This is a piece by my best friend Ana, who has written several pieces for Catster about her lifetime work of rescuing and rehoming cats from all sorts of dangerous situations. Here are her reasons why you should definitely not give anyone the gift of a cat this Valentine’s Day — or any day!
As this romantic holiday approaches, many well intended lovers will consider expressing their passion with the ultimate gift — a sentient being! In the amorous spirit of this holiday, I’ve compiled a list of six excellent reasons to go ahead make one more trip down the chocolate aisle at the local pharmacy instead.
“A cat is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.” — Smart guy.
The reality of living with a cat can, and will, vary wildly. From person to person, and cat to cat, the experience is going to be extremely different. Giving a cat as a gift is a lot like rolling the dice in Jumanji. Even though it may turn out in your favor, a cat is simply not gift material, even for a person who has been clamoring for a cat! A cat and her human companion should get the opportunity to choose each other, and let their relationship blossom. Cats are not comfortable being thrust upon unsuspecting people, in the way that a dog might be. Cat supplies are a fantastic gift, but a cat? Not so much.
You’ll never see your heart’s delight lying across a chaise lounge, mourning over the overwhelming volume of jewelry they’ve received. You will never hear your drained, weary beloved complaining about the constant expense their jewelry creates. All the cleaning products and beautiful storage options will pale in comparison to even one visit to the vet’s office. A gift is meant to delight. It should provide careless joy for the recipient, not decades of indentured servitude and steam cleaning.
It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that the word “fickle” was invented to describe the personality and behavior of cats. There is no guarantee that your gift will love its unwitting recipient, or possibly even more disconcerting, you. Imagine your delightful gift clawing your ankles, biting your hands, destroying your possessions and crushing your ardor.
Depending on your personality, the alternative is even worse; the disappointed face of your significant other when his or her foot comes to rest in an ill-placed hairball (hopefully it’s just a hairball). Everything is amplified when it’s being created by an unwanted presence in the home, whether it’s the smell of cat food permeating every item in the refrigerator or the hairs that find their way into every meal, every outfit, every inch of surface in your entire home.
Is there anything more detrimental to the throes of passion than a pair of judgmental eyes peering from the edge of the couch, the foot of the bed, the mantel of the fireplace? Consider this well the next time you find yourself in the lucky position of receiving physical affection. In our home, this has become a serious issue. Anyone wishing to enjoy even a brief conjugal visit will have to give our cat, Stasi, 10 minutes of fetch, followed by three heaping tablespoons of food, followed by turning on her heating blanket and hoping she decides to go have a nap. Even if all goes according to plan, any passionate sound will absolutely be greeted by her dulcet tones. She will bellow like a banshee at any closed door, and not briefly, but on and on until you’re diminished ardor is the least of your woes.
As your relationship with your partner evolves, so will their relationship with your gift. Anything that the cat does, good or ill, is ultimately going to fall on your shoulders. Anything the cat destroys, you have destroyed. Any expense incurred by the cat? Yep, that’s on you too. Every bill, every midnight yowl, every infected scratch, every tapeworm egg. Over time, an unwanted pet can come to represent everything that is wrong in your relationship, becoming another smelly nail in the hate coffin of your once beautiful and concupiscent romance. Remember, cats can’t feel guilt, but you can, and you will. Oh, and you will.
To care for a feline companion is a sacred honor. It’s a decades-long relationship filled with joy and tumult and mess and pain. It grows from a place inside you that only a cat can reach. It nourishes your need to cater to, and love someone, unconditionally, forever. A relationship with a cat cannot be fabricated or manufactured. Give your significant other the opportunity to seek out this relationship, and for these parties to get the singular experience of choosing each other. It’s truly a magical moment, and one that no life is complete without.
Did some well-intended nitwit gift you a cat? Tell us about it in the comments! And have a happy Valentine’s Day!!
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