1. If we end a date early or blow you off because we need to go home and feed the cat, it’s a cop-out. Somewhere, a cat owner once realized that going home to walk the dog was a fail-safe excuse for people with dogs, and decided cat owners needed in on it, too. Chances are really good Tiger has a bowl of dry food set aside for him. (But we’re still going to use this excuse even now that you know about it.)
2. Part of the reason why we got a cat is because we’re independent ourselves. Don’t force us to be sentimental or affectionate. Let us come to you. We will, as long as it’s on our own terms.
3. The only person allowed to talk shit about how annoying the cat is, is the owner of the cat. You might hear us griping about something weird Ruby did, but if you join in, we’re going to defend her.
4. Sometimes there’s nothing we’d like more than staying in, watching a movie, and just chilling. We don’t need to be in the center of every party, and forcing us into those situations is going to make us want to run in the other direction.
5. Whether or not the cat likes you is a huge make-or-break in any potential relationship.
6. The cat is going to be offended when you take their spot on the bed. The person you’re dating will probably take the cat’s side. You’re just going to have to deal with it.
7. Show up with a present for the cat — or at least be genuinely excited to see it when you’re over at their place — and you’ll win major points. Stop, take a photo of the animal, and post it to Instagram, and you’ll win affection for life.
8. The cat isn’t just a pet. It is a companion, an equal, and you should not treat one like a subordinate. If it’s sitting there, just judging you, there is a good reason. (And its owner is going to heed that advice.)
9. There’s going to be random cat hairs all over your clothes. It’s a small price to pay. We deal with it, too.
10. If you’re allergic to cats, it’s just… I mean… We really don’t see this going anywhere, unless you’re willing to suck down untold amounts of Benadryl.
11. If our cat instantly warms to you and likes you more than it likes us, we will resent you just a little.
12. And even if we say that we we love dogs, too, we’re always going to love our cat most of all. Either deal with it, or let us live out our fates as cat ladies (literal or proverbial). We really don’t see why that’s such a bad thing to be.