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Friday, November 20, 2015

Claws out in the Northwest

Seattle's The Stranger:
On Wednesday, my colleague Megan Burbank, esteemed arts editor for the Purrtland Mercury, called upon the cat ladies of Rip City to step up their game and get more cats.
Citing a report in The Seattle Times that shows the City of Roses a mere .6 percentahead of Seattle in the number of "single women who live alone with one cat," Burbank launched a campaign of fear against her city's "northern rival," calling the prospect of losing this PNW feline battle "terrifying."
Burbank's article gave me paws. Portland's in the lead, cat-lady-wise—so why this call to action? And why ply scare tactics in aid of the cause? Purrhaps it's because Burbank knows the numbers can't be right.
Before I get going here, I have to say that I don't get the connection between a woman's marital status and her relationship with cats. To define one's relationship with cats against one's relationship with a romantic partner seems like some kind of perpetuation of the patriarchy.

There's much hemming and hawing about why roughly 1 in 10 women in Seattle live alone with a cat. I assume women like cats because cats are fascinating. The animal understands and rightly resents the weird master/slave dynamic of pethood. They administer affection on their own terms. You can stare at them for half an hour and nothing of consequence is likely to occur...


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