Opinion: Cats don’t deserve all the bad rap

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Daily Universe editor Emma Gadeski cuddles with her cat, Odie. Cats have a reputation for being aloof, standoffish and “not friendly,” but they don’t deserve all the bad rap. (Emma Gadeski)

“Are you more of a cat person or a dog person?”

I’ve been met with less than positive responses when I say, “Dogs are great, but I really love cats.”

Cats have a reputation for being aloof, standoffish and “not friendly.” And yes, