While I haven’t been a queen bee on the dating market, I’ve had my fair share of dates and enough relationships to start developing some rules. No matter how much I admire Bill Gates, I just can’t overlook the absence of a college degree. While good manners run a pretty wide spectrum, I refuse to spend the rest of my life seated across the table from an open mouth providing a slide show of chewed up food. Pets are a wonderful thing, as long as they qualify as a dog. Cats who act like dogs don’t count. In fact, cat owners need not apply.
I have a date tonight with a guy I met online. We emailed back and forth for around a month and a half and eventually made it to the phone. In the midst of the conversation, I heard what sounded to be purring. I asked for an explanation and was told, “Oh, it’s just one of my cats.” Yes, one. Which means the residence is home to 1+ bitchy, PMS-ing, cranky ex-girlfriend-esque pets. I wanted to hang up. Feign illness. Pretend my signal was dropped. Anything to escape this man with felines. Then I started to feel mean. It didn’t seem fair to judge a man on his poor taste in pets. Ex had a cat, Simba. My interaction with the cat was always overseen by Ex who would walk me through it all. It was his failed attempt to convince me his cat was great.
"See Paige, he loves when you do that. He's purring. Wait, stop. Stop, he's going to pounce. Don't do that!"
Note I didn't change one thing about how I was petting this thing and in a single second my gesture went from being worthy of purring to worthy of scratching my eyes out. I'll admit that as long as he kept to himself, Simba was tolerable. Problems arose when he started regularly peeing on the bed and vomiting on the floor. Eventually the cat was donated back to a shelter because the gastro surgery to repair him was too expensive. I tried my darnedest to be sympathetic to Ex but on the inside, I was throwing a party. Finally, the creature that crapped in a box, walked out of the box and then traipsed its E. Coli paws all over the countertops was gone. Allow me to offer my sincere condolences.
To keep me straight in this confusing time, I’ve turned to friends. Not the ones who merely tell me what I want to hear but the ones who say it like it is. Here are some of the comments:
“No way. I can’t handle a man with cats. Mike had a cat. Remember what a nightmare he turned out to be? Then again, nothing a sudden dander allergy or poison can’t remedy.” - J
“It’s a character flaw when a man owns a cat. When he owns two, he needs to be institutionalized. Seriously, Paige, I think you should put in your online profile ‘I hate pussy’ to avoid these guys.” - L
“A man who can relate to cats can't relate to women. Cancel.” - D
“Fuck no. Seriously. A man with a kitty is a pussy. Getting laid is important but not that important.” - A
Either I surround myself with people who are eerily similar to me or women of the world are united in repulsion toward men with cats. I even stepped outside of my inner circle for guidance and trust me, those answers were no gentler than the few just shared.
The downfall to my inquiry is that my date is scheduled for later tonight. I can claim a stomach virus. No one ever challenges that because having to possibly hear the details about upchuck or mushy tushy are too unpleasant. Oh well. I’ll take one for the team. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a connection and the cats will become secondary. And if the felines fail to fall secondary, well, there is always….achoo!