January 30, 2012

Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Cats

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What is the issue?
Nowadays, you can hardly have a public sobbing fit without knocking over some kind of dating advice book. From The Game to He’s Just Not That Into You, these tomes tell you exactly what to do to attract the opposite (or same) sex. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to read a book to figure out the keys to sex and romance. Take a cue from me. Everything I need to know about love, I learned from Puddin’, my roommate’s cat.

Be Independent

Unlike dogs, who constantly crave attention and validation, cats hold it down for themselves. Puddin’ doesn’t need someone to take him out for walks. Puddin’ doesn’t need anyone to throw a stick for him to fetch. Puddin’ is comfortable with Puddin’. He sleeps when he wants. He eats when he wants. He works hard on his scratching post, and he plays hard with his plush mouse. Puddin’ is self-actualized. From watching him, I realized that I need to be happy in my own fur (in my case, skin) before I can love someone else.

Listen To Your Body

Only you know what’s best for you. Humans are usually awake during the day, but that’s prime sleeping time for cats. Puddin’ knows what Puddin’ wants. He sleeps during the daylight, but at night he’s on the prowl. That’s just what works for him.

You’ve got to know what your body needs. If you can’t party all the time, don’t date such a social butterfly. If you are a morning person, don’t let anyone tell you that’s wrong. A relationship can’t be happy if it’s not healthy. And in a healthy relationship, each person has to respect the physical needs of the other.

Have Some Attitude

Puddin’ doesn’t take guff from anyone. If you try to scratch his belly, and he doesn’t want his belly scratched, then look out. You’re going to get bitten. What? Puddin’ was lying on his back practically begging you to scratch him? Don’t be obtuse. Puddin’ is a complicated cat. Maybe he’s been burned before by a girl who said she wanted to scratch his belly forever, and then she left him for a drummer and told Puddin’ that his life was “in a rut” and he had “no ambition.” Maybe Puddin’ doesn’t want to put himself out there again. And no matter how badly he wants his belly scratched, he’s going to make you work for it. Maybe he’s just playing hard to get. Rawr.

Plus, he can just take a dump wherever he wants. That’s pretty bad-ass. It’s like: “Yeah, I’ve got issues, okay. But I own that. And you have to decide how you feel now that everything’s out on the table. Because I literally pooped on the table.”

Don’t Have Genitals

Justin, my roommate, is a responsible pet owner. When Justin adopted Puddin’ from the cat shelter, he had Puddin’ neutered. When Puddin’ makes a decision, he does what’s right for him. He’s not thinking with his libido. He can’t. He literally has no functioning genitalia.

Now that’s freedom. The liberation from the need for empty sexual fulfillment. When Puddin’ settles down, (I mean, if he does. He’s quite the bachelor.) it’s not going to be for physical reasons.

I’m not saying I’ve had a doctor physically disable my genitalia. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. And you’d be crazy if you didn’t consider it too.

Walk on All Fours

This one is obvious. On all fours, you have superior balance, more explosive jumping capability, and a low center of gravity. Yeah, cats are quadrupeds with four feet, and humans are bipeds with only two. Who cares? You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s standards. Remember: Be Independent.

If you want, you can walk on all fours. I do it. Before, people would push me around. I was a punching bag. Now, no one even goes near me. Why? They’re intimidated by my fierce independence and explosive jumping capability. And women love confidence. Generally, I find that they’re ambivalent to explosive jumping capability.

Sever All Ties With Your Biological Family

Puddin’ never sees his mother or any of the other kittens from his litter. Why should he? He’s off the teat. He’s out there in the world. Clawing couches. Pooping on tables. No one jumps all up Puddin’s ass for “missing his grandfather’s eightieth birthday party” or “walking around on all fours like a cat all day.” Unlike my stupid family.

Dammit, mom. Can’t you see that I’m just trying to be independent? That I march to the tune of my own drummer? Maybe it’s a different world now, and you don’t have to have kids by twenty-seven. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City. His writing has been …

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