See, with all the popularity of the LOL cats, it's become much more socially acceptable to speak in public about cats- or better yet, to speak in public as a cat- in Kitteh, or LOLspeak. In the past few days, the following comments have been made to me by non-cat owning, ostensibly normal peoples:
- "[The groom] has such a big, shit-eating grin. I can has wife?!"
- Oh hai, I'z wondrin bout our plans for caturday?
- I has a computer! Im in ur internets, doin som werkz.
Yes, peoples of the internet, I am finally ready to tell you the awful truth:
I am the spawn of the crazy cat lady.
On my birthday, I received an email from someone with the exact same name as me. For a moment, it seemed plausible that one night, in a drunken fit of birthday preparation fervor, I had created a secret email account for myself and sent myself a bizarre birthday wish:
Happy-Happy-Happy Birthday. I hope it's a beautiful day for you. I wiil pray for you and your choices in a special way today.
Then I remembered that my mother has the exact same name as me, which is why I started going by my middle name. My mother, a staunch luddite, believes that little Japanese men live in the computer and push the cursor around the screen. Not unlike this (give it a minute to load). And so, afraid that too much internet usage is a slippery slope down the trail to Hiroshima, part deux, she avoids electronic communiques like the plague. But apparently, the kitties, in between their dedicated nap sessions, taught her how to use the interwebs, and now she types out emails to unsuspecting offspring. Then they all go pray the rosary and knit1.
And so, I live in fear, knowing that I am but one generation removed from this. Much like using smiley face emoticons, speaking kitteh is just one step down an winding path to crazy, which is why I tries sooooo hard to avoidz it. Sometimes I ignore my own cat for five or six seconds, just to prove that I can quit any time I want. I can feel it in my blood, and I suppress my crazy cat lady tendencies. While currently I live with four cats (full disclosure, one of those is my roommate, whose name is Kat), when I move out July 1st, I will henceforth restrict myself to one cat at a time (unless there's a really cute orphan cat who needs to be rescued from a fraternity, which is how I acquired my kitty). I try to wear only one cat-themed item in my outfit at any given time, despite how cute my ninja kitty shoes could look with my ninja kitty track jacket.
There are levels to the kitty madness, and I recognize that. I am mortified by the thought of my own mother and the kitty prayer circles she leads. But my friends' crazy families get a little more leeway. I pretended to be disgusted, although I was secretly charmed, when I heard the story of Maverick: When my friend's last sibling moved out of her parents' house, her mother adopted a cat, whom she named Maverick. She then proceeded to create "situations" for Maverick, such as starting a "Maverick for President" campaign, complete with buttons and campaign flyers passed out to neighbors, mailmen, and friends who never came back more than once. I believe Maverick also had a website where one could cast their vote for Maverick's campaign themesong, which is where Hillary got the idea in the first place.
I try my best not to talk about kitty too much.
F A I L
But it's hard. A few months ago, I participated in a focus group for cat owners, where I learned a very important lesson: while my cat is cute, interesting, and full of antics that I spend my time anthropomorphizing, other people's cats are boring. Also, fat. And while cats are cool, people who worship them are not.
But with all the people speaking in cat tongues, I'm finding it harder and harder to suppress my urges, and not to hang up pictures of kitty in my workspace (I compensate with pictures of the panda and my niece, who I've never actually met.). And I think we all know that the ninja kitty track jacket is only one step removed from the puffy paint patriotic pink sweatshirt.
And so it seems, the more Kitteh there is, the more my fate is inexorably sealed. And so, some days I must give in, snuggle up next to kitty, and enjoy the fact that despite all the stereotypes and the judgment, I always have someone to claw at my face at four in the morning, asking me, "I can has you to play nocturnal creaturez? You ken be mai quarry!"
But I will never, ever bathe him. That is a mistake a cat owner makes once- and only once.
1.Did I mention that my mother knits for a living? No, seriously, I'm not making this up.