like. read. laugh. love.
But seriously, I love cats.
It’s irrational and it probably says a lot about my character, but I cannot help it. There’s something absolutely hilarious about those funny pictures of cats your work colleagues (me) send to you in emails. They absolutely crack me up.
I can be sitting at my desk working away quietly, then spontaneously burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter at the sight of a cat with a piece of cheese on its head or a watermelon helmet plastered across my screen.
Luckily for me I already have a man who has decided to spend the rest of his life with me and, in a fantastic turn of events, he finds cats even funnier than I do.
Otherwise, I fear my advert in the personals section of the newspaper may have read something like this: “Very white, blonde female with excessively large hands and bad eye sight seeks man with a love of all things cat, except ‘Cats’ the musical. I hate musicals. Must love cats though. Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Why are cats associated with craziness? When we think of a spinster living in a caravan are we picturing someone well-adjusted with a well-stocked fridge, modest hair-do and no pets? No! We are picturing cupboards full of tuna cans, an 80’s perm/electrocuted hair do and 2,000 un-neutered cats crammed into a 5 metre-squared caravan.
Unfortunately this stereotype tends to be right. At work one day, on a leisurely Tuesday afternoon, one of my good friends and colleagues ventured with me into the mail-room to post a rather large parcel.
We were greeted by a very short woman with very thick, round glasses looking up at us. She was wearing a white jumper emblazoned with a fluffy white kitten sporting a hot pink bow and glitter outline (the cat decal, not the lady).
Before I could drop the parcel, yell ‘express post overnight’ and run, she had grabbed both of us and dragged us into her cubicle.
Her desk was littered with an assortment of papers, but more startling was the incredible number of cat themed items she had on every surface.
There were ceramic cat statues on the shelves, numerous cat calendars hanging from the walls, cat mouse pads, cat pictures, cat plates, cat cups and cat stationary strewn across the desk. We both stood, open-mouthed and glued to the floor as she talked us through each item.
At what point does HR decide to intervene here? How far does this woman have to go before someone in the building realises that something isn’t quite right and not only do we have ourselves a Class A Fire Hazard but we’ve also got someone who’s not quite stable distributing our post and interacting with large volumes of people on a daily basis.
I have spoken to this lady on a number of occasions and honestly she is lovely. She doesn’t have a nasty bone in her body and isn’t a bad person at all. Her only crime is loving cats…. a little too much.
This whole thing probably boils down to ‘too much of anything is bad for you’. Hence the development of television shows like ‘hoarders’ or ‘my strange addiction’ that cover people’s obsessions and compulsions with certain things. Just for the record, it isn’t okay to keep every piece of paper you’ve ever seen or eat a roll of toilet paper each day.
Maybe it’s all about balance. I mean, it makes sense that if you’re having far too much of one thing that you may be lacking a little (or a lot) of balance in the other aspects of your life and, a severe imbalance, could lead you down the path of insanity.
So, if you’re spending all day munching on bog roll or are too afraid to leave your house in case one of your 2,000 cats goes missing then you’ve taken it too far.
Now let that be a lesson to all of you…. 20 cat emails is okay…. 2,000 live cats in your caravan is definitely not.