Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Friday, January 19

Calicos and Cacti

My Friend NYCBabylon posted her theory that misogyny could be detected by a dislike for house cats, or rather, that real men love pussies. ‘Cats are complicated creatures and it takes patience, confidence and good communication skills to connect and love a cat,’ she argues. From there she reasons, men ‘who love cats are more patient, emotionally healthy and kinder men than the men who hate cats.’


When I was in college I had a similar theory about houseplants. When I met someone who had an inordinate amount of houseplants, I figured that they must be a very nurturing person, able to form attachments with living things even outside the kingdom Animalia. (I mean ‘inordinate’ in the non-literal sense, obviously, but I mean ‘nurture’ in the literal sense.)

Hemingway loved cats. I even had one of his six-toed feline progeny named, predictably, Hemingway. And Hemingway has somehow become an archetype for what a real man is supposed to be like. But I think Hemingway loved cats for exactly different reasons than Ms. Babylon postulates. He loved cats because they had minimal expectations of him. They would look beautiful around the house and grounds, not require maintenance, and approach him and leave him with an easy coolness and without conflict. He liked cats because they held the appearance of a relationship without the demands of one. He has written much about how this realationship goal was his problem with women.

What I found about my houseplant-raisers was that they—largely—raised houseplants not because their connection to living things poured out from the kingdom Animalia, but because it barely reached into the kingdom Animalia.


Blogger robotomy writes:

Well, I think I agree with you here, basically. I mean, I don't know how well I do with real people, but I kill all houseplants and have a cat which I ignore most of the time. (She loves me anyways!) So that makes me feel -- for the first time in my life! -- that I'm a real man, and that I form connections with animals not plants :)


Blogger Nick writes:

Every time someone tells me they hate cats I get the feeling they're saying what they think the rest of the world wants to hear from them; not what they really feel. And that they've never spent a cold winter evening by a fire with a book and a purring cat in their lap. Bearly?!?


Blogger robotomy writes:

By the way, I also noticed the "bearly" but I didn't comment because I like it! :)


Blogger Erik writes:

That's what I get for posting before my morning coffee. I kind of liked 'bearly' when talking about Animalia, but corrected it all the same.

Thanks for the look out, guys.


Blogger Damon writes:

I've always kinda figured that caring for an inordinate number of any living thing (in one's spare time) demonstrated serious codependency issues.


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