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Cat Lady

July 28, 2011

One of the biggest fears of any single woman is to one day become a cat lady. According to Wikipedia:

A stereotypical cat lady is a single woman who dotes upon her cat, or multiple cats. The term is considered pejorative. In the West, single women who own cats have long been associated with the concept of spinsterhood. In more recent decades, the concept of a cat lady has been associated with romance-challenged (often career-oriented) women who can’t find a man.

Becoming a cat lady has never been a real fear of mine. You see, I hate cats. In fact, I can’t stand most animals. The core reason is that I’m incredibly allergic to most furred animals. I remember when I was in the fourth grade, my sister had a pet rabbit named Bo-Bo (after the shoes). I begged and begged my mother to let me play with the rabbit. She finally agreed, and let me tell you, that was the best afternoon of my life. We frolicked. We played. I lovingly tried to turn his floppy, black ears inside-out. He not-so-lovingly tried to bite me. After the fun, I jumped in the shower to wash off all the rabbit hair. And proceeded to have an asthma attack, turned a pretty shade of blue because I couldn’t breathe, and was taken to the hospital.

German Shepherd

A very fuzzy picture of Sheba #1, AKA The Best Dog Ever

I could have died, people. And so began my hatred of animals. Although I will say, as a young child, I had a German Shepherd named Sheba that I simply adored. Not to be confused with the subsequent two other German Shepherds named Sheba my family owned (my dad is crazy. Or unoriginal. I can’t decide). Sheba #1 was the best dog ever and it was about the saddest day of my life when we had to put her down due to cancer. I haven’t cared about an animal the same way since. I know, deep. This blog is an onion, people.

Animals seem to hate me too. My ex fiancé’s dog did everything she could to break us up. While he was at work, she was a completely different dog – an evil dog. She’d look me directly in the eye, then proceed to squat and pee on my favorite carpet, never breaking eye contact as I screamed at her to stop. She’d chew straight through my blow dryer cord, rendering it unusable, knowing it was the most important part of my morning routine. She even pretended to be blind to get my ex’s attention, but I’m telling you, when he wasn’t around, she could see just fine.

When I first started dating Chef, I learned he had a cat and immediately predicted the demise of the relationship. Before we even had a first date. Luckily, his cat died.

Okay, that came out wrong. May Wilson rest in peace.

I hardly remember the early months of dating Chef; I was so hopped up on antihistamines. I was allergic to his clothes, even if they had just been washed. Whenever I visited his house, Wilson would give me the evil eye – he must have known I was plotting to get rid of him.

I give you this background to tell you that I am not an animal lover. I get it, you people like animals (I’m looking at you, Katie, with your ridiculously adorable dogs). I even understand the reasons. It’s just not me.

Until recently, that is. Until my uterus began to hurt.

Okay, male readers (all five of you), I have to apologize for randomly throwing a uterus reference into a blog post. Maybe I should have prepared you. I know you can be quite squeamish about the female reproductive system. In case you are lost, the uterus is what holds the baby when a woman is pregnant. If you didn’t know that, maybe you should retake 8th grade health class.

Ladies, I think you know what I mean when I say my uterus hurts. I am sitting at the pool, drinking a cocktail, watching a woman playing with her adorable little baby boy. He’s got a floppy hat and those little orange floaties that go on his arms. He laughs excitedly, splashing in the water.

Ouch. Uterus. Hurts.

I read Tori Nelson’s blog where she posts incredibly cute pictures of her son. I decide I need to start boycotting blogs of people with children because my uterus simply can’t take the stress.

My ex fiancé and I talked about getting pregnant as early as our honeymoon. Which means right now, in an alternate universe, I should have a baby. Or at least be pregnant. That’s assuming my piping is all in good condition.

Jesus, I have enough to worry about without wondering if I’m actually infertile. Let’s stick a pin in that.

Last year around this time, I decided I needed something to love and bought a gardenia plant from Whole Foods. We all know how that turned out. Cue me wondering if I can’t keep a gardenia plant alive how I could possibly keep a baby alive. Never mind that the only place in my one-bedroom apartment I could put a baby would be my walk in closet, and damn it, I paid extra for that closet. I’m not giving it up to no stinking baby.

Ah, and the reasons stack up as to why I’m not ready for the wonderful world of motherhood.

The other day, Chef came over to visit and we noticed a stray cat outside my apartment. He said, “I’d give anything to pet a cat again. I miss Wilson.”

So, I did what any pseudo-girlfriend would do. I made it my mission in life to befriend this stray cat. So that Chef could pet it, that is. Or maybe so my uterus would stop hurting. Who knows?

