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Cat Ladies Are Cool Now—I Should Know Because I Am One

The stereotypical cat lady has gotten a modern makeover. Today's cat-lover bucks the sad spinster stereotype...

Today's cat-lover bucks the sad spinster stereotype.


By Anne Roderique-Jones, Self

[post_ads]Can we finally retire the crazy cat lady moniker for good? The image that once evoked a wild-haired spinster who eats sad TV dinners, sharing the microwaved leftovers with one of her 14 cats. It’s just so…1980s. Today’s cat lady is a different, shall we say, breed. Like the sophisticated feline itself, the new cat woman is independent and sassy. She takes to modern technology, posting photos of her adorable furball on Snapchat, tagged with clever cat puns that show her feline’s cat-tidue and unabashed pawsomeness.

Think Taylor Swift, the poster child for the new and improved cat lady. The pop star often Instagrams photos with her two Scottish fold felines, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey. She’s been featured on magazine covers with her best gals, and can be seen gallivanting around New York City with her furry friends—so well-trained you could mistake their demeanor for dogs, but a cat-lover would never.
Along with Swift, there’s a new slew of celeb ailurophiles (yes, that means cat lovers) who’ve taken to social media to proclaim their feline love. Lea Michele posted her kitty Shelia on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovehersomuch. Katy Perry has her own Kitty Purry, a rescue cat who upgraded to a much posher life, complete with her own kitty castle. Gigi Hadid rescued her kitten Cleo from a car engine—now Cleo has her own Instagram account with over 10K followers. Kesha’s cat, Mr. Peeps, has his own Twitter page.
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I come from an animal-loving family. My family loved dogs of all varieties and would take a hamster in a pinch. We were the proud owners of a miniature pot-bellied pig named Mabel, and my brother was once allowed to have a ferret, though it was the least popular of all. But cats were superior to every pet. Today, I have Miss Kitty Fat Pants, a tubby Calico queen who enjoys eating and sleeping and dislikes the dog. She’s purrrfect.

[post_ads]Ladies—along with gentlemen—are no longer ashamed to be labeled as lovers of cats, and we can now comfortably wear the moniker with our heads held high. Just this year, my best friend’s daughter, a whip-smart 7-year-old beauty who wears fashion-forward kitty print leggings from the Gap, was asked to describe herself on a second grade getting-to-know-you writing assignment. She proudly penned, “I’m a cat lady.”

The younger generation, the independent ladies who are growing up under the tutelage of Beyonce, Hillary, and T. Swift, can love whatever animal they please. It’s these ladies who are bringing cats into the spotlight they deserve. According to the American Pet Products Association's 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, pet ownership—including the number of cats—is at an all-time high. The survey reports a whopping 95.6 million pet cats in the U.S.
[post_ads]Cait Rohan, a 30-year-old online editor in NYC, tells SELF she also grew up in an animal family, but didn’t have a cat, which only fueled her obsession. “I went to college during the mid-to-late 2000s when cat videos were emerging and I would spend a lot of my time when I was supposed to be studying crying from laughter in the library at cat videos,” says Rohan. Turns out these habits may have been improving her mental health. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, viewing a video of an adorable feline boosts the viewer’s positive emotions, gives them an energy bump, and decreases negative emotions like anxiety and sadness. Appreciating cats is good for you.


In fact, the internet is a big fan of cats and recognizes the upgraded version of cat lovers. BuzzFeed has an all-cats newsletter called “This Week in Cats” where adorably curated cat-everything is delivered to one’s inbox. Too much political nonsense? A gif of a cat pushing a tiny toy vacuum cleaner is sure to lift your spirits. Pissed at your boss? A peek at a curious overweight Tabby in a bright green chair will turn that frown upside down. Only a monster could not find joy in such charm.
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Guys are jumping on the cat-lover train, too. Russel Brand adores his cat Morrissey. Chris Colfer adopted a 20-plus-pound cat named Brian. Ricky Gervais is practically the Patron Saint of Felines, and his cat Ollie is the shining star of his Instagram feed. Men who unabashedly love cats have nothing to prove about their masculinity, and a lot of people find this sexy (according to the internet). The Instagram account @HotDudesWithKittens—with over 189K followers—is a submission-based account that showcases man-hunks posing provocatively with their feline friends. There’s also the more outdoorsy @CampingWithCats, featuring colorful images of cats in tents, relaxing in hammocks, toting sporty backpacks, and just generally enjoying the outdoors.
Rohan now lives with her fiancé, Tom, and their two cats in an apartment that their friends have dubbed the Cat Den, which houses a special cat princess castle, tunnel, and kitty tipi. She says that when she met Tom, “one of the things that really impressed me and attracted me to him is that he is a self-identified 'cat man.’ He grew up with a ginger kitty named Tiger and is just as obsessed with cats as I am.” Join the movement, gents. Cats are where it’s at.
 
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Lifestyle Magazine: Cat Ladies Are Cool Now—I Should Know Because I Am One
Cat Ladies Are Cool Now—I Should Know Because I Am One
The stereotypical cat lady has gotten a modern makeover. Today's cat-lover bucks the sad spinster stereotype...
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