The word gay has evolved over the years. Back in the day it was a word for happy and jovial. Then it became a word to describe a man who is sexually attracted to other men. But recently, it’s also taken on new meaning. The term gay now refers to something that is lame, stupid or effeminate.
For example, a guy may say something like “Dude, Steve just bought the new Taylor Swift CD. How gay is that?… or “Rich is so gay. He blew off going to the bar to watch “Dancing with the Stars.”
In the original Living with Balls series, I will take a close look at something that may be perceived as “gay” (in the most recent definition) among fellow men and determine if it truly is gay or if it’s a perfectly manly thing to do.
Today’s topic is: Owning a cat.
Dogs have long held the title as “Man’s Best Friend.” Ever since that phrase was coined, men have always been encouraged to own a dog. But what about cats? Is it socially acceptable for single man to own a cat? Can a man who owns a cat be considered masculine?
Men with dogs have never had to worry about the stigma of being gay. But male cat owners have long been the butt of jokes because they own a cat. It’s even been portrayed in popular culture. Since a young age we’ve been conditioned to think it’s gay to own a cat. Just take a look at some of our favorite childhood cartoons… Jon Arbuckle— the owner of Garfield—is a total loser. Mister Geppetto from Pinocchio is the proud owner of Figaro the cat. He is a weird old man who sits around all day making wooden boy puppets and collecting clocks. And that bad guy from Inspector Gadget is always menacingly petting a cat.
Meanwhile, dogs get all the good movie roles. How many good dog movies have there been? Turner and Hooch, Beethoven, and Marley and Me are just a few. The dog is always portrayed as a hero, while cats can barely get a supporting role. Even Homeward Bound, which featured a cat, still managed to shed cats in a negative light. Michael J. Fox played a lovable mutt named Chance, while Sally Field played a whiney, pretentious cat. There’s even a movie called All Dogs go to Heaven. What about cats? Do they go straight to hell? Do they have to go to purgatory first? No one ever makes good movies about a cat.
Cats have been getting a bad publicity for years. The rules of society tell us it is weird for a man to own a cat. I’m here to tell you why it’s perfectly fine for a man to have a feline friend.
I’ve grown up with both cats and dogs nearly my entire life. I enjoy both of them as pets. But dogs are A LOT of work. They are like a child that never grows up. You have to be there to feed them, walk them, exercise them and groom them. When it’s 6 a.m. and its 12 degrees outside, your dog is not going to want to hear your excuses. They haven’t gone to the bathroom in 10 hours and they need to piss. You have a choice to either get your butt out of bed and walk them in the freezing cold or have them piss on your carpet. It’s your choice.
Dogs also tend to kill your social life. Our lives can be very demanding at times, which can make it difficult to be home enough to properly take care of a dog. Want to go out for a few drinks after work? Sorry! Your dog needs to be walked and fed. You got to go home before he craps on the carpet! And unlike cats, you can’t just leave food out for dogs because they will literally eat themselves to death if you leave enough food out for them.
Meanwhile, cats are basically self-sufficient. They will eat at a normal pace, they shit without you having to be there and they clean themselves. They are one of the easiest pets to take care of—which is perfect for us lazy guys out there.
Then there’s the issue of cost. Owning a dog is WAAAY more expensive than owning a cat. Food, toys, vet bills; they are all more expensive for dogs than for cats. According to petside.com it will cost approximately $600-$900 annually to own a cat, which is significantly cheaper than owning a dog. Costs vary depending on the size of the dog but according to this article, owning a dog is a lot more money.
Now I am in agreement that most dogs make for more manly pets than cats–and in a lot of cases, they can be more rewarding to own as well. You can bring dogs places, you can train them to do tricks and they are always happy to see you. However, some men just don’t have the lifestyle that is necessary to own a dog and they shouldn’t be labeled as effeminate for that. If a man wants to own a pet and a dog is not an option, then a cat is certainly a great substitute….and besides, even the most hardened, macho man couldn’t help crack a smile after watching this cat clip.
My wife and I recently adopted a kitten and it was definitely a decision I’m happy we made. We initially wanted a dog but we now realize that it would have been difficult for us take care of one. Our cat is super-friendly, is a great companion and makes me laugh every day—which is more than I can say about a lot of people I know. Though I will say this, the other day I went to feed my cat in the morning and we were out of food. Since I work late some nights, I drove to Petco at 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday and picked up some food. As I walked through the store, I felt a little weird being by myself, buying cat food on a Tuesday morning. I’m pretty sure the cashier thought I was a homosexual unemployed man.
But I’m neither a homosexual or unemployed. I’m married, so having a cat is a perfectly non-gay thing for me to do. But is it ok for a single man?
I still say it is. However, I do have two guidelines for a man who is thinking about getting a cat…
1. DO NOT own multiple cats. One is enough. Having multiple cats will indeed make you look weird. Have you ever seen animal hoarders? Those people are bat-shit crazy.
2. If you’re on a first date, hold off talking about your cat until you’ve at least been out a few times. Although I think it’s ok to own a cat, your date may still think it’s strange when you bust out pictures of your kitty on your cell phone on the first date. After a few dates she may see enough things she likes about you to overlook the fact that you own a prissy little Russian Blue named Snuggles.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think it’s “gay” for a man to own a cat? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.
Like this Post? Follow LWB on Twitter, like on Facebook, or grab the RSS feed
GET THE OFFICIAL LIVING WITH BALLS T-SHIRT!!
Want to Advertise? I offer very cheap rates. Contact me here if interested.
Learn more about Living With Balls