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Dear Little Bobby,
I was raised with dogs, have always had dogs, and have two large dogs at the moment. I have almost no experience with cats, except knowing that they scratch and crap indoors. I date a lot of women with cats and worry that someday I won’t be able to live with someone who has cats because our animals won’t get along. Or maybe it’s me they will not get along with. Should I even seriously date someone with cats?
—Worried About P%$#y Grabbing Back
Dear Worried About P%$#y,
You seem to be even more fixated on the “p-word” than the sex offender who temporarily lives in our White House. I was also raised as a dog person. I love dogs in a very special way. My mother is severely allergic to cats, reason #1 that I did not have cats around as a child. Add to that the fact that domestic cats are often very effective predators, at least compared to my mother’s chihuahua. So if you are not a cat person, it can be hard to become a cat person. But it is not impossible and all animals deserve love. Even you.
I think the larger picture is the more important issue. Are you sabotaging relationships? Are you letting some kittens sabotage your relationships? Is this really the issue that you are having when it comes to the women you date? If it is true that you “date a lot of women,” maybe there is something else going on, maybe something much more.
I briefly dated a girl who did not like my dogs. I could tell.
Aside from your apparent aversion to cats, I do not know much about you, but if you are like so many other men, including my former self, you might be afraid of commitment. Or maybe you have suffered through some kind of trauma such as domestic abuse or perhaps you just do not like cats. Whatever the case is, do not blame the cats.
When I was single, with dogs, I was more concerned with the personal qualities of any particular young lady than I was with whether or not she had cats. Because the truth is that if I REALLY liked her and she had cats, I would probably figure out a way to make the situation work. I remember considering whether to date a beautiful girl who not only had cats, but kittens—two of them. She was also talking about possibly needing a place to live so I told her she could stay in my extra room. After I offered, I wondered how her cats and my dogs could possibly get along. But since she was a friend, we were both single and I liked her, I was going to make it work.
She did not move in, so I did not have to worry about it. A few months later I met the young woman who became my girlfriend. Eventually she DID move in, with her two dogs. Now we have FOUR dogs and sometimes it is pretty crazy. It seems like there are dogs EVERYWHERE. It is not exactly easy having a house full of dogs, nor would it have been easy having several cats move in. But either way, if the relationship with the other person is a relationship worth pursuing, then pursue it.
Cats can be put into bedrooms. Dogs can spend more time outside. Then there is the obvious: Cats and dogs do not live forever. As the child of multiple divorces, I know that many relationships are short-lived as well—which goes back to the fear of commitment I held onto for many years. That fear is the real reason that I was, or was not, making certain decisions. And that is okay. I had to deal with it in my own time. I am really glad that I was able to FINALLY deal with it in my late 30s, which opened me up to a deeper understanding of love, able to enter my 40s with a heart that was much more willing to accept—and to give—love.
Do NOT make decisions about whom to love, whom to date or whom to be with based solely on what kind of pets they have or do not have. The important thing is that they like animals. I briefly dated a girl who did not like my dogs. I could tell. She tolerated them but when they came near her, her body language was, “Oh no, get them away from me.” And THAT was a huge turnoff. If you meet someone who buys dogs from puppy mills or has 30 cats, unless she runs a full-time cat shelter, you should RUN. Aside from that, take it easy. It does not sound like you are in a “must decide” place right now, so just relax. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy meeting different people, possible partners, new friends, future lovers, etc. Do not let your fear of commitment—or your fear of cats—determine what does and does not happen. Meow.
—Little Bobby Tucker
“Lucifer Sam, Siam cat, Always sitting by your side, Always by your side, That cat’s something I can’t explain” —Pink Floyd, “Lucifer Sam” 1967