The Truth About Cats and Dogs

My name is Rob and I own a cat. But wait, I also have a dog!

Look, I usually go my own way with head held high, but the matter of cats and dogs stirs some uneasy feelings. There’s a subtle prejudice in our culture about men with cats that’s cut with sexism and old stereotypes. In a nutshell, it’s the idea that cats are feminine, dogs are masculine and a guy with a cat — particularly a single guy — is not a manly man.

Don’t get mad at me, I’m just telling you what I’ve observed. And if you don’t believe it, read what Kristi Gustafson Barlette wrote on the topic. She stopped just shy of calling it “creepy,” for God’s sake.

You might think that as a married man with a dog none of this would phase me, but the cat stigma has affected my behavior. Here’s the thing: when I go to the pet store and buy two dozen cans of cat food, I’m always sure to throw in a dog item so the clerk doesn’t judge me over my pet proclivity.

Dog treats, dog toys, various dog accessories and dog chewy things — as long as it’s clearly for a dog. I’ve even held up an item and said to the cashier, “My DOG is going to love this!”

Yes, that’s nuts.

What can I say? Blame society for this cruel view of men and cats. It benefits no one — except maybe for my dog. She loves it.

13 thoughts on “The Truth About Cats and Dogs

  1. As a man approaching 50 with two delightful cats of his own, I am supremely confident in both my masculinity and my love of felines. What some abject twat like Kristi Gustafson Barlette has to say about the topic interests me not. Any male who has a problem with cats or the notion that that owning cats is somehow emasculating is merely suffering from small dick syndrome – such men are equally threatened by strong women, any deviation from gender norms, bubble baths and flowers. Be a man – stroke your pussy with vim!!

    1. Here’s to stroking with vim!

      And an editor’s note. I nearly omitted the word “twat” from your otherwise wonderful comment. I prefer not to mess with comments unless absolutely necessary. After thinking it over, I’d put twat on par with the word “dick,” a word that is also somewhat vulgar, but not not quite over the line. I’d like to remind readers that twat is commonly used and more widely accepted in the UK. Had you tossed out twat’s nasty cousin — and you know who I’m talking about — then I would have stepped in.

  2. I’m surprised that you would care what the clerk thinks about your pets. We’ve never met so all I know about you is what has been shared on this blog. I would have guessed you didn’t care what the clerk thought about your cat food purchase. Perhaps I’m being naive. If I went to lunch with someone and they ordered a pastrami on white toast with mayo, lettuce and tomato, I’d be judging.

    I don’t get the commitment logic in Kristi’s post. If one is afraid of commitment, why would one enter a decade plus relationship with a cat, even if the cat requires a little less hands on maintenance than other pets? It makes no sense.

    Even though housing a cat may require less work than a dog, an owner of either still has to deal with shit. Any agreement (either written or verbal) to routinely pick up another animal’s shit is a serious commitment. Is there a fecal commitment spectrum? Maybe

    hamster shit < cat shit < dog shit < horse shit < elephant shit

    1. Well, Jon, you nabbed me. I sometimes resort to a bit of hyperbole to make points, so my story may have overstated how much I care. But within every tale there’s a wee bit of truth, isn’t there?

      As for picking up shit, I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to know how much shit I’ve picked up over the years.

      1. Definitely some truth in every tale. I suppose that’s why some tales scare the shit out of me. Off to be a manly man with the dog, then maybe split some firewood, frame a house and make several long term commitments.

  3. I re-read that idiotic post, and then read the comments, hoping that I had posted a good response. I am happy to report that I didn’t give Kristi a pass in that one.

  4. I wonder what owning Chameleons and Bearded Dragons says about a man?
    I guess if anyone had an issue, my response would be “Do you know how many Beardies it takes to make a belt?”

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