Confessions of a (Kinda Sorta) Cat Lady

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The Upside of Cat Ownership

The upside to cat ownership is that I get to spend time with a dignified, intelligent, and well-behaved animal. My cat has never humped anyone's leg, at least not unsolicited. Nor have I walked into the kitchen to find her digging in the trash. The downside is that a cat is something hidden, a secret that needs confessing as the doorknob turns. By the way, I've been to the doctor and it turns out...I have a cat.

Even now I am a bit hesitant to extol Mabel's many virtues. And they are many. To wake up and see her belly up and demanding affection is to have your heart explode with the kind of joy that compels some people into painting those aforementioned large-scale feline portraits. Alas, I am loath to cheapen her existence by creating a doglike defense for her. What made the store on Madison Avenue so great is how entirely and unapologetically it gave in to the notion of cat craziness. It was refreshing in a world that normally suppresses cat love. (Hence the extreme popularity of cute cat videos on YouTube, meant to be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home.)

All one needs for confirmation of dog domination is to wander into a pet store. Inside each one there is an explosion of options celebrating dogs' existence. About cats, pet stores seem less effusive. If you throw a toy mouse and a scratching post in the ring with the splash and sparkle of designer dog collars and organic doggie bakeries, well, the kitty stuff will lose every time. Cats are the Hanukkah of the animal world in this way. They are fêted quietly and happily by a minority, but there's only so much hoopla applicable to them.

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Continued on page 3:  It's a Cat, Not a Sticker Collection


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