I have only a handful of dating tips for people. Don’t share coming out experiences on the first date, always pay your own way, do text back fast, etc.: there’s a lot to be said. But the biggest tip I have? Never trust a single man with more than one cat.
It’s a simple rule: if a man lives alone and has more than one cat, he is crazy. Something is going on behind the gloss of his eyes. He may seem great – And probably is! – but an element of the unhinged lurks. Maybe he’s not fully out of the closet, maybe he has intense mommy issues, maybe he has an unsavory kink that has yet to reveal itself: who knows. What I do know from many, many instances of dating single men with more than one cat is that it all ends terribly. They are all crazy. They are nice and attractive and interesting, yes, but they all have a screw loose – and you will always see that screw fall out, exploding into your lap.
That is the basic premise – or “twist” – of the now-viral New Yorker story “Cat Person” which follows a young woman dating an older man and what it means when said relationship ends. It goes where you think it does and offers a window into what it’s like to be a woman in the dating world. The story itself is somewhat OK but it’s the highlighting and paying off of the “problem” that resonates most.
While men without cats behave this way, the connection to the “single man with cat” is the kicker. I always said that these men seem to be living with a crazy parent in their midst, someone who quite literally attacks them (and you) and will appear out of nowhere to judge you or make subconscious suggestions on your life. The cat is more than a pet but a sort of low-level mastermind who is manipulating one’s action, quietly enabling your misbehavior. Got two cats as a single guy? Wow, you are in for some double fucking trouble since the animals seem to heighten your isolation.
But my question, which I’ve never looked up, is if the truth of “Cat Person” has something to do with the influence of a cat on the single man’s mind. Let’s investigate. First, according to National Geographic, dogs are a good indicator of a potential date’s ability to parent and care for someone else. But here is the most interesting tidbit from the story:
Cat owners were less likely than dog owners to judge a date based on their response to a pet, or to think a pet says something about the owner’s personality.
Essentially, a cat blurs a person’s ability to see the influence of a pet on someone. That is some hypocritical masterminding, cats!
Cats also seem to amplify some bad behavior too. The Guardian explains.
People who identified themselves as cat people showed significantly higher scores for neuroticism and openness than dog people, and significantly lower scores for extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness. In other words, we…tend to stress more, be more open to a variety of experiences, but show poorer self-discipline, cooperativeness and assertiveness.
This last item – “poorer self-discipline” – may reveal the nature of these men. Perhaps this is why we (I.) don’t trust them? They are, in some ways, diving into a thought or emotion or action that makes me a bit skeeved? I do not know.
Finally, some cats tend to breed an anti-fear response in animals and, likely, people. This may sound like a good thing but it’s also related to “psychotic disturbances in humans such as self-harm and suicide.” Paired with a poorer ability for self-discipline, we have a stew of bad, bad, bad for the loner cat dude.
But who knows! This is all a mishmash of colloquial understandings of the mind of cat men that have come to the forefront thanks to a creepy man story tethered to their animal ownership. Perhaps this will open up a box of thinking about men and cats but it won’t really change my opinion: don’t trust a single man with more than one cat. He’s nice, yes, but something lies beneath – and it’s likely a lot more than pet dander.