Chef noted my efforts, and told me he was just joking around, not to worry about it. I should stay away from the cat. It’s a stray, after all. It could have rabies. He wasn’t in the mood for a trip to the emergency room tonight.

But I was on a mission. Tabitha would be my friend, if it was the last thing I did. Notice, I named her Tabitha. Also notice, I also decided it was a her. Without any evidence. I’m a cat whisperer, obviously.

I was also feeling quite bad for Tabitha, as it was 100 degrees that day and she must have been very thirsty. And, as I told Chef, stray cats in the suburbs are totally different from stray cats in the city. In the city, there is a bunch of them outside a trash can. They are disgusting. In the suburbs, like my Chester apartment complex, they are blonde, cute, clean and simply adorable.

Yes, I know I’ve lost it. I love the hell out of this cat. She helped me forget all about my uterus … issues.

For days, Tabbie and I bonded. I gave her water and Nathan’s hot dogs; she hung out with me in the hallway outside my apartment. Each night when I arrived home from work, I would hear her sorrowful, “Meow” and I would respond with, “Meow.” We had our own little game of Marco Polo. I even invited her into my house to get out of the heat, but she was too skittish to come inside.

She wouldn’t allow me to pet her, as she is very afraid of humans. But she did let me feed her the hot dog pieces by hand (I know, I have problems), and we have this really cute game where she puts her paw on my finger and tries to bite me. It’s more of nibble.

It’s only cute until she actually bites me. Now that would really suck. But I think she’s just being playful. I hope.

I came home earlier this week, excited to feed her on my door step. I’d been brainstorming all day what I could feed her. (I hadn’t made the leap to buying actual cat food, because that would make me really crazy, but I had learned that you aren’t supposed to give a cat cow’s milk. Who knew?!)

I began our nightly game.

“Meow,” I called. (AKA, Marco!)

Silence.

“Meow,” I repeated, my voice becoming a little more timid.

Nada.

“Tabbie???” I called desperately.

She was nowhere to be found.

I haven’t seen her since.

Of course, I’ve been frantically calling hospitals and putting up “Missing Cat” posters. These are the only pictures I have of her, taken with my crappy cell phone camera.

Have you seen her? I miss her.

Damn it, I’m a cat lady.

And my uterus hurts again.

Stray cat

Isn't she adorable?? Sorry for the poor quality pictures, my cell phone is awful

Stray cat, blonde

She looks quite at home in my apartment hallway, huh?

Stray cat

This is about as close as she got to me. All I have now are the memories ...


49 Comments leave one →
  1. ohhowbizarre permalink
    July 28, 2011 8:41 am

    I’ve always loved animals. Which is why the thought of my becoming a “cat lady” is so depressing. It’s like I knew from an early age that I would be a crazy cat lady…You can’t be a cat lady…and not be crazy according to my friends.

    Great post 😉

    • July 28, 2011 8:02 pm

      Ahhh, so the crazy and the cat lady go hand in hand. Didn’t think about that angle 🙂

  2. July 28, 2011 9:03 am

    She is a cutie! I hope she comes back soon!

    I totally understand the uterus pain.

    • July 28, 2011 8:01 pm

      thoughts,
      Glad I’m not the only one – I knew you’d understand, especially with your troubles with Kiefer getting him to put a ring on it already! 🙂

  3. July 28, 2011 9:13 am

    Oh she’s cute, but you should consider a puppy, not a fickle cat. Despite having very sane, sensible and clever reason for why I never want kids, sometimes even my uterus hurts. And I’m only 20 – I was expecting this at 30. But puppies are cuter than babies, so, problem solved! Hearing myself yelling “Ziggy! No treats! You haven’t eaten your dinner!” this evening gave me a bit of scary insight into my hopefully-not-future mothering abilities.

    • July 28, 2011 8:00 pm

      Unpacking,
      I have to ask – what would be a “clever” reason fo rnot wanting kids? I know there are lots of sensible/sane reasons, but the word clever makes me intrigued 🙂
      “Puppies are cuter than babies.” LOL!!! Depends on my uterus condition whether I can say I agree with you 🙂 Babies eventually learn to say your name…. haha

  4. July 28, 2011 9:46 am

    Oh, lady. Thanks for the shout out and sorry I made your lady parts hurt. Re: warning your male readers about vagina talk? You are so nice. I hardly am. I normally just throw a period post in the mix without warning any dudes. John made me two images to use as warning signs to be placed at the beginning of any talk discussing tubes, eggs, or other tidbits. I think I’ll give one to you!

