First of all let me say, I like cats, but I am not a ‘cat person’. The last few months or so, cats have been increasingly, popular. Not exactly popular, more like, ever-present. Almost everyday I hear a cat story on the radio or they pop up on my computer and I’m just starting to wonder if there’s some kind of feline conspiracy I should be aware of…? I used to take the bus every day and was often privy to the conversations of others, and was constantly surprised at how often they revolved around cats. I was reminded of this phenomena this week as I wasted time in a department store while my sons were at kindermusik and I heard these two women discussing what I took to be their grandchildren, but then realized they were their cats, but then, after listening further (seriously not trying to listen, it was a just quiet place and they were having a conversation better suited to a backyard barbie where an annoying neighbor was cutting the grass and a parade of firetrucks were racing by…) I realized they were indeed talking about grandchildren AND cats. All in the same breath and with the exact same passion, love, and pride. (Unless a cat really can be in 6th grade?) And it just made me kind of sad. It isn’t just cats, dog owners can be just as annoying only instead of discussing the brillance of their pets they are letting their dogs run at you and bark and smell you and jump on you all the while saying, “oh, he won’t bite….” Great, but maybe I don’t want my run to be interrupted by some crazed animal that I don’t know any more than I want some crazed human running right at me and trying to knock me out of the way or take my hand with their open moouth and pull me somewhere. But anyway, it just feels like a symptom of modern life~ this cat obsession. People are seperate now, so isolated in so many ways. Community refers to something online far more often than real life, families live all over the place, so people buy pets and pour into them all the human emotion that used to be shared among friends, families, and even frienly acquaitances. Maybe 200 years ago people were sitting around talking about their pets in the same way, but I kind of doubt it. I have the suspicion that they were too busy being with other people and living life to obsess on their pets. Maybe not.
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