mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I'm a trendsetter! (or maybe not)...

Evidently, I missed the controversy until stumbling on this post by Anne Althouse mentioning the disputed trend of straight single men having cats. Slate's media critics thinks that the NY Times is wrong in calling it a trend.

Both sides will agree that there is no hard data either way, and there never will really be - nobody tracks cat ownership by gender, marital status, and sexual preference. . However, it does seem fair to say that there is a lot more on the web of single, straight guys with cats. It may be that it's because the internet has simply exposed a constituency that always was there, or it may be an actual increase.

But I am a single straight male cat owner. I have at least two single, straight coworkers who have cats. That certainly is anecdotal, but interesting none the less.

Still, even if cats have become more common as pets for single guys who like girls, I don't think it's for the reasons that the NYT suggests, namely that men are more confidant in their manhood and don't need a dog as an extension of their manhood. While I have many alluring qualities, confidence is not one of them, and in fact I have occasionally pondered if having a dog would help me meet cute single women in my suburban neigborhood (if there are any, which I kind of doubt).

I think the reason is more because cats are the perfect furry pet for busy single guys - as one of the NYT's quotes put it The cat’s nice. I come home after a long day of work, it sits in my lap, I pet it, and then it goes about its business.

Cats are the perfect lazy man's pet. You get some affection, a bunch of cute, and a playtime companion, but you can also do your own thing and they don't mind. You can leave them alone for a while and they are OK with it. For someone like me, who spends a lot of time doing things that take me outside of the house - work, gym, hobbies, family out of state - having a dog is impractical, but having a cat is doable. Taking care of teh kitty adds maybe 3 minutes to my daily routine - clean out the poop, dump some food in the bowl, and refill the water fountain if it's making funny noises.

I think there is another reason for the increase in single guys with cats - more single guys. People are waiting longer to get married and divorce is more common, so guys are living alone more - and that means they are more likely to look for a furry roomate, such as a kitty. Nibbler, my cat, came into my life because she needed a home and I decided it might be nice to come home to something other than an empty house. I'm guessing that's probably not an uncommon scenario.


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