The story pointed out the popularity of Web sites such as Menandcats.com and the YouTube video An Engineer’s Guide to Cats, as well as a study by the U.K. organization Cats Protection that showed that
single male cat owners were more likely than their female counterparts
to have made, or consider making, a sacrifice for their cat — including
giving up a holiday or going into debt for their cat if necessary.
While I know plenty of women who’ve made financial and personal sacrifices for their cats, this article is heartening on many levels.
First of all, it counters the stereotype that only women keep company
with cats — an idea that’s just a short leap from crazy cat lady and
lonely spinster cliches.
Second of all, if cats become viewed as
pets for everyone, perhaps their status in society will rise to the
level of dogs. According to the CATalyst Summit, although cats are the
most popular pet in America (there are an estimated 82
million cats in the U.S.), they are only half as likely as dogs to see
Homeless cats are also a crisis for animal shelters nationwide. According to the most recent study on the subject, more than 70% of cats in
animal shelters are euthanized (compared to a still-shocking 56% of dogs).
Earlier this year, Petfinder partnered with Cat Fancy to ask readers to create an advertising campaign for cats, who don’t have a cool slogan like “man’s best friend.” The winning entry was, in fact, submitted by a man who was unashamed of his love for his feline best friend.
Let’s hope that a pet cat (from a shelter or rescue group, of course), becomes the new way for men to show the world that, as one interviewee tells the Times, a man with a cat “is secure with himself. He’s sharing his space with a predator.”