It’s an old stereotype that I’ve found to be true. Why is it that single women have such an affinity for feline companions?
Single women and their cats – it’s a classic stereotype. The unmarried lady, the spinster even, holed up in her house with only her cats for companionship. Who else, according to Anglo Saxon/American mythology has a cat for a companion? A witch, of course. Isn’t it interesting that our culture has placed two very scary types of women, single ladies and witches, in the “has a cat” category?
Why cats have been given this dubious honor I can only guess. Perhaps because like many unmarried women, cats are independent, enjoy their own company, like to position themselves in a manner that’s both comfortable and attractive, prefer to come and go as they please, resist groveling to a master, and enjoy a good game of “cat and mouse” from time to time.
Of course, the kind of pet you share your life with has nothing to do with your relationship status, not really. And more single men than ever are realizing that cats (insert single women) make excellent companions because they’re relatively low maintenance compared to a dog (insert needy gotta-get-married-now women) while still offering excellent companionship and affection.
Still, all kidding aside, it is interesting that so many single women actually do have an affinity for felines.
I’ve had as many as five at one time, although I’ll admit that was really too many. And I had three cats for years until a couple of weeks ago, when 19-year-old Smokey Joe was euthanized, ready for escape from his worn-out Earth suit.
I’ll miss Smokey Joe. He was one of the great ones: fearless, magnificent and steadfastly loyal. He’d been a loving friend since my ex-husband dropped him off at my apartment for a brief stay some 18 1/2 years ago. Smokey saw me through that divorce and was at my side with a reassuring head-butt when I opened the envelope with the final decree and felt that stab of “it’s really finally over.”
He cast a dubious eye and sharp claw at Armando, the boyfriend who tried to talk me into investing my 401K in his shady real estate dealings. Smokey shared my affection with the two men I thought I would marry but wisely did not, and didn’t judge me for those short-term flings that were frivolous fun but clearly bad choices.
That black and silver tabby saw me through going back to college and starting Singular magazine and SingularCity. He tolerated the introduction of other cats, a parrot and a Chihuahua without asking why he wasn’t enough. He sat in his cat bed on my desk on hundreds of nights as I pounded out another story and considered it his responsibility to wake me up every morning at 5 a.m. with a soft tapping of his big, furry paw on my lip – a tapping that became more insistent if I tried to ignore it.
So when the time came to call the vet to come to my house to help Smokey get to The Rainbow Bridge, I let out a wail and sobbed because that was the day when my good friend of 19 years would leave my house and never again be this single lady’s best cat.
They say that cats are the wildest of the tame and the tamest of the wild – and I think the same can be said about women who are single. Although we’ve been taught and cajoled to do all we can to become un-single and despite those moments of being overwhelmed with life and wishing we had a partner to help us, there’s a certain feline beauty and cat-like nobility in our spirit. We can see ourselves reflected in the jewel-like eyes of our elegant feline companions and share a kindred spirit.
As for the witch part, I’ll let you decide that for yourself!
Copyright © Kim Calvert / 2014 Singular Communications, LLC.