How Many Cats Is Too Many Cats?

Two cats is a perfectly reasonable number of cats. No one will question two cats — unless you’re a man maybe. Three cats, and you can only be a cat person. Four cats, and you’re a crazy cat person. Five cats, and you’re an animal hoarder. This is a bunch of balderdash, codswallop, and claptrap spread by the anti-cat media, these pretentious bourgeoisies with their stable relationships and healthy social lives. These #pfsi (Perfectly Fit For Social Interaction) people who “go outside” and “have careers.” Maybe we want a different lifestyle. Maybe we want to be surrounded by creatures that are infinitely lovable, but ultimately do not and will never feel love for us as a proxy for society. Maybe we don’t want the easy automatic loyalty of a dog. Maybe we want a pet whose default expression is a supercilious glare.

If I had a stable living situation, a large house, and no one to judge me, I would stock the place with cats the way a pond is stocked with fish. Everywhere you turn — cat. On the table — cat. On the couch — cat. On the window — two cats. The walls would have a series of platforms for cats to perch on and glower down from like gargoyles. The living room would be converted into a kitty playground with carpeted tubes and cardboard boxes. Is that a bathtub in the kitchen? No, it’s an enormous cat genie litter box which cleans itself automatically and plugs directly into a sewage pipe. Wouldn’t it be better placed in the laundry room or the bathroom? Not important, stop asking questions.

For one special cat, a black cat, an aggressive hateful cat, I would purchase red contact lenses, and dress him/ her in an enormous black cloak. I would surgically replace its canines with poison filled fangs. This cat would be named Death, and she would stalk the house, lurking in dark shadowy corners. If I have guests, I would warn them, “Watch out for Death! She could strike from anywhere at anytime!” The best pets are ever present reminders of one’s mortality.

If I could have any job, it would be as a Cat Friend. People would call me — “Hello? I need to book a Cat Friend for 3:30 please.” — and I would arrive in a huge white van equipped with brushes, laser pointers, catnip, tuna, and balls of yarn. While the client engaged in essential non-cat related activities like eating, going to the bathroom, and laundry, I would pet the cat — I would pet the cat for hours. Hours and hours. Hours and hours and hours. If the cat got bored of being petted, I would find other ways of entertaining him/ her, utilizing my Stimulation Enhancers — bottle caps and strips of aluminum foil. I would be the utmost professional as I would have attended the — as of yet unfounded — Cat Friend Trade School where students are locked in a pitch black room with a dozen cats for four years with no human contact or communication with the outside world.

Pouring out my paltry supply of affection into a being incapable of fully understanding or appreciating it is what my life’s all about. It’s what I’m best at. Even on a full stomach, if given a choice between love and a piece of imitation crab meat sculpted into a fish shape, a cat will always choose the tasty treat. If placed in a different home, the cat will forget its owner almost immediately. A cat, upon seeing its owner’s rotting corpse, will lick up the blood, nibble on an ear, and then go take a nap on the laptop keyboard. A cat wants to get away from you, wants to go outside, wants to flee far away, and only return for food. And that’s fine, perfectly acceptable, no big deal — they’re still soft and cuddly, and I will hold him like a little baby even though he hates it.

I have no cats. I used to have two, but now I have none. None! And the void in my life is almost a tangible thing, a cat shaped outline that follows me from room to room, haunting me, gnawing at my soul. Whenever I visit someone who owns cats, I disengage from the conversation and become interested only in cat petting. “Where did Brad go?” “Oh, he’s in my room, trying to coax Panda out from under the bed.” Whenever someone mentions that he/ she owns cats, I — without a trace of sarcasm — ask to see photos on his/ her phone. My eyes become hungry mouths, devouring cat photo after cat photo while repeating, “Cute,” like an eerie mantra.

I had to give away my cats when I moved to a new place that didn’t allow pets due to a previous renter whose dogs peed all over the carpet. My first cat I gave away on Craigslist to two actors from The Hills Have Eyes — or at least that’s what they looked like to me. The second cat, the one I raised from a tiny kitten, escaped from a friend’s house and began roaming wild through the neighborhood.

