I really dislike the term “crazy cat lady.” It diminishes those of us who love cats for the unique and wonderful creatures that they are by assigning a label that usually has a somewhat derogatory connotation, even if it’s used with humorous self-deprecation. I don’t really care for the term “cat guy,” either, which has recently become popular. But notice how there’s never a “crazy” put in front of “cat guy?”
According to Wikipedia, a cat lady is defined as “a single woman who dotes upon her cat, or multiple cats. The term is considered pejorative.” Wikipedia adds “In the West, single women who own cats have long been associated with the concept of spinsterhood. In more recent decades, the concept of a cat lady has been associated with “romance-challenged (often career-oriented) women who can’t find a man.” Is there anything in this definition that is not insulting to women? So why do we keep using this term, even in jest?
It’s a stereotype. Stereotypes are oversimplified definitions, and they’re based on assumptions, not facts. They’re rarely accurate. I know a lot of “cat ladies,” and none of them are crazy. They just simply love cats as much, and sometimes maybe even more, than I do.
Yes, I love cats. Allegra and Ruby are my family. I put their needs ahead of just about everything else in my life. Let me rephrase that: their needs come first. I don’t think that makes me a crazy cat lady.
My house is decorated with lots of cat things. I have a gorgeous original cat painting in my living room. I have an equally beautiful limited edition cat print in my bedroom. I have photos of my cats in just about every room of my house. I derive constant pleasure from looking at cats, whether it’s cat art, cat figurines, cat photos, or the real thing. I don’t think that makes me a crazy cat lady.
I delight in looking at cat themed merchandise in stores and online. Well, at most of it, anyway – let’s face it, some cat-related merchandise is awful. I buy my fair share of cat themed products. I don’t think that makes me a crazy cat lady.
I write about cats. I’m passionate about educating others about cat health, cat nutrition, and everything else cat. I really don’t think that makes me a crazy cat lady.
I’d like to see the term “crazy cat lady” disappear from being used altogether. It doesn’t tell us anything about the woman it’s being applied to. The next time you’re getting ready to call someone a crazy cat lady, or us the term, even jokingly, to describe yourself, I’d encourage you to think twice.
I would especially like to encourage cat writers and cat bloggers to think twice before using the term. I think we have an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to stop perpetuating the stereotype by ceasing to use this disparaging term altogether.
So don’t call me a crazy cat lady. And don’t call anyone else a crazy cat lady, either. Let’s just all be who we really are: people who love cats.