Dogs are a man’s best friend. While this may certainly be true, men shouldn’t limit their furry companion options with dogs. More men should own cats; there are plenty of reasons why cats are both entertaining and interesting, and there are plenty of man-heroes out there who had a great time with their feline buds.
1. Cats teach men patience.
While it’s pretty stereotypical to say, “men aren’t patient,” a lot of the time it’s true, despite our unwillingness to admit it. Men and dogs get along so well instantly because most dogs are always ready to play, love everyone, all the time, without reservation. This is great! These traits are both admirable and adorable. However, owning and caring for a cat can teach men patience in ways that dogs can’t.
When you first adopt a cat, chances are he/she is not going to be happy. This newly-adopted cat is in unfamiliar territory, with strange people, and new smells. Not cool, thinks the cat. To get the cat used to you and the surroundings, you need to learn patience. It might take a few days of refilling a food bowl for a cat you never see come out from under the sofa, but that’s ok. Give the cat space and time, and soon he/she will be rubbing all over you.
Additionally, once the cat is moved in, your cat might not want attention all the time. Sometimes cats just want to hang out in the same room as you, but won’t want you petting on them. That’s cool too. You do your thing, cat, and come back when you’re ready for some loving.
To me, this feels a lot more natural. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a cat at all times in my home, but it’s largely because cats are more humanlike to me than dogs. Cats aren’t go go go all the time, because sometimes they just want to hang out and nap. I feel them there. The playfulness of dogs is awesome, and I genuinely enjoy it, but there is something worthwhile about earning an animal’s trust and respect, as opposed to receiving it carte blanche.
2. Cats teach men curiosity.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it enriched the dude. Sometimes I come home for lunch during the day and think, “Where is that cat?” I look in all her usual spots, but she’s nowhere to be found. It’s not until I’ve eaten lunch and rested a bit until I go in my bedroom and find her sleeping in the strangest place–a nook I didn’t even know existed.
Cats get into stuff, for better or worse, and that’s awesome. They show you strange nooks of your home, new pathways, and are parkour geniuses. This, to me, is all very interesting–watching an animal navigate my home. It’s a lot like owning a toddler that can jump five times his/her height.
For the most part, dogs are fairly predictable. They have one path in the house, one sleeping spot, and one routine. I have no idea what my cat is going to do next, where she’s going to sleep, or what is going to suddenly look like a monster. This rules, and it’s something that more men should recognize and appreciate when deciding on an animal to adopt.
3. Lots of awesome men owned cats.
First and foremost, Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had a house in Key West that was totally run by polydactyl cats–cats with more than the normal amount of toes. The offspring of these genetically-mutated felines are still hanging out around that house today. Sailors in the area used to breed these cats because they were awesome at rodent control on ships, and had superior climbing skills because of their extra toes. As a result, Hemingway’s Key West house became a breeding ground for them, and he loved those awesome cats.
Winston Churchill was also an ardent ailurophile. His marmalade cat named “Jock” used to sleep with him on his bed, share his breakfast table, and even sat in on a few war-time Cabinet meetings. If Jock was late for a meal, Churchill would send servants to find him, and he insisted on waiting for his cat to return before starting a meal.
Albert Einstein was a cat-loving genius. According to legend, Einstein’s cat, “Tiger,” would get depressed when it rained. This lovable feature sparked great interest within Einstein, enough to cause him to proclaim, “The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats.” I agree, Albert.
Famous author T.S. Eliot was also a cat-lover, and he even wrote a book about cats called “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” which eventually sparked the inspiration for the famous musical, Cats. One of the more famous poems, “Mr. Mistoffelees,” goes something like this:
He is quiet and small, he is black
From his ears to the tip of his tail;
He can creep through the tiniest crack,
He can walk on the narrowest rail.
He can pick any card from a pack,
He is equally cunning with dice;
He is always deceiving you into believing
That he’s only hunting for mice.
He can play any trick with a cork
Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste;
If you look for a knife or a fork
And you think it is merely misplaced–
You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn!
But you’ll find it next week lying out on the lawn.
Mark Twain is my favorite cat-loving man-idol. He owned 11 cats at his Connecticut farm, and once wrote, “I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.” He also wrote, “If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way,” and “The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won’t sit upon a cold stove lid, either.” Some of his cats had awesome names like “Sour Mash,” “Zoroaster,” “Beelzebub,” and “Apollinaris.”
This list of awesome cat-loving men can go on forever, so here’s just a few more notable crazy cat guys who are recorded cat lovers: Nostradamus, Isaac Newton, Henri Matisse, Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Nikola Tesla, Andrew Lloyd Weber, H. G. Wells, Robert E. Lee, and Alexander Dumas. This list reads like a who’s who in awesome man-stuff, and it should help persuade any guy who sees cat adoption as “wussy” or “girly” re-think his frame of mind.
Both cats and dogs have something great to offer, but many men rule out cats entirely based on their bad experience with one cat, in one place, at one time. Get to know a cat who loves you, and you’ll get to see new sides of pet ownership you never thought possible.