Are Feline lovers addicted to cats?
I ask this question because several years ago I was accused of being “addicted” to cats by a dear friend who just happened to be a feline-only veterinarian.
It would be a huge relief to me if any felinophiles reading this blog wouldn’t consider me a feline-addict, but just a kitty guardian who adores the species whose goal is to learn as much about cats as possible. So please bear with me as I explain why my friend conferred this diagnosis on me.
This allegation came to pass many, many years ago when my feline-only veterinarian friend and I were taking an afternoon car-ride through the scenic mountains of upstate New York. Being good friends for many years, we naturally enjoyed spending quality time together. Of course, I always looked forward to his sharing some of his more interesting cases with me.
Naturally, there were those times that he was all “felined out” making cats the last thing he wanted to talk about. But on this particular outing, even though I was being sensitive to his mood and did my best to keep cats out of our conversation, I couldn’t help myself from bringing up a topic that I swore I would avoid.
However, without a word of warning he pulled over, stopped the car, looked into my eyes and flat-out accused me that I was addicted to cats, that I was addicted to talking about them and spending time with them. What really struck me and hurt me the most was when he added that I was obviously addicted to writing about them. I mean, really, is it that hard to understand that writing about felines is what passionate cat bloggers do? DUH!!!
I must say that I was rather taken aback by all of his allegations and the word “addict” that he used to describe my feline-oriented fervor. Although he claimed to understand that “cat people” love to brag about their cats, to swap kitty stories; sharing their thoughts about feline health and behavioral issues, he was just not in the mood to talk about cats, and this was his not so “subtle” way of letting me know.
Please try not to misunderstand or judge me badly about my reaction to his calling me a “cat addict.” My friend adores these furry feline companions and they inspired him to open a feline-only practice. He is owned by a clowder of contented kitties, and he is positive the statement, “Real men love cats” was written for him.
However it did leave me feeling somewhat defensive when he called me an “addict.” You see, I am not positive that the word accurately describes my passion for felines. Since I didn’t t get to spend much time with him, whenever I got that opportunity to hang out with such a skillful and knowledgeable feline expert, the temptation to converse about cats was just too difficult for me to control. I mean, let’s face it. If given that situation, who wouldn’t take delight in picking the brain of a feline-only veterinarian?
However with the passage of time, as I think about it now, purrhaps if I am totally honest with myself, and admit that even if I do have a “slight” feline addiction; it really ain’t so bad. After all, it definitely has many wonderful and amazing benefits.
By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)