I come before you now in defense of cats. They shouldn't need my help, Americans have over eighty million cats, more than dogs, more than any other animal. But if the cat is much loved, it is more misunderstood. I have written a novel, The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie, to give the cat a voice.
Cats play the villain in Western culture. It starts with Looney Tunes and never lets up. Cats have a terrible image.
Cats have their admirers, but they are often vaguely ashamed of it. Something about a cat person is odd; cats are strange, solitary, mysterious, you have to be weird to love a creature like that.
If you love a cat, you love something distinctly not human. People are more dogs than cats. We hunt in packs, we're highly social animals, we crave approval. We'd lick ourselves if we could reach.
Cats are aliens, they operate by a different set of rules. I believe much of the antipathy towards cats comes from envy. Cats lives are eat, sleep, play. They are rarely conflicted or neurotic. For every neurotic cat there are a hundred neurotic dogs, and a thousand neurotic humans. Cats have it figured out. Cats are perfected. That's why they're so hard to train. They don't need to do tricks for your approval, mostly because they don't need your approval.
It's a paradox. Cats are what cool people really want to be....more