Monday, February 13, 2017

Cool Cat Lady

Recently, Mom Paula was at a meeting with other pet bloggers and she went out to dinner with some new friends who happened to be dog bloggers. They were having a lot of fun at dinner and one of the dog bloggers looked at Mom Paula and said, You're not a "crazy cat lady, you're a cool cat lady." This was an interesting and refreshing perspective on the stereotypical view of females who are owned by cats. Mom Paula has been told many times by people that she meets that she isn't the stereotypical cat lady. What is a Cat Lady?
Truffle asks if you are a Cat Lady
Truffle thinks everyone should be a Cat Lady

Post sponsored by PawCulture™ and BlogPaws®

Mom Paula was inspired to write about being a Cat Lady when she read an article on PawCulture™ about Reinventing the Cat Lady. PawCulture is a new website with articles focused on pet tips, DIY projects, pet lifestyle, pet recipes, and rescue stories. They even have a Cat Clubhouse, which is devoted to exclusive cat content and feline features. PawCulture's mission is to celebrate the unbreakable bond between pets and their humans and they do this by informing, inspiring, and entertaining devoted pet parents with helpful advice, useful tips, and superior storytelling.

A Cat Lady can be glamorous - Mom Paula and Truffle

Cat Ladies are Stylish

One of the stereotypes of a Cat Lady is the old lady in a bathrobe with disheveled hair. Mom Paula may be old (she turns 61 this month), but she never leaves the house without makeup, her hair brushed, and stylish clothes. Mom Paula's wardrobe consists of clothes with a lot of bling (even her sweats and jeans), styled with comfort to fit the occasion. She always has a pet hair removal roller nearby to remove as much of our beautiful fur as possible from her clothes. We tend to sneak on a few extra cat furs as she is leaving, so there is also a roller in her car and in the office. Mom Paula does have a comfortable bathrobe she wears and she's been known to wear sweats and go without makeup when she's staying home for the day, which isn't often.

Brulee, pictured with dissertation, says Cat Ladies are smart!
Mom Paula has a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education

Cat Ladies are Intelligent

Another stereotype of Cat Ladies is that they can be unhinged and loony. Mom Paula earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Clemson University when she went through her divorce 20 years ago. She taught mathematics in the middle school environment for 17+ years and was a college professor teaching mathematics and mathematics education for 10+ years. She's worked in the Academic Affairs Division of the Commission on Higher Education for the past 11+ years and will retire March 31. She says not only has she had to overcome the stereotype of a Cat Lady, but that of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Southern female. Mom Paula is the kindest and friendliest person you'll meet, but she is passionate, assertive, and independent. When Mom Paula was a college professor, one of her students came to her office one day to ask her a question. The conversation went something like this:

Student:  Can I ask you a question?
Mom Paula:  You may ask but I may not answer.
Student:  You have a cat, right?
Mom Paula:  Yes
Student:  How can you have a cat?  You're such a control freak and cats are so independent. (Interesting note:  this student raised Persians)
Mom Paula:  She keeps me honest.

The student left the office laughing.

Mom Paula with friends at a football game
Mom Paula with her friend Stephanie and mother at a Gamecock football game

Cat Ladies are Social

Another stereotype of Cat Ladies is that they are lonely and introverted humans with no one to keep them company except their cats. Don't get us wrong, Mom Paula loves being with us, but she has an active social life. She attends all of the South Carolina Gamecocks football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and baseball games. Mom Paula attends conferences and meetings (BlogPaws, BarkWorld, Cat Writer's Association, and Global Pet Expo) and loves to meet people. Mom Paula has been known to start up a conversation with strangers in the checkout line or at the gas pump. Mom Paula is definitely an extrovert and can tend to "wear out" people who are with her. One of her special cat blogging friends told her recently, "I love hanging out with you, but I'm exhausted after being with you all day." Many of our cat blogging humans are shy, but they are great people who have a lot to offer to the world.  

