Crazy Cat Lady - Is That You?
The stereotypical cat lady is an elderly spinster who is mad as box of frogs. They live alone, save for their many cats, and are constantly expanding their feline family. Shunned by society and often scorned, your typical cat lady is, frankly, a sandwich short of the proverbial picnic. So you can imagine my horror when my neighbours decided to grace me with this most unfortunate of monikers.
Many years ago I was living in a relatively small house on a small estate in Hampshire. I was the proud owner of four cats – a ginger tom, a Himalayan and two black shorthairs. I didn’t think that I had gone overboard on the cat front and I didn’t consider myself to be particularly odd.
Then one of my neighbours paid me a visit to inform me that they had separated from their partner and were moving on but were unable to take their cats with them. They asked whether I would be able to adopt the three moggies and muttered something about me being the cat lady. They then hit me with the worst example of emotional blackmail that I have ever experienced by suggesting that they would abandon the cats if I couldn’t help.
An Expanding Cat Family
I could see that a refusal to help would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot and so I stalked over to the neighbour’s house and collected the felines. I had no intention of keeping them and planned to find them new homes at the earliest opportunity. Nonetheless, at least in the short term, I was now sharing my home with seven cats. I still didn’t get the cat lady thing though. After all, I was only 25 at the time!
I eventually managed to rehome all three of my temporary residents. Life returned to normal, and I stress the normal, until another neighbour acquired a little ginger kitten. The adorable Freddie was adventuring outside one day when I noticed that he had what appeared to be burn marks on his body. I wasn’t a great fan of some of the people who visited this house and suspected that the kitten was being subjected to appalling cruelty.
I was full of righteous indignation and confronted Freddie’s owner. She admitted that some of her friends were behaving badly and promised not to allow them back into the house. I was still very concerned about Freddie. A couple of days later there was a knock on my door and there was my neighbour standing on my doorstep with Freddie in her arms. She started her appeal with "as you are the local cat lady". I raised my eyes to the heavens as she asked me to take Freddie in and then took hold of the kitten and shut the door in her face.
I then moved house. I had to escape those people and my growing reputation! I love cats and have always shared my life with them. But just a few of them at a time. I am not a cat lady, I am merely a lady who like cats.
8 Steps To Becoming The Ultimate Crazy Cat Owner
The term ‘crazy cat lady’ has never been so on trend, which is great news if you’re looking to become one yourself. From #celfies (that’s cat selfies FYI), to constant gushing about your beloved feline friend, here are 8 inevitable steps to ensure you become the ultimate crazy cat owner.
1. You celebrate your cats achievements like any proud parent would.
And so it begins. From training themselves to use their very first litter tray to jumping heights of record-breaking calibre, you feel like the world has to know about your cute kitty. From your house-mates and other half, to work colleagues and that guy you pass outside Greggs every morning, everyone must know just how special and developed your little one is. I mean, your cat is essentially your child, right?
2. Your instagram will become littered (geddit?) with photos upon photos or either your cat/you and your cat/anyone else and your cat.
The #selfie has been and gone. The #celfie however is here to stay. At least, it will be for you. Many is the occasion that your very own kitty companion deserves to be the star of your social media news feeds and embrace it, you shall. #catsagram, #catsofinsta and #crazycatowner will be the most commonly used hashtags on your account. And rightly so. Your pawsome friend is THE most photogenic kitty around.
3. You feel a compelling need to remind anyone who will listen (and those who show no interest in doing so) that hey, you have a cat.
If people don’t realise that you have a cat, this is the point at which they must immediately be informed, because it is imperative that everyone not only know but is reminded that this is the situation. You begin to use the following phrases (or versions of) on a daily basis: “Oh, yes. Gerald does that ALL the time.” “Did I tell you about when Mr. Kittikins did this?“
“But we can’t go out tonight. How do you think Muffin will cope?!”
“Socks is the only one who understands me.”
“Yeah, me and Fluffy regularly spoon.”
4. No-one can tell you their cat is better, or even on par with yours
This the real turning point. No. Just no. Your cat is the most beautiful, certainly the most gracious, and the funniest, most adorable little fluffball in the entire world. No wait, the universe. So, no. Other people's cats are not, in anyway, better than yours. And they never will be.
5. Strange and bizarre purchases start turning up at your residence
Heading to Ikea to snap up all of the cute baby toys for playtime is one thing, but when you start buying things for your four-legged pal that seemingly make no sense, you’re getting close to ultimate cat insanity. “They’re just paw-sized replicas of Crocs, okay? There’s no reason why he doesn’t also deserve comfort.”
6. The party invites get sent out.
Just one week to go before Mr. Meowingtons 1st birthday?? How will you find the time to purchase a cake, enough party hats for you and all the guests AND kitty-friendly candles? Once the birthday’s start becoming a thing of serious importance, you know crazy is just around the corner.
7. You feel absolutely no shame in taking your cat out for walks/playing fetch/asking people to make room for her on the train
The train at rush hour is painful enough. You’re already one sardine in a tin of too many but you have no problem asking everyone to “PLEASE MOVE DOWN” so that Sir Pawsalot can get on for the ride. You genuinely don’t understand where the tutting is coming from - you’re being a great parent. Cats love sardines, don’t they?
8. You start thinking that perhaps one cat might not quite be enough.
Is your cat lonely when you’re away? Even when you’re there, are you enough for the poor little thing? Maybe another cat might be something to think about. You discuss this with anyone and everyone (again, listening or not) but it doesn’t matter, because before you know it, your email inbox is littered with responses to your one million adverts, for which you’ve ‘shown interest’. Now, just where did you put that kitten carrier…