    • July 28, 2011 7:59 pm

      Tori,
      A warning sign would be great! I think a warning sign for discussing “lady parts” is a great idea! (That’s such a better way of saying it–as opposed to coming straight out and saying my uterus hurts, lol.) I also need a warning sign for oversharing…some kind of visual that will warn my mother, coworkers, etc., that they should not continue reading if they don’t want to change their perception of me (Sex related posts, anytime I mention having a bladder infection, lol….)
      And I was just kidding. I’ll keep reading your blog – cause it’s great! Just be sensitive to my uterus 🙂

      • July 28, 2011 10:53 pm

        Tori IS notoriously bad about warning her unsuspecting male readers about any impending vagina talk. Then again, where you say “my uterus hurts,” Tori is more apt to explain in graphic detail the inner workings of her own vagina, which under normal circumstances might actually be appealing, but in the context of periods…not so much.

        I hate to break this to you, but most tabby cats are males, the way that calicos are females. So your Tabitha is, in all likelihood, more of a Tomatha. Or Tom. I hope you find him – I love cats! And he looks like he could use the attention.

        • August 9, 2011 8:58 pm

          Thanks for the cat knowledge, Mark. However, I don’t think she’s a tabby cat…. I didn’t even know that connection when I named her Tabitha, I’m just really uncreative. 🙂 She is more blonde and doesn’t have those black markings of Tabby cats.
          I’ve lost about all hope that she/he comes back….. On well. My…something hurts. 🙂

  5. Megan permalink
    July 28, 2011 9:51 am

    I also had an ex with an evil pet! This dog (Paco) had his hind legs run over by a car and had all kinds of metal in his back legs. When the bf’s family was around the dog would sit and not move looking very sad and pathetic. They even had to carry him up and down the stairs to use the bathroom. They’d carry him out to do his business and he’d do it, then stand there waiting patiently to be carried back in.

    One day his family went on vacation and I, having stayed behind to work, had to take the dog out. This was the day he made an escape run! With just me standing there watching him and the two other dogs, he took off into a sprint from the back yard to the front yard and down the street. You would never guess an old, tiny, mechanical-legged dog with an underbite could run like that! I had to chase him halfway down the street before I could catch him! He would do this daily when I came by. When I told my bf after he got back from his trip, he totally didn’t believe me. And Paco’s “I’m helpless take care of me!” farce continued…

    • July 28, 2011 8:04 pm

      LOL, Megan!!! I’m dying over here. Sounds like Paco and my ex’s dogs could share their tips for fooling their owners. That’s so funny. “You would never guess an old, tiny, mechanical-legged dog with an underbite could run like that” …. hahaha. This has the makings of a short story in it 🙂

  6. July 28, 2011 9:54 am

    She’s so cute! However strays are sometimes fed by several people so she might have gone to a different restaurant for a few days haha.She might well be back! x

    I on the other hand, want to take care of all the animals…

    • July 28, 2011 7:56 pm

      I sure hope you are right AWildDog! I’m just a little nervous about her well being— you can’t tell exactly in the pictures, but she was very skinny. I hope she did find some more food. And stayed away from cars. As far as wanting to take care of all the animals… I knew people like you existed!! I’m just soooo not like that. I count on people like you 🙂

  7. July 28, 2011 11:44 am

    Keep your closet baby-free and never be ashamed of becoming a cat lady. They’re the cultural backbone of the American future. I will become one, that’s how I know.

    • July 28, 2011 7:53 pm

      Hahaha Posky. I do plan on keeping my closet baby-free (although I’m a little anxious that the universe saw this post and thought – you want a baby? I’ll give you a baby! LOL).

  8. July 28, 2011 12:26 pm

    Oh she’s cute! I hope you find her soon! I just realized how lucky I was that my ex’s dog didn’t hate me–actually loved me and preferred me over his owner. :)) But I can totally relate with the whole uterus hurting thing.. 😦 I guess that’s what make things harder now.. and I’ve been contemplating if I should get a cat/dog.. haha the verdict’s still out on that one.

    Thanks for this post. 🙂

    • July 28, 2011 7:52 pm

      Glad I’m not alone on the uterus thing. There needs to be some cure for that — and I don’t mean pregnancy, I mean meds or something. An antibiotic to stop my clock from ticking 🙂 Def let me know what you decide about the dog/cat dilemma!

  9. John permalink
    July 28, 2011 12:58 pm

    wilson was the devil, and you can tell Chef I said that

  10. July 28, 2011 1:41 pm

    The following comment shall be left in number format.

    1.) Cats are the devil. I am, what I consider, Selective Allergic. Meaning some cats I can’t even be around for more than 10 minutes (ask Katie about the one and only time I was in her apartment in Omaha) and other cats I can co-exist peacefully with them as long as I don’t touch them. Or well, at least touch them and then go about touching my face.

