The Edmond Sun

Features

November 16, 2012

AS I SEE IT: Cats can make a home perfect

EDMOND — To be politically correct, dogs are for boys and cats are for girls, right? Not necessarily. If it were, then the manly Mark Twain threw political correctness to the wind when he wrote, “A home without a cat — and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat — may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”

Some people like cats; some claim they don’t but they do, and some really and truly do not. I do, but not as much as the cat ladies you see on the TLC channel like theirs. Bona fide cat ladies love a multitude of them at one time, going so far as to barricade themselves and their cats in the house when the ASPCA comes to harvest the excess. That’s sick.

One cat will do for me. Two at the most, though there was a time when Muffin gave birth to five and I was tempted to keep them all.

That didn’t last. By the time they were weaned, I had tired of stepping over, among and around those frisky bits of fur and put them up for adoption. Meaning that I posted a note on the chalkboard in my classroom and all five of those babies had taken up residence in five loving homes before nightfall.

Muffin went to the hospital the next morning and came home with a smile on her face. She was beautiful and vain and tickled pink that she would ever thereafter keep her girlish figure.

I’ve lived very few of my adult years outside the company of a cat, but Muffin was the last of only three little girls who shared my fireside.

Since Muffin, gender hasn’t been a conscious choice. I’d be fresh out of cat; Tom would show up at my door; I’d take him in, and we would enjoy each other’s company throughout his nine lives. Even then my grief was short-lived. It wouldn’t be long before another cat showed up at my door. Invariably, it was a male.

I wonder why it is that when strangers meet my current boy cat, they ask what “her” name is ... comment on “her” beautiful coat ... exclaim that “she” is sitting on the kitchen counter. I wouldn’t mention it if those same strangers weren’t apt to use the masculine pronoun when referring to my girl dog, and that’s sexist.

Of course it is.

In our primary years we learned to read “See Spot. See Spot run,” and it was always Bobby who threw the ball while Fluff curled up in Molly’s arms. Dogs are for boys and cats are for girls and never the twain shall exchange.

We were programmed for political correctness even as far back as then.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

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