Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who You Calling Cat Lady?

Cat on Top of the Fridge

A friend is downsizing from a home to an apartment, and her family members, workout buddies, writer pals, neighbors, and other longtime amigos/amigas flocked to help. As each person introduced him/herself, the rest of us scoured our memory banks for the connection—the work, church, travel tie, identifying anecdote, whatever.

When I introduced myself to my friend's youngest sister, she said. "Oh, the Cat Lady."

Ack! The ground never opens and swallows us when we most want to disappear.

Cat hair clings to my clothes despite multiple passes with a lint roller, but I don't talk baby talk to my pets. I don't make kissy-poo noises at them.  I don't serve them kibble in cut-crystal bowls. I am not eccentric.

Am I?

It's just as well the ground didn't open and swallow me because who would have fed the five cats at my house?

Five cats?

Don't cough up a hairball. Two are on loan—my downsizing friend's pets are staying with me until her move's complete.  (Readers of this blog may remember I had only two cats until a bully creature beat up the stray I was feeding. The stray's now a member of the household because nothing says "You're mine" like a vet bill.) Hey, I get that a woman sheltering five tabbies brings the Cat Lady moniker upon herself.

If it were only my burden to bear, I'd cope, but now Hubs is involved. Last night, I overheard him scold a cat in the friendly-but-firm Mr. Rogers voice he used to use with our kids when they were toddlers. Hubs went on to explain the importance of sharing. The cat stalked away. Teenagers!

What have I done?

I just wanted to help out a friend. Sure, the week-long playdate for my cats was a collateral benefit. (Doesn't everbody think in terms of a playdates for pets?) Now I've turned into a walking, talking, treat-distributing cliché. What's next? In the supermarket, will I hand-pick cans of Little Friskies with the care I normally lavish on Texas peaches?

At Fear No Weebles, Madame Weebles (That's the name of a human blogger, NOT a cat. Sheesh, I've read blogs about cats, but I know they can't write.) wrote a post that delineates the differences between Catwoman and Cat Lady. I'd stick around while you read it, but I have to five mouths to feed.

Now where is my snookums? Yoo hoo, sweetie, darling boy, dear one, lovey.


Christine said...


Aww, I love cats. Is that a Burmese on top of the fridge? I had a Burmese and a Siamese until I became allergic when pregnant with my son. That boy has a lot to answer for!

Doesn't matter if you're known as the 'cat lady' it could be a lot worse!

I hope your friend'd downsizing goes well. Nightmare. I don't envy her. said...

OWN the title! It's a very GOOD thing! Cats are the writer's, mews? Anyone who uses the term in a derogatory way just doesn't "get it."

Lark Howard said...

Wear your title with pride, Pat! I'm not a cat person and my husband is very allergic to them.

On the other hand, I was sorely tempted by a litter of puppies needing homes that Colleen Thompson posted on FB. Five cuddly little balls of fur with puppy breath? Be still my heart! If my husband didn't put his foot down, I'd have a house full!

Sarah Andre said...

Good for you (and your husband!) I loved reading that post as I had quite the unhealthy mommy relationship with my Poms...or at least other people thought so.

And Pom teens! Don't get me started. My husband would constantly say, "you DO know they can't understand your lecture on proper Pom behavior?"

And I'd respond: "oh yes they can," without disrupting the who'll-blink-first contest I had going on with them.

(Tricky girls had him fooled!)

You are soooo, so very normal, Pat. Just like me.

Linda Barrett said...

Great post, Pat. I was laughing just picturing you sweet-talking and Hubs as Mr. Rogers. Five is a lot! Of hair that is, but probably just the right amount to love.

Good luck, sweetie.

Sheila Seabrook said...

Lol! My I laws used to have five cats. My mother-in-law used the love to mention how one of them had walked through the mashed potatoes...just as I was putting the food into my mouth. I learned to plug my ears because I don't want to know what's been in my food!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I'm sorry you had to give up your cats, Christine, but a son's a pretty good trade-off.

Smokey, the guy on top of the fridge, is a mix of Russian Blue and everyday tabby. His coloring is gorgeous--grey with a silver-blue sheen. I risk sounding like The Cat Lady but have to tell you he's the George Clooney of cats.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

The muse/mews comment cracked me up, Amy. That was the test, wasn't it? Am I officially inducted into The Cat Lady Club?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Puppies, Lark? I'd take one if not for the C-A-T-S.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

One of my neighbors had a Pom, Sarah, and that dog was devoted to her. What a loyal breed.

It sounds as if your girls are no longer with us. It's tough to take on pets and know we'll outlive them.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Linda! Things are not dull around here.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

No, Sheila! Your mother-in-law had to have been pulling your leg. She's quite the trickster, isn't she?

I'm pretty sure cats prefer hash browns to mashed potatoes.

Lynette M Burrows said...

LOL. Don't be afraid of the title. Wear it proudly. I had a wonderful little mixed breed black & white kitty for nearly twenty years. But my DH is allergic to cats - very allergic, so I switched to dogs and found I'm the Dog Lady, a label I wear proudly. I'd have five or more and be breeding puppies if I could! Love the four-legged furry ones.

Louise Behiel said...

I'm not a cat person but i'm with Lark, give me a chance at puppies and I'd have a dozen. have 2 now and keep myself firmly in hand that 2 is the max.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I'm adding Dog lady to your list of impressive accomplishments, Lynette. How many dogs do you have?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

"Two is the max." Yeah, yeah, Louise, that's what we all start out saying.

Enjoy those pups!

Alicia Street said...

Luv this post, Pat! I'm confessed cat lady and and proud of it!

shannon esposito said...

There are worse things to be called other than an animal lover! I buy my clothes to match my dogs so the hair is less noticable :-) I'll be adding a third dog to our family this fall and fully expect my neighbors to call me the crazy dog lady!

Patricia said...

Oh Pat, you're histerical! I'm not overly fond of cats, but I don't hate them either. Both of my dogs despise cats; chasing them every chance they get. They pretty much keep the house cat-free.

Thanks for the fun post on a really hot Thursday here in California.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Alicia, you convinced me to wear the Cat Lady label with pride.

Shannon, thanks for trying to comfort me, but Crazy Dog Lady doesn't carry the same stigma as Crazy Cat Lady. Could it be that people don't insult dog owners for fear those owners will sic hounds on them?

Patricia, my cats tell me the hate-thing goes both ways. BTW, sorry you're experiencing Texas weather. My cats did not arrange it even though they're smarting from that "not overly fond of" comment.