    2.) Dogs rule. No contest. My entire debate class in college agreed with me during an actual debate I had against a friend on which was better, Cats or Dogs.

    3.) After the comedy act I saw last night you will have to do more than say the word uterus to make me squeamish.

    4.) Curse you for making me actually care about the where-abouts of a car.

    🙂

    • July 28, 2011 1:41 pm

      Cat, not car. Stupid work computer.

      • Androgoth permalink
        July 28, 2011 5:57 pm

        I see that you have the burden of having
        a Spanish-Bulgarian-Russian keyboard,
        just like mine? lol 🙂

        Androgoth

    • July 28, 2011 7:51 pm

      LOL Matthew. My response to your comment shall be left in number format:
      1.) You just reminded me of another reason I hate cats (all cats but Tabbie, that is). My dad was incredibly controlling growing up, and never let me go to sleepovers. ONE TIME – he was in a particularly good mood, and allowed me to go to a sleepover. It wasn’t just any sleepover…it was a sleepover of a cool girl. I was so so so excited. I carefully picked out my pajamas, brainstormed fun middle-school topics and packed all my makeup so we could do makeovers. Well, I’m at the party for a total of one hour before I start getting sick from the family cat. I ignore my allergies, trying to enjoy the party. As we are getting ready for bed, I can’t breathe. My eyes are watering, I can’t stop sneezing. I’m DYING. The girl’s mom called my dad and I had to go home early. I never went to another slumber party after that. Damn cat.
      2.) I would agree, if given a choice, I would choose dogs over cats. If only because I’m slightly less allergic to dogs than cats. You win this debate too :).
      3.) Glad I didn’t make you uncomfortable. 🙂 Some guys get really weird about it. Like if a girl mentions her period, they freak out. Seriously dude. It’s not that serious.
      4.) Hehe. I LOVE Tabbie!!! I hope she comes back. And don’t worry – I curse Chef for even mentioning he wanted to pet the damn thing because that’s what started this heartache!

  11. July 28, 2011 4:53 pm

    I actually WANT to be a crazy cat lady. I don’t want babies (ever), but I’d love to have six cats.

    The only thing stopping me from beginning this quest is the fact that my Siberian Husky eats cats. My heart yearns for felines each day.

    I hope Tabitha returns. 😦

    • July 28, 2011 7:39 pm

      Ha, summer. Six cats is some serious business. Think you could be a crazy cat lady bad enough to end up on Hoarders on TLC? Now THAT is a crazy cat lady – like 30 cats in a house! 🙂
      Yeah, not sure your Siberian Husky would be good around cats. I had a Husky once (at my mom’s house) that I wouldn’t have trusted around small animals either! And you just reminded me – Sheba #1 actually killed a hamster once. She was just trying to play… 🙂

  12. July 28, 2011 4:56 pm

    I am a huge animal person – even refusing to eat meat out of concern for my four-legged friends. In fact, in my two-bedroom house I have three cats and a dog. Recently hubs and I undertook the daunting task of trying to have a human child through in-vitro. I’ve already been through one failed attempt – making my uterus feel barred and empty. What could fill this? A puppy. But…hubs does not agree. (Oh, and no cow’s milk for kitty? WTF?)

    • July 28, 2011 7:37 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Britt! Three cats and a dog?! That’s more animals than humans!! 🙂 I’m really sorry to hear about the failed attempt. I was just talking with a colleague today about her struggles getting pregnant – but after time, she did have two beautiful children. I’m sending positive vibes your way – I hope everything works out. And I totally agree— a puppy may be just what you need 🙂 hehe And seriously – I have been lied to my entire life regarding cow’s milk for cats! Damn media. 🙂

  13. July 28, 2011 5:32 pm

    Such a cute cat! I’m trying my best to adopt one near our house at the moment, but they all run away from me!

    • July 28, 2011 7:35 pm

      I know! She’s so adorable. What’s with us and the stray cats? Seems if we want a cat that bad, we’d go to the store…. but alas, I have this need to “save” something. Better a cat than a man though, right?

  14. Androgoth permalink
    July 28, 2011 6:21 pm

    A very good posting this one, you know the only thing about having pets is remembering to choose a suitable name for them, I mean this in the sense of calling them in for their meals for instance… Well I could easily go outside to call Butch or Dracula in but when a name like Fifi or Tootsie has been offered (not that I know any cats or dogs with these name references you understand? lol), well you can easily spot the difficulty…

    Okay I can see you are yawning away reading this one and so I will try getting back to my first thoughts on your blog, now I have heard of the Naked Chef, but a Dating Chef is something totally new, anyway to cut my very long and absolutely boring comment short (yes it is rather a short comment for me you know?)

