Are We Oversharing About Our Cats?
You know that squicky feeling you get when you're standing near somebody who's carrying on a very loud conversation about how they have gonorrhea and just who they got it from? Or what about those mothers of newborns at the table next to you in a restaurant, who are having a detailed conversation about their babies' poop ... while you're trying to enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake?
Are we doing the same thing with our cats' lives?
A recent survey revealed that 24 percent of adults online are talking about their pets. But just how much of that conversation do you really want to hear?
Is it appropriate to talk about your cat's latest episode of explosive diarrhea that sent poop shrapnel halfway up the wall?
What about lamentations about your male cat's strange compulsion to masturbate, while sitting on your lap, and the graphic description of the results of all that licking? (Dude, put that thing away! Besides, he's neutered, and what-the-fluff is up with that?)
Although I don't have any friends who tweet about their cats' excretory habits or discuss their felines' fetishes on Facebook, I know it happens.
But of all the venues for potential oversharing -- on any subject -- YouTube seems to be among the biggest offenders. A search for "cat masturbating," for example, led to 881 results. The screenshot below is from one of the tamer ones. You can click through to see this and the videos below, if you want, although this one might be NSFW depending on how puritanical your workplace is.
What would your poor cat think if he knew his private foibles were being discussed in a very public venue? Would his whiskers wilt in embarrassment, or would he just be hissed off and give you the cold shoulder?
Actually, would he even care? Probably not.
Would you clutch your pearls and fan yourself if your friend talked about her dog mounting her cat ... and the cat's apparent enjoyment of the activity? Seems there are plenty of people who like to shoot videos of kinky dog-on-cat action. The screen shot below leads to a video is definitely NSFW because of the language in the soundtrack.
How do you feel about kitty sex on public display? Is it horrifying, or is it just silly like the next screen shot that leads to a video, straight from the You're Doing It Wrong files?
What about "outing" your cats? Would you share a video of your same-sex kitty couple enjoying some sexy times? Could you imagine if a Congressman were caught doing something like this? Oh, wait ...
Are there some things that should be discussed only with your veterinarian, or are we taking our own hangups about discussing personal subjects in our own lives and applying them to our cats?
In my cat advice blog, I've answered letters from readers on a variety of subjects that people probably consider totally inappropriate subjects for discussion. Why? Because, frankly, I don't have any of these kind of prudish hangups when it comes to cats. I wouldn't discuss my love life online in a public venue, but if someone wants to know why their cat seems to get sexual pleasure from rubbing against fleece blankets, I'll answer that question.
Why? Well, for some people it does take a lot of courage to come forward and ask such things. The land that eventually became United States was originally settled by a bunch of Puritans, and even now, 400-odd years later, most of us still hear that little voice in the back of our heads that says, "This Is Not Something to Be Discussed in Polite Company!"
Aww, hell, why not? If people are going to shoot videos of their cats doing stuff that makes some of us squirm, writing about it is tame by comparison.
What do you think? Are you shocked and horrified by the videos I've shared, or do you think they're hilarious -- and perhaps even a relief, because you've found out that your cat isn't as much of a freak as you thought?