Thursday, September 6, 2012

Once There Was A Time When Men Loved Cats

How in the hell did I miss this? Better late than never.

It's a New York Times story, dated October 3, 2008, entitled "More Men Are Unabashedly Embracing Their Love Of Cats." Or, because every New York Times trend story has to come in two flavors -- Original and Extra Cheesy -- "Sorry, Fido, It's Just A Guy Thing."

Did you know? Cats are for women so, so, so gay. Look here:

Mr. Fulrath is one of a growing number of single — and yes, heterosexual — men who seem to be coming out of the cat closet and unabashedly embracing their feline side. 
And also:

“Any single, straight man who has the slightest bit of insecurity about his own sexuality will probably find it difficult to admit to owning or even appreciating cats” he said, echoing Mr. Scalzi’s sentiments.

“But then in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, Hollywood decided that we need to have the token gay man as the witty sidekick friend of the main female protagonist,” he said. “ ‘What kind of signature thing can we give him to convey that he is not an entirely masculine being? I know! We’ll give him a big fluffy cat!’ ”
I am just speechless at the existence of this story. Ten out of ten on the Women Do! Totally Objective Quantification Scale. Never mind that it's a Men Do. It has everything. 

1. Irrelevance: 3. Uh. It's about men with cats. Would that there were more than three points to give this thing for its total lack of bearing on the bonafide gender issues of our benighted age. Although there is this little stab at relevance to the question of the Role of Women (and Non-Women) In Society:

Stacy Mantle, the founder of, a magazine for pet lovers, said that men are becoming more “cat literate” because they themselves are evolving.

“It’s the unevolved members of the species who tend toward abuse of cats — and oftentimes, women and children,” said Ms. Mantle, who owns 18 cats.

Evolution: It's not like it's a word that means something in science or anything. By all means, sling it around in the service of your schlocky unexamined female exceptionalism, Stacy Mantle. The New York Times is totally gonna let you get away with that shit.

2. Perkiness: 3. Fido! Fluffy! This thing is a total hyukfest.

Indeed, it seems that man’s best friend is no longer a golden retriever, but a cuddly cat named Fluffy...
And there is this:
...The image of the crazy spinster cat lady persists, and plenty of people do wonder about a guy with a cat. As a writer on put it: “Single men and cats are like a burger and broccoli. Separately they are okay, but together it just seems off.”
Look, I don't say this kind of thing often, because why use a curt little brick of a word when you've got an arsenal of baroque portmanteaux at your disposal? But:

Fuck you, New York Times. That graf is just so wrong.

3. Bullshit: 3. Nope, no science here:

Although there are no hard (or soft) statistics (it is rare to find an owner, man or woman, walking a cat in public), it seems that single, heterosexual male cat owners are on the rise.

Wait, I found a number:

Carole Wilbourn, a cat therapist (yes, really) in Manhattan, said that the number of her single, straight male clients has risen about 25 percent over the last five years. 

False precision: It's what's for dinner.

And the magical extra point, because it wasn't exactly a slow news week.


  1. Utterly gratuitous comment: I have owned 8 or 9 cats in my life, but never a dog. I am straight. The only reason I don't own a cat now is because MY WIFE is allergic. The reason I never owned a dog is because dogs require much more upkeep than cats (or, at least, cats that go outside of the house, which all of mine have) and I'm basically lazy.

    Wow. That story is offensive to me on so many levels! Thanks (?) for bringing it to my attention.

    1. No sooner had I posted this upon the Facebook than my dear friend Snobrey informed me that he had dated no fewer than three women who told him they would be "suspicious of a guy with a cat."

      I have to admit that I just do not understand how the straight people live. It is too confusing. So many rules! Who can possibly keep track of it all? I might have attempted heterosexuality if I had a more Germanic and organized mind.

  2. More gratuitousness: If you ever decide to switch sides, I'll gladly give you a peek at the handbook.

    (Bet you didn't know there was one! Shhhhhhh! You're the only non-straight person who knows! If word ever gets back to the Republicans that I let the cat (hah) out of the bag, I could get my straight license revoked.)

    (Yeah, you have to pass a test. Well, guys do, anyway. That's why there's a handbook.)

    Truly even MORE gratuitous a comment: I've found that folks who own dogs, whether gay or straight or asexual, tend toward being more controlling. Cat owners (at least those who let their cats out of the house) tend to be more live and let live. Certainly there are exceptions, but it's as good a generalization as I can come up with at the moment.