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Let me begin by saying that I think it's wonderful that other people have babies. I think babies are great. I would willingly, if not delightedly, die for my nieces, who are the best young people who have ever existed. I like my friends' babies. I just don't ever, ever want to have any myself, while I spend much of almost every day dreaming of the cat I will soon get and watching internet videos of strange cats I do not know posted by strange people I do not know. Here's why I will always come down on the side of cats in the great cat vs. baby war:

1) I don't like most people, but I like almost every single cat I meet. Babies can be adorable. They can be tiny and sweet and make tiny, sweet noises and they have such little, chewable feet. And then their noises get louder and their feet get bigger and they become people, and you might find out that that teeny, tiny, adorable baby has turned out to be kind of an asshole. Kittens are also tiny and adorable, and then they grow into older cats, who are still pretty small and pretty adorable. If some of the cats I've known had been people, I might not have liked them one bit. But they weren't people; they were cats. And so the reasons I wouldn't have liked them if they were human are expressed in totally cat-ly ways  that I find fetching or perverse or a bit quirky, but always completely enchanting.
2) Your cat, unless someone leaves the door open accidentally, can't just up and leave you. Your cat will never go off for a year in Paris after high-school, discover an irritating love for France, stay there forever, marry a French person and make a new life for herself far, far away. You cat will never say to you, "I know you're old and lonely, and that most of your friends have died, but I can only see you once a year at Christmas because my French job is so demanding and I have my own family now, you know." And if your cat were to do all that, give that cat a medal.  That would be one awesome cat. I dare you to stay mad at a cat like that.

3) You're allowed to keep your cat shut up in the house all the time to keep him from harm. It's not that I don't love children. One of the reasons I don't want children is that I would love them in such a neurotic, smothering, terrified/terrifying way that as soon as they could, they would move to Paris. If I had a child, I would worry constantly and unhelpfully about food additives, and cars, and diseases, and chlamydia, and disappointments, and the things they put in plastics that make fish all messed up. If I tried to keep my child inside, if I told my child, "Nope. Sorry. There are too many hazards out there - get friendly with this house because it's where you will be spending THE REST OF YOUR LIFE," some interfering friend, relative, or neighbour, would undoubtedly interfere. 

If you tell your cat that the one-bedroom apartment you have will be his only kingdom until death, your cat will a) not understand you, because he can't understand a huge number of words, and b) without realizing it owe you a debt, because you're making sure he won't be hit by a car or get stuck in a tree or get some kind of horrible raccoon-borne plague. Your friends, relatives, and neighbours will not care one bit that your cat can't go outside, or that you worry so much about your cat going outside, and the only thing you run the risk of is that they'll talk behind your back about how the reason you love your cat so much is that you never had any children.


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Dan Cooperstock
06/07/2012 13:03

Right on! Couldn't agree more.

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frederick sweet
06/07/2012 20:23

--this is an inspired Catastrophizer: witty and disturbingly
accurate...

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