When she was eight, she was a smart and ambitions young girl who wanted to be both a lawyer and a doctor “because a woman can do anything.” She was studying for law school at 16, and by 24, she had earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and a JD from Yale Law School. However, by 32, suffering from burnout, she had turned to alcohol and became obsessed with her pet cat, Buster. By the time she turned 40, she had assumed her present state as a drunken, raving lunatic—entering full Cat Ladydom.
The Cat Lady enjoys “brief moments of lucidity” after taking psychotropic medications. She abruptly resumes her usual bizarre behavior when someone mentions that the “pills” are actually Reese’s Pieces. Her medication helps her speak intelligibly rather than her usual gibberish. She has a hoarding disorder, collecting both objects and cats alike.
Even without medication, she appears to be very intelligent. When the mayor is recalled, she runs for office. During a candidate debate, she is asked what public-policy issues are important to her. Unlike the other candidates (who at as stereotypical dishonest politicians), Cat Lady discusses issues such as health care, economy, and public education in between her screams and gibberish (and a call for cats “in everyone’s pants”).
How does one refrain from taking this journey towards Cat Ladydom? I assure you that as a successful single woman who received full custody of two cats in a divorce, I have been warned by many to be mindful of this slippery slope. Protective factors that I have include; having only one degree in higher education, I’m only 28, I frequently down-size my belongings, and I have remained purrfectly content with only two cats for the past year. So does my state of singledom automatically increase my risk factor for full reliance on cats for companionship? According to my peers, it most certainly does.