By Magdalena Romanow
What is it about cats that drives people crazy?
The phrase “crazy cat lady” has been around for years, although there are just as many crazy cat men.
At one time, this was an insult. Nowadays, people are proud of their crazy cat status – displaying the slogan on clothing, car stickers, and mugs.
We spoil our cats, give them birthday parties and Christmas presents. They sleep with us in bed, and they are welcome to join us at the dinner table.
Cats are a very popular pet, and for many they are part of the family. Unfortunately cats are still considered disposable in our society.
Shelters all over B.C. are full of cats looking for homes.
While I can’t call myself a crazy cat lady (no birthday parties or Christmas presents for my felines), I can definitely relate to the crazy cat people and their disgust with the people who see cats as throwaway items.
Cats are wonderful companions with very complex personalities. Some are sensitive and shy, some are outgoing and boisterous, and some are mischievous and naughty.
There is something about their presence that is comforting, and gives one a sense of peace.
The cat purr reduces stress and anxiety. Research has shown that simply petting a cat will do the same.
The old myth is that cats are independent and don’t need us, couldn’t be further from the truth. Many felines who come into the shelter go through the same stages of loss as humans. Some refuse to eat, some fall into depression, some give up on life. Then there are those who are able to roll with the punches. They accept their fate and move on. This does not mean they are independent, it means cats can be very versatile.
Cats who are abandoned by their owners on the streets are able to survive much better than most other animals. This is not to say that their life is good or long, but they are able to revert back to their feral nature, and some manage to fend for themselves for years.
There are also the strictly indoor cats. Many people opt for this life for their cats in order to keep them safe and healthy.
Indoor cats live longer and healthier lives than their outdoor counterparts.
Essentially each cat is an individual. They have their likes and dislikes. They feel pain, and happiness, and sorrow. They mourn the loss of a loved one. They sense when we are in pain or ill. They keep us calm, their purrs relax us, and their shenanigans keep us laughing.
Crazy cat people have figured out how remarkable cats are, and know that a cat is not just a cat. It’s a little wonder on four feet that makes a house a home.
– Magdalena Romanow is a volunteer at Katie’s Place.