Pity the Poor Cat Hoarder

Dozens of evil felines might be holding her hostage

So there’s another story in the news about an animal hoarder, in this case the guy in South Philly who had on the premises live dogs, dead dogs, an alligator, a cat, turtles, tarantulas, frogs, roosters, iguanas and a bunch of rats—the cute domesticated rats, not the creepy-in-the-alley kind. And once again, I read the story and watched the TV coverage and wondered: Who the hell wants to live with all those critters?

But at least that hoarder—who, incidentally, had his menagerie discovered when he accidentally locked himself out of his house while naked—enjoyed some variety. His rowhome may have smelled like hell, but true hell would be a houseful of cats.

I’ve had cats. One at a time, mostly, but sometimes two at a time. Eventually, I stopped having cats. Everybody says cats are no trouble at all. Everybody lies. Cats are the most demanding creatures alive.

Cats sit across your shoulders like furry boas when the temperature is 105 degrees. Cats stretch out on the computer keyboard when you’re on deadline, then pounce on your hands when you push them away. Cats lie on your hair in your bed at night and knead, knead, knead their sharp little claws into your scalp. Cats piss in your houseplants and leave mouse parts beside the refrigerator. Cats nag you to pay attention to them all the freaking time. And if you don’t, they piss in your houseplants again.

All of which explains that poor woman in South Philly who had all the cats in her house. What was she supposed to do about it? Cats are vengeful. Cats get even. Cats suck the breath out of babies. This cat shot his owner! This cat stabbed his owner in the chest! Oh, sure, cats will curl up beside you on the sofa and purr and look all adorable, but they’re just biding their time. That superstition about not letting a black cat cross your path? It goes for any cat, believe me. That’s why it’s always cats those little old ladies are hoarding. They’re not crazy, those ladies. They’re scared.