One Day, I, Too, Shall Piss Off Cats 

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Last year a cat adopted me. I kinda liked this very affectionate cat. So I bought it cat food. Then it came into my house anytime the door was open.

One day, it ran to my bedroom. It made a place for itself beside my pillow.

Then I knew this cat was up to no good.

It was preparing to spinsterize me.

I removed the cat off the bed and deposited it outside. It cried there for two or three days. It scratched up my back door.

When it finally left, I was saved from the fate of transforming into a crazy cat person. Marriage was in the cards again.

It's a pity about cats. I grew up liking cats. I even had a cat once. But there is a time in a woman's life when she just has to refuse cats. Otherwise it's into the Dustbin of History with her.

The cat, thus, is often depicted as the witch's familiar for good reason. Making women into spinsters and leaving them ripe for Satan's picking. Taking over prime sofa real estate. Licking your face after it has licked its slim pickings. Peeing in your purse when you're not looking (but after it has removed the contents of your wallet). Shredding your favourite monogrammed tea towels to the consistency of ragged gauze.

Theories abound as to why spinsters collect cats. Below are some of the more common ones:

1. Cats fill the husband void. A shaved cat, in the morning, will be just as stubbly as a man's face.

2. Cats satisfy the need for misplaced urine. Some women even hold fresh urine to be a great anti-bacterial astringent/crime deterrent.

3. Cats provide the fur required for knitting baby socks for married friends. Evolution favours the shedding cat; during the early Renaissance, prior to the advent of of a fully shedding cat, the highest number of spinster casualties occurred during the Shearing of the Cats, an annual festival still celebrated in the sub-Alpine regions of Switzerland and Austria. (Interestingly, one of the earliest breeders of the so-called Self-Shearing Cat, was a Venetian dandy who accompanied Marco Polo as far as the Rialto Bridge.)

4. Cats are temperamental. Nothing quite resembles the rapport between a wife and a husband, as the sullen, accusatory silences that a cat emits. Cats don't like to explain where they've been all night. Cats don't like to talk about their feelings. Cats can't even speak.

5. Cats taste like chicken. Tasty in any recipe calling for poultry, the cat is readily available and does not break any laws banning livestock in urban areas.

Men who missed the marriage tram to bliss, sometimes collect cats too.

Yet, cats, with their reputation as a woman's pet, can taint the human male with an unsavoury air of feminity. To avoid possible emasculation, bachelors refuse the pussy. Instead, they go for rottweilers, dobermans, pitt bulls, moustaches, beards, sideburns, mullets and goatees.

The ease of fostering excessive hair growth precludes that three out of five bachelors prefer mullets, moustaches, fu manchus, Grizzly Adams specials, Elvis sidechops, nosehairs and natty armpit jungles to the much more deadly killer canine.

Ease alone is not enough in the bachelor's quest for hair. The beard and its kin replaces the wife, much as the cat substitutes for the husband in the skewed woman-cat relationship. Consider the following:

1. The texture of masculine hair can, if shampooed correctly, attain qualities similar to that of female hair. Thus stroking one's beard bears a striking resemblance to patting one's wife (on the head).

2. From a distance a beard looks like the back of a woman's head, as if she is kissing the bearer. With a constant simulated "kiss," bachelors thereby eliminate the need for the wife. The goatee, also called the "pussy face" in parts of Illinois, fits a similar purpose.

3. Beards provide the necessary receptacles for meals. Bachelors often cite their frugality in the Tupperware department to the properties of the beard.

4. A dollop of gel turns facial hair into a weapon.

5. With a beard, bachelors can eat and wash their dishes at the same time.

Indeed, the attraction of singlehood for both sexes is getting so strong that marriage rates are descending all over North America. It is no secret that in Quebec, with the lowest rates of marriage in Canada, boasts a sizeable population of cats. Or, that Alaska, with its propensity for rugged bearded men, has enough bachelors to supply two hundred years' worth of reality shows.

With everyone getting divorced and jumping on the singles bandwagon, being thirty and unmarried is no longer the conversation killer it once was.

I do want a cat! I do want a cat!

(So I can do this to it.)

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