If I had to pick the animal I’m most afraid of, it would have to be cats.
That seems weird to say, considering that snakes exist. But I’ve held several snakes with no problem, whereas cats have repeatedly scratched me to hell and drawn blood with their teeth, so cats it is.
Yes, cats are cute, even when they’re grumpy, and purring feels pretty good. I get that. I often played with cats as a child and even had one for a couple of days when I was about 3 (which I was later told we had for two days before a truck took it to a farm upstate in a particularly roundabout way) ...
But I can’t recall a minute of my life where I actually wanted to own one. (During our brief cat-having window, I distinctly remember walking through a bag of pet food spilled all over the kitchen floor and feeling an inkling of the neat-freak tendencies I have today.)
And to be fair, I’m not a pet person in general. Cat I hardly knew aside, the closest thing I ever had to a pet was an ant farm for about three months when I was 11. (My sister also briefly had two cats when she was 9 that shredded the room they lived in.) My family didn’t adopt a dog until I was 23 (and now have three), and by then there was no getting used to shed hair everywhere and poop in the backyard.
Still, dogs rock. They’re friendly, playful and funny. Yes, some are aggressive, but it’s not difficult overall to see their value as companions.
But cats just kind of do their thing. People tell me they’re easy pets to have because they do their business in a litter box and all you have to do is feed them. Which seems to me less like an easy pet than a hard plant.
Cat lovers affectionately joke about all the things felines do, like stand on your face when you’re sleeping, lie on your keyboard when you’re trying to compute, ad nauseam. Isn’t that adorable!
I also hear they have many more lives than we do and have fancy taste in feasts. That sounds expensive.
For me, any interaction with a cat is straddling a fine line between delight and terror. The usual script: My cat-owning friend will reassure me that their feline loves affection — and then I, like the walking science I am, inevitably prove otherwise with the slightest approach. Then the pet hyped more than any other as Captain Personality goes and stares at something for the next several hours.
Why would I ever need a creature that goes its own way, is always on top of the keyboard and does a lot of blank staring? I am already my own cat.