    I hope that your missing Tabbie turns up soon…

    Be well now

    Androgoth

    • July 28, 2011 7:33 pm

      Thanks, Androgoth. Funny thing is I never have a problem naming things – I name just about everything! I think Tabitha was a good name. Hopefully she does come back and visit… or maybe she found a good home? My only fear is she was hit by a car 😦

  15. July 28, 2011 6:23 pm

    Enjoyed your story, you have a good sense of humor. Cats are really great so I hope she comes back to you. I keep cats in pairs so they don’t get lonely when we are away. Men can even become cat lovers if they weren’t in the first place. I got one, cat lover that is. Have two male cats, think male cats are more loving. Female dogs are more loving, got one of those too. I think I’m a crazy (married) cat lady. If she don’t come back go and get two kittens for yourself. You will love it.

    • July 28, 2011 7:32 pm

      Thanks! Um, a pair? I’m not sure I could handle even one! 🙂 I’m pretty sure that two would put in me in an allergy coma! I hope she comes back too… though not sure what I’d do with her besides feed her!

  16. July 28, 2011 10:00 pm

    According to me (having had a bajillion cats in my life… accurate count, btw), the cat ratio must be two cats to one person. Any more than that, and you become the crazy cat lady (or person). Thus, I have only two cats. Anymore, well then… I won’t go there.
    Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about Tabitha. Soeone else probably took her in. Cats are great free-loaders. They can love anyone who feeds them and gives them attention. After all, people are basically just the support crew for cats.

    btw, the Uterus thing, not phased by it. I’m all grown up and can hear and say words like “uterus”, “fallopian tubes”, and any other words related to the female reproductive system. & I also understand the whole “uterus hurts” thing. I may not have a uterus, but when I hang with my nieces and nephews, being all Uncle-y, I wonder if I would be a good Dad, what my kids would look like, etc.

    Least I have two cats. Although, they look odd getting on the bus for school.

    • August 9, 2011 8:47 pm

      Sarcasticus Rex,
      Thanks for all the cat insight :). Now, if I had two cats, I would probably end up in the hospital with my allergies. So when you get that feeling thinking about a good dad…. does it hurt anywhere in particular?? Just curious. Weird question. LOL.

  17. Chef permalink
    July 28, 2011 10:48 pm

    Wilson would be happy that he has become internet famous.

    • August 9, 2011 8:49 pm

      🙂 RIP Wilson. Hope you know I was just kidding – and don’t haunt me!

  18. July 30, 2011 11:15 am

    Hah! Those pictures are adorable indeed. I, too, don’t like animals, and I don’t even have an allergy to blame it on. And I totally get the uterus hurting stuff. I hope Tabitha is well, wherever she is, and that you find a new band-aid for your uterus in the meantime. =) love.

    • August 9, 2011 8:52 pm

      Thanks so much, Larissa. I think we need to work on a campaign to make it acceptable for women not to like animals. I feel like we are discriminated against 🙂

  19. July 30, 2011 1:35 pm

    Oh, Catherine! 1. I’m delighted that you’ve joined the Cat side. Dogs- dirty and clingy. Yuck. 2. I hope you find Tabitha very soon! 3. I’ve seen a different side to you in this post and I love it!

    • August 9, 2011 8:42 pm

      Alexia,
      Thanks!! Glad you enjoyed it. You know what’s funny? I think it’s possible the reason that women become cat ladies is because cats are not clingy at all. You have to work for their attention – cats play hard to get. LIke the way women want men they can’t have 🙂 Always a project….

  20. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    July 31, 2011 9:49 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts from you recently Catherine! My friend and I have decided, even though we are both currently in relationships (did I just drop a bomb on you? Yeah, I did.) that we’re going to be tiger ladies instead of cat ladies. Way more bad ass. You can join. 🙂

    • August 9, 2011 8:40 pm

      Thanks, Beneath! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 What’s with that bomb??? I need details!!!!! 🙂 Happy for you. Tiger ladies sounds pretty good, I’m in. Thanks for the invite!

  21. August 3, 2011 12:11 am

    What a sweet kitty cat! I’m a huge animal lover so personally, I think there could be nothing worse than having any kind of allergies to pets. But your ex’s evil dog?! EEEEEP! Pretending to be blind with your ex is definitely a sign of pure crazy.

    • August 9, 2011 8:34 pm

      Hehe, Charlotte. Thanks for the support in opposition of my ex’s dog. Feels good to have someone have my back! 🙂

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