child free state and why sho uld they not?)

  • joules says:

    My mum got a cat after my dad died. She had never been one for cats in the house but the cat is something for her to give and get some affection from. She never wants another man in the house – breaking in one was enough as she says.

    I have thought of getting either a cat or a dog but the problem is that I go off for a month at a time to see my family on another continent. My ex would never let me have a dog – thought that since we both worked it would be alone too much of the time. What it was really about was children I think – effectively I was not allowed to have any children unless I was prepared to give up my career.

    Thinking there are worse things than being a crazy cat lady.

  • Steve says:

    What a crock of shite!

    Any bloke that runs away because woman has a cat isn’t worth his salt.

    As a bloke who’se been out with a fair few women in the past year, I’d say the far bigger danger is a dog owner. The amount of time lavished on dogs is scary.

    Cat lovers are far more cool.;)

    At the end of the day though, ANY pet lover is better than someone who chooses to live in a sterile environment where the discovery of an animal hair would ruin their “showhome” flat/house.

    • EmGee says:

      Hey Steve, howsabouta date? 🙂

      I find women dog owners far more likely to anthropomorphize their pets than ‘cat ladies’. I just watched the French film ‘Priceless’, and the opening scene was hilarious!

      On the other hand, I find people who are indifferent to animals, usually lack compassion for anyone but themselves as well.

    • Mezzanine says:

      My kind of man! :0)

  • Uhmm… Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to somehow be missing something here- From where I’m sitting, it would appear to be possible to concurrently own a pet or pets AND also be engaged in a sexual relationship at the same time…

    Like I said, it’s just me, and maybe I’m missing something that should be quite obvious, but I actually fail to comprehend how owning a pet (or pets) and entering into a healthy sexual relationship are somehow mutually exclusive….

  • kidrock says:

    a dog then?

  • DAN says:

    Now plankton , yes i am going to tell you to get a cat !
    These animals are unique and special in that they can tell people what kind of person you are .
    Unlike dogs that need 24 hour maintenance( just like us guys i suppose), they can fend for themselves when your away on holiday, will keep rats and mice out of your house, and when i say rats , i mean rats, of both the rodent and human variety !
    They can sense a bad person a mile off and wont go near them, as they know they might be harmed.
    They have a huge instinct for survival just like most felines ( again ,women will come to mind ), and have no loyalties whatsoever , and will leave if they don’t feel safe and loved, even to a neighbours house if they feel unwanted or neglected.
    (RING ANY BELLS ANYBODY)
    They are low maintenance, you don’t have to walk them, groom them, or look after them other than an odd feed now and again, they will do this all by themselves, unless you train them up to be that child you never had, and spoil the shit out of them.
    I must seriously state that anybody that doesen’t like animals have missed out on a huge experience, to love and be loved, for nothing else than a show of affection now and again.
    They will purr or curl their tail around your leg( the latter is giving you a kiss in cat language) when they are happy, when they don’t, there not !
    If only humans could relate there feelings so simply, it might change a lot about the way people interact with one another and thereby put in that little bit of extra work into there marriage when they see something is wrong and thereby possibly save same.
    THINK ABOUT IT !

    DAN

  • Dawn says:

    Yay for men who “get” cats!

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