Many people associate cats with women and dogs with men. But like almost everything else, there is no exclusivity. We have heard and read the expressions and phrases. Crazy cat lady. Dogs are a chick magnet. And on and on. These can be true, but they tell us so little about the world of cats and people.
I am a guy, and I love cats more than dogs. Dogs are awesome too, but there is something about a purr and having a cat nose pushed against mine in total affection that reaches me in a way dogs do not.
Growing up, there were no cats in the house. My momma did not like cats at all. She loved dogs. So much for the stereotype. I had a dog, and it was great. Wherever I went on my bike, she ran along beside me ready for any adventure. Yet I wanted a cat, having met a few and finding their generally calm and affectionate nature appealing.
It was not until I was in my twenties that I got a cat. Then two. And not having much of a clue, kittens. Back then, there was no internet and animals were considered just creatures that did things like reproduce. There was a lot for me to learn, and a lot of bad information everywhere.
“Males cats kill kittens” was one thing I had heard. When Kong had her kittens I kept King in a separate space. A couple days later, I let him in to see Kong and her kits in a big blanket filled cardboard box. He was fascinated. There was no killer instinct. Just a father seeing his kits for the first time. He purred, and Kong fully approved of his visit with purrs of her own. He was the best real cat dad. So much for orally transmitted knowledge.
“Cats only think of themselves” was another lie. Kong lost one of her front legs to an animal with a rifle. One day, King and Kong were in the yard. I saw another cat approach and go after the three legged Kong. King immediately attacked it and drove it off. They do care, as I learned again and again. If you do Youtube, you will find many videos of cats protecting people, other cats, and even dogs.
They taught me a lot, and not for one second did I regret having them. King and Kong are long gone, but the lessons and the love remain.
Now Luna owns me and I would not have it any other way. At the store, both Curious and Ninja rush to greet me when I arrive and are disappointed when I leave.
Back at home, a very shy Maya comes up to me, turns, then leads me to her food for a snack or to “her” tower for a petting session.
Charles Darwin wrote:
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved.”
One of the most beautiful and most wonderful is the cat. I am a cat dad, living in the service of the cats I love.