Extreme cat lovers share opinions

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In ancient Egypt, cats were revered. While they were prized for their abilities in controlling vermin, they were also seen as a symbol of grace and bearing. Cats were considered so sacred that they were often mummified, just as humans were.

While they might not be elevated to the status of a god anymore, there are those who very much put them on a pedestal: extreme cat lovers.

Katherine Dew, a junior from Salt Lake City majoring in political science said cats are just misunderstood animals.  Cats are low key, low maintenance, and they’re good if you just give them a little bit of love. Dew had three cats growing up.

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“Those who don’t have cats growing up don’t like them because they have never had the experiences I’ve had, how they come running to you when they come home, how they like to be pampered, how they’re aloof  and affectionate,” she said.

Dew related cats to dogs, saying they act the same way dogs do.

“I had a cat that ran to me every day I came home from school and would run into my lap and start purring,” she said. “You know how people say how dogs are there for you when something bad has happened and they are there to comfort you? Cats do the same thing too.”

“People don’t very much get people who like cats. I can’t really see why, but we’re people too. People think that if you like cats, that’s all you like, but I won’t be a creepy cat lady when I grow up. I still have a social life. I’m getting married, to a dog lover. I like dogs, they’re alright, but they don’t have anything on cats.”

Ben Hawks, a junior from San Francisco, Calif., majors in computer science at UVU. Hawks has had 21 cats over the years, and likes cats because of their behavior and playfulness.

“I like the way they chase after string, and they are one of the few animals that purr,” he said. “I had dogs growing up that I really liked, but the thing I like about cats is if it doesn’t like you, it just leaves you alone.”

Hawks said it’s a dichotomy for most people; it seems you either like dogs or cats. He likes both, but prefers cats.

Melissa Mitchell, a senior from Las Vegas, NV was swinging her cat around the room and accidentally let go, flinging the cat into the wall.

“I was devastated when I thought I killed it. After running up to my Mom and praying, Shadow came back to life,” she recounted.”

Mitchell said one of the saddest days of her life was when the family found out her brother was allergic to cats, and they had to get rid of their cats.

Kellie Julander,  a junior from San Juan Capisrano, Calif., majoring in environmental science, loves cats. She’s had a total of four cats, and said she likes cats in part because it’s a challenge to get them to like you.

“You have to win their heart,” she said. “They don’t just love you because. They’re mysterious.”

Julander said her cat Pepito is her friend, and she loves the reactions she gets from cats.

“Cats make me feel giddy,” she said.” “When I see a stray cat on the road, I crouch down like a cat and and approach it, because I want them to be my friend. They go on their toes or move their satellite ears, you get a different reaction every time.”

Dew referenced the crazy cat woman now famous on YouTube because of her almost maniacal — albeit facetious — love for cats on her eHarmony ad.

“That’s why people think we are kind of crazy, but we’re not that crazy,” she said. “If you start liking cats, people will associate that with you. People will buy you cat gifts all the time, even if you don’t ask them. One year, I got three kitten calenders from three different people.”

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