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October 2017
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The Crazy Cat Lady We All Know We Are

We all know the sad, stereotypical image of that old lady sitting, alone in her way too detailed pink apartment with shiny, flowery tea sets and, of course, lots of cats. Everywhere you look, there are real life cats, cats on pillows, cats in picture frames and maybe even a cat sweater, either with a picture of a cat or simply covered in cat hair. This phenomenon of the ‘crazy cat lady’ is often portrayed and seen in society. The link between the female gender and cats, however, is as old as time. Throughout history, the two are often linked together visually, as well as in character. Even in Egyptian history, women are often portrayed as closely related with these godlike creatures. Women and cats alike were worshipped and shared a strong connection with each other.

However, the definition of the famous cat lady nowadays is a little bit different. The so called Urban dictionary describes her as: ‘An old woman who usually lives secluded from society with her hundreds of cats. She is a woman, usually middle-aged or older, who lives alone with no husband or boyfriend, and fills the empty, lonely void in her life with as many cats as she can collect in one place.’

But, there might be an explanation for this obsession. Rachel Schultz from Shape.com found that a, Dutch research team has discovered, owning a cat can significantly increase the possibility of one developing a mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction later in life, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This thanks to a dangerous bacteria that our innocent cats secretly carry around with them. According to CBSnews various recent research indicates that there is a link between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, carried around and spread by cats, and numerous psychiatric conditions like OCD. Therefore, being so-called obsessed with cats and sharing great love for these animals can be a symptom of the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Do not worry though our beloved pets are not infecting us knowingly…

The media has picked up these results. There are many television characters such as crazy cat lady Eleanor Abernathy from the Simpsons, and Val from the MTV show Akward that portray the psychological symptoms you might recognize as well. These characters are all diagnosed with the media creation of The Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome. But no matter how much we love these characters, these assumptions have led to many negative connotations surrounding the term crazy cat lady.

Nowadays the crazy cat lady is becoming less stereotypical and is no longer linked to old single ladies hoarding cats. Rather, she is portrayed more often as a single career driven women, isolated from a romantic life. This phenomenon has thus, leaped over to a younger generation. Not just old single ladies but also busy career women with no time for a spouse, are lured into the seduction of finding love in their pets, in particular cats.

Unfortunately, there is still a negative connotation around the term crazy cat lady. Forbes has stated the crazy cat lady to be a romance-challenged (often career-oriented) woman that tends to find her comfort in the company of a cat. But it doesn’t stop here. ‘The cat lady is crazy, dowdy, a spinster, a man-hater. She is unbecoming. She is even unwomanly. In fact the word “feminist” carries many of the same connotations,’ said Julia Robins from Ms. Blog magazine. However, she is one of many that is trying to debunk the crazy cat lady myth and link the phenomenon to more positive attributes.

So now it is time to pay attention and convince everyone you are not as crazy as they think. There are several reasons why the myth around the crazy cat lady and all the negative aspects that surround it are not valid. First of all, cats are often seen as sassy, stubborn creatures and these characteristics are linked to their owners. But, instead of viewing this in a negative light by portraying cat ladies to be headstrong, why not view them as strong, independent women with a soft side for cats. Secondly, cat ladies are seen as hoarders keeping too many cats in a small apartment. This, however, is often not the case. Cat ladies in the younger generation generally own one or two cats that they devote all their time and love to.

Also, cat lovers are not exclusively female. There are many famous cat-obsessed men. US Presidents Roosevelt, and Lincoln, UK prime minister Churchill and Sir Elton John are all prime examples of this. The writers on the World’s Best Cat Litter website agree saying: ‘today’s cat lover is actually a remarkably diversified breed. They are older couples, young singles, college students, tough guys, business executives and entrepreneurs, adventurers, working moms, grandfathers, celebrities and everything in between.’

On top of these false accusations, there are many reasons why you should be proud of being a cat lady. In fact, a great commercial trend is emerging due to the lovely statuesque creatures. Being obsessed with cats and, thusly, becoming a crazy cat lady, is no longer something to be ashamed of. A lady interviewed for the article “Is The Crazy Cat Lady Thing a Myth” stated: ‘I admit that I own a t-shirt with an Edward Gorey illustration of a cat sitting among a pile of books. The text reads: “Cats. Books. Life Is Good.” I wear this shirt around the city with no embarrassment whatsoever.’

Accordingly, stores are playing into this increasingly growing love for cats. Since cat ladies are obsessed with everything cat related, books, postcards, sweaters, pillows, bags, etc. luckily for us, these products can be found everywhere nowadays. Also, the commonly known adorable cat video’s being posted on the Internet are becoming more and more popular. Who doesn’t love a kitten playing with its own tail. There is even an event called CatCon where cat lovers can express their adoration for the animals and find people with the same interest.

So, do not worry or get embarrassed when you have secretly fallen for these creatures. Rather, embrace their love and do not be afraid to obsess over your fuzzy pet. The crazy cat lady has been around for a long time and will remain to exist. We all know our cats have the power to steal our hearts and turn us into the crazy cat lady we know we are.

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