For weeks, I didn’t see her, and then one day, while on my way to an exam, I spotted her slinking around on someone’s lawn. We both froze. I knew as soon as I moved, she’d sprint away, and I’d never catch her. I also knew that if I tried to chase after her, I would miss my exam. She wouldn’t approach me, didn’t even recognize me. For the longest time, we just stood there, staring at each other. Then I called her name — as if that had ever worked before — and she shot off between houses, gone. That was the last time I saw her. TC mark

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  • Erin

    Aww.  Sad.

  • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

    AHHHHHHHH YESSSSSSSSSSSS

  • Smartkardashian

    LONG LIVE BRAD PIKE

  • Diana

    HAHAHAHHA please please tell me you’ve seen the show on TLC about Animal Hoarding?? There’s an episode about cats that is fabulous, just like you.

  • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

    Wait I have to comment again this is my favorite article of all time.

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      YESSSS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    That’s like asking how much happiness is too much happiness. 

  • Anonymous

    A lovely article – for cat lovers and haters ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1226359000 Beatrice del Rosario

    This article has been bookmarked for a rainy day.  Love.

  • Oliver Miller

    Never too many cats.  I used to have a recurring dream where I slept on a bed made of cats, and it was awesome.  My gf at the time pointed out that this would have injured some of the cats, but I didn’t care; it made me happy.

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      Here’s an image: me in a tiny boat with a leak…adrift on an ocean of cats.

      • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

        Someone needs to make me a painting of that.

  • A.

    perfect

  • Emily

    Oh my God, get out of my head.

  • Debbyw75

    Are you like related to that Pike cop guy that sprayed pepper spray on those Occupy Oakland college kids because if you are that would be TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      Nope. Maybe an obscure cousin or something, but I doubt it. I wish I was though, so I could give him thirty giftwrapped packages of cat shit for Christmas.

  • Nicole

    I can’t stop laughing and this is also exactly how I feel about cats.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WQXSSKAMOU4WCHKCWYMUKKKNU Aladin Sane

    YOU JUST CAN’T HUG EVERY CAT.

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    Super funny and awesome. My gf and I brokeup and she took her cats :(

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      No joint custody? What’s a loveless relationship next to the alternative: a house with no cats?

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    we should post pics of our cats faces to cheer you up
    I’ll start, his name is frank

    • Oliver Miller

      WHO’S A LITTLE KITTY?

      • Oliver Miller

        Oh god I love cats so much kill me.  This is Penny:

      • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

        Looks like she’s plotting.

    • Shartenbaum

      Spot:

      • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

        MAIL ME YOUR CAT!

    • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

      Geddy Lee <3

      • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

        AAAAAHHHH WANT TO TOUCH THAT PAW!

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! RUBBING FACE AGAINST THE SCREEN!

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

    I swear, you write the most perfectly timed articles with my life. My girlfriend is obsessively considering obtaining another cat. This must be shared.

  • Anonymous

    lovveee this. there is no such thing as too many cats. never!

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    dying laughing in the office. awks but worth it. it seems, Brad, you might find your calling as a rentrepreneur – you can rent out your cat petting services to busy cat owners. alternatively, you could probably rent someone’s cat. or many someones’ cats.
    http://www.neatorama.com/2011/11/27/rentrepreneur-renting-your-stuff-to-make-a-living/

  • R M Finlayson

    Dear Brad, 

    Marry me?

    Love, 
    R

    • samantha

      NO

    • samantha

      that ruins everything

  • JT

    My god, this article is perfect and the pictures of the cats in the comments section nearly made me cry. I need to meet a kitty asap.

  • VA

    A million times yes!  I can’t wait to go home and hold my little fuzzball like a baby even though she’ll growl and kick.  She’s just the cutest.  This is Kitty.

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      If I rub my face against the computer screen while the image is open, my anxiety decreases for a moment.

  • Nicholae Cline

    bless you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500350106 Aubrey Bellamy

    Loved this, sobbing now. 

  • Tina

    There was a point in time when my family had six cats, then I moved out and my condo doesn’t allow pets :( Saddest moment of my life.

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      :'(

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