Mom Paula with Sydney and Smokey (her sister's dogs)
Mom Paula with Sydney (RIP) and Smoikey

Cat Ladies Love Dogs, Too!

Another stereotype of the Cat Lady is that they do not like dogs. Mom Paula grew up with dogs the first 20 years of her life. She had a Collie, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Pekingese. When she was married, she wanted a pet, but her husband (now an ex) was afraid of dogs. Mom Paula had never been really comfortable around cats because her parents didn't really like them, but she wanted a pet, so she told her spouse that she wanted a cat, but it would stay inside. This was the first time she'd ever had a pet to live indoors. Mom Paula still loves dogs and lives vicariously through her mother's dog, Bandit, and her sister's dogs. She was excited to meet many of our dog friends and their dogs at BlogPaws last year. We really feel it's okay to prefer one species over another, but we should always be accepting of animals who are different from us. They are all special in their own way and are great companions for their humans. Mom Paula said if she lived in a different location and wasn't working that she'd consider bringing another dog into her life. We aren't so sure we'd be happy with that arrangement. MOL!

Our happy family - Truffle, Mom Paula, and Brulee
Mom Paula with Truffle and Brulee
Photo courtesy Bonnie Koenig

Cat Ladies Speak Meow

One stereotype of Cat Ladies is that they love cats and this is definitely true. Mom Paula has been owned by a cat for the last 40 years. She gets very frustrated when someone will say, "It's just a cat." When Sweet Praline was diagnosed with cancer and didn't have long to live, Mom Paula was frequently depressed. When talking to one of her colleagues at work, he made the comment that she was just a cat. Mom Paula set him straight by saying she'd never say something about his children to him and she'd appreciate the same respect. We are her girls and no one can tell her any differently. There's something special about coming home to those soft and furry creatures who can calm the most stressed human with a purr. Cat Ladies don't often get the chance to meet other cat people because most cats live in the home and do not travel like our dog friends. Mom Paula is thankful she's been able to meet some of our cat friends and their humans at pet blogging events, such as BlogPaws. Mom Paula hopes to reach out to other humans about the unique bond between cats and their humans once she retires. She'd like to participate at a local shelter and other social events where she can make a difference.  

Mom Paula is a Cat Lady and proud of it!

We hope you were inspired by our post today.  Celebrate the unbreakable bond between pets and their people by visiting the PawCulture website for information, inspiration, entertainment, helpful tips, and advice about loving your pet. You can also visit PawCulture on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PawCulture. The opinions and text are all mine.

Would you like to comment?

  1. We think you have to have a lot more kitties to be a crazy cat lady!

  2. My human hates the "crazy cat lady" stereotype, and her friends who live with cats don't really fit it either! Great post!

  3. My momma are a "cat and dog lady" and sounds a lot like your momma - she's a big extrovert and luvs talkin to people too!

  4. Excellent post, and proof that not all "cat ladies" fit the stereotype. Mom Paula sounds pretty terrific!

  5. We agree that the "crazy cat lady" stereotype needs to change. Cat ladies...like our mom and Mom Paula...are very cool. Because us cats are cool! Great post!

  6. Great post! Mom Paula is a very Cool Cat Lady!

  7. Excellent post! Your Mom is definitely a cool cat lady. I am definitely an introvert and prefer the company of cats to humans, but I always says I am a not so crazy cat lady. :)

  8. Hmm....my human has no style, although she doesn't own a bathrobe (thank Bast), she tends to prefer sweats and jeans to anything stylish and crazy? Do not EVEN get my started. And no, she's not social.

  9. well said - it can be so frustrating that people have this image of "cat ladies" that is SO far from the truth!! Mom Paula is a VERY cool cat lady (and the "she keeps me honest" comment made mom laugh)

  10. Great post ! The crazy cat lady stereotype is really not complimentary or nice... Purrs

  11. *taps mic* IS THIS THING ON? Oops, sorry ...
    WE WANNA VOUCH FOR MOM PAULA an' her social abilities.

