I have a messy desk. I like to try types of foods I’ve never eaten before. I prefer documentaries to action flicks. I like art museums. I use a web browser that doesn’t suck. And I love cats. Therefore, I must be a liberal.
At least, that’s what Time magazine would have you think. It ran a 12-question quiz a while back and recently published the results in an article.
Well, okay, I am a liberal; I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that. But I’m quite sure that my political orientation has nothing at all to do with my love for cats.
Like anyone else, I tend to self-select friends and acquaintances with similar political views, and the vast majority of those are also cat lovers. But I also know plenty of cat lovers who would place themselves all over the political spectrum. There’s no law that says Tea Partiers and conservative fundamentalist religious people can’t love cats.
We love cats because we love their style, their grace, their unique view of the world, and yes, their independence and strong-mindedness. You don’t have to be liberal or conservative to embrace these traits. I know plenty of intelligent conservative people (yes, it’s true, fellow liberals; they do exist, and there are more of them than you might think, so stop being so damn snobby) who also love cats and who appreciate independent thinking and the feline way of being.
As the old statistical rule says, correlation does not imply causation. I suppose that some of these quiz answers could predict that you might lean politically one way or another — maybe things like preferring art museums to Times Square and not being all "rah rah rah" about your nation’s history — but love for cats is definitely not one of them.
Cats don’t give a crap about humans’ political ideologies, and I think we could learn a lesson or two (or a dozen) from them about what’s really important in the world. I believe any human being, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum, ultimately wants to treat other people and animals with respect, kindness and compassion. Trying to conflate political leanings with a preference for cats over dogs is just plain silly.
What exactly is the point of correlating love for cats with political leanings, anyway? What is this supposed to prove? How is this supposed to affect opinions toward cat lovers?
And why do we have to get politics into everything, anyway? Most of us relish at least a brief respite from the daily barrage of divisiveness and stupidity that emanates from the mouths of the people allegedly representing us in our nation’s governing bodies. Cats provide that welcome relief.
Frankly, when it comes to love for cats, I don’t care where you stand in terms of your political ideology ÔÇª as long as you’re not a racist, homophobic, woman-hating jackwagon, that is.
What do you think? Have you seen a correlation between love for cats and political ideology? Do you think love for cats as a predictor of political beliefs is silly, or do you think there’s something to it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.