crazy cat lady

Mayim Bialik Wants to Bust the Crazy Cat Lady Stereotype, and She Wants to See Photos of Your Cats

Mayim-Bialik-cats

Those of you who’ve known me for a while know that I really dislike the term “crazy cat lady.” I feel that it diminishes those of us who love cats for the unique and wonderful creatures that they are by assigning a label that has a negative connotation, even if it’s used with humorous self-deprecation. Mayim Bialik and PetSmart Charities agree with me that it’s time to bust the stereotype. Continue Reading

What Being a Cat Lady Really Means

cat-lady

The term “cat lady” has gotten a bad reputation. It brings up images of a lonely old spinster living a secluded life, with only her cats for companionship. Worse yet, it makes you think of news stories about hoarders who live in squalid conditions with hundreds of cats. Often combined with the word “crazy,” the pejorative nature of the label leaves a bad taste, even when used with humorous self-deprecation.

The term “cat lady” is a stereotype, whether it’s used in conjunction with the word “crazy” or on its own, and like all stereotypes, it is overly simplified and based on assumptions. I consider myself a cat lady, and I’m far from crazy. Many of my friends are cat ladies, and they aren’t crazy, either.

So what does being a cat lady really mean?

It means loving cats, and appreciating them for the unique and fascinating creatures they are.

It means educating yourself and others about cat health and nutrition to ensure a happy, healthy life for the cats in your care. Cats don’t require much, but they do require us to be their advocated when it comes to their health and well-being.

It means understanding feline behavior. Behavioral problems are the main reason why cats are returned to shelters, and many of these issues are easily corrected when life is viewed from the cat’s point of view. Thinking like a cat isn’t all that difficult, and understanding a cat’s behavior, enhances the bond between cat and human.

It means caring for cats – and this doesn’t just mean caring for our own pet cats, but caring for cats in our communities. It means supporting local shelters and rescue groups. This can be done through volunteering: fostering, visiting shelter cats and socializing them, assisting at adoption events, and more. This can also be done through donating money or supplies.

It means understanding and supporting TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs and policies, and educating others about the plight of free roaming cats.

Cat ladies are as varied as the cats they love. They’re single or married. They’re grandmothers, mothers and daughters. They’re writers, lawyers, doctors, waitresses, retail sales clerks, and secretaries. They’re wealthy, comfortably off or barely scraping by. They may not have much in common, but they will recognize each other when they meet. What unites them is their unabiding and unapologetic love for cats.

And that’s what being a cat lady really means.

This article was originally published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

Review: Animal Attraction by Anna David

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I recently got my first Kindle, and not surprisingly, the first few books I downloaded were all cat books. After downloading my own Buckley’s Story, which I had never seen on a Kindle, Animal Attraction was next. I had already started a wish list of books that were only available on Kindle even before I bought one, and David’s book was at the top of that list. The totally adorable cover alone would have sold me on it even before I read the description!

From the publisher:

Anna David never expected to end up a crazy cat lady. A successful author (Party Girl, Bought, Reality Matters, Falling For Me) and dating expert for numerous television shows (including The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show and G4’s Attack of the Show), David had every reason to imagine that at this point in her life, she’d be sharing her bed with a man and not two four-legged furballs. In Animal Attraction, the author that The New York Post credits with creating the subgenre “Chick Lit With a Message,” shares the unusual journey she took from fun-loving party gal to obsessive cat mom. The result is an uproarious, poignant, and painfully honest tribute that’s sure appeal to pet (and people) lovers everywhere.

I love stories in which cats change their humans’ life. Continue Reading

Don’t Call Me a Crazy Cat Lady

crazy cat lady

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.