    You see there was once a team of Brazilian soccer players ... (Brazilian, right? Except for that player from Ireland ...)

    WE CAN BE PAID TO KEEP SILENT. Bonito flakes are great currency!! *ebil laff*

  12. What a great post! Cat ladies are so stereotyped it's gotten to the point where it's insulting...we need more posts like this to make people see how we really are!

  13. We think Mom Paula is a PAWSOME cat lady!!!

    The Florida Furkids

  14. We really like this post.
    We love mum and don't think she is crazy at all :)
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  15. I like the idea of "re-branding" the crazy-cat-lady tag into COOL CAT LADY. We need to promote that idea!

  16. What a fun post!!! I agree with all of your points and that of course you are a cool cat lady! I refer to myself as an inspired cat lady, but I'll go with cool as well! :-)

  17. Then what do you call a lady that has cats and a dog?! Lol!
    It's not only cat people that have heard "it's just a cat" as a dog owner I have heard "it's just a dog" :(
    Love this post! Be proud of being a "Cat Lady"!

  18. You are THE coolest cat lady we know! :) Love all the pics!

  19. I definitely like your definitions of cat lady a lot more than the stereotypical view. As a matter of fact I get annoyed with the attitude people have. We should be celebrated!!

  20. That's awesome! Yes, why are cat people considered crazy? That's crazy! Love your blog and everything you have to offer.

  21. Great post that breaks the stereotypes of crazy cat ladies! Since I started blogging about cats two years ago, I've met so many diverse cat owners. They've all been incredibly fun to get to know. Paula sounds like an equally fascinating person. Long live cool cat ladies. ;-)

  22. What a great fun post, my late Father used to call me crazy cat lady because at the time I had 3 cats and we talking about 20 plus years ago. Today I call myself just pet lady as I love all animals

  23. Brilliant post. Of COURSE cat ladies are NOT crazy. They are like you, clever, charming and a lot of fun. We think the older cat lady charicature has cats, not humans, because they are tired on the silly people they find in the world who think everyone should be 18 and wrinkle-free!

    THIS is the kid of post we need to show the world the REAL CAT LADY!!

  24. This post made me smile! I have many girlfriends that live with cats and not dogs and they are amazing! I have such respect for cats and anyone that calls them crazy cat ladies make me really upset! We share our animal stories and all the concerns we have over health and wellness and we are similar in every WAY! Loved this post.

  25. Two of my sisters are cat ladies, but they have dogs too. While I have a cat, I still consider myself more of a dog person.

  26. I totally agree that cat ladies are stylish. I'm so allergic to cats that it hurts me. For a while I thought that I could get a hairless cat, but I heard that people with allergies are also allergic to them. So I will be the crazy dog lady!

  27. Have you seen the videos from the Cat Lady loving guy on YouTube? OMGosh, I must send it to you! Cat loving people are so wonderful, in every way - and for our neighbors who are cat lovers, what we find is that their generosity knows no bounds! We can always call on our neighbors for favors and they are the best!! Bless you all!!

  28. Cool Cat Lady sounds like the way to go! Mr. N is glad you are pro-dog even though you're pro-cat as well!

  29. Beautiful post Paula! You are definitely a Cool Cat Lady, nothing crazy about that! I love Pawculture, I've enjoyed & shared so many of their articles. I hope to see you at BlogPaws2017! Icy & Phoebe will be with me.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  30. I love this take on 'cat ladies.' I especially love your comment that cats keep you honest. Great post!

  31. Looking forward to seeing this cool Cat Lady again at Global then BlogPaws. We may be all a little obsessed with our pets, but no calling us crazy. I have always had cats and dogs until Nala passed a year ago at 19, as well as many rabbits, fish, reptiles and guinea pigs over the years. We may be all a little obsessed with our pets, and things sure did get a little crazy in our house at times LOL, but no calling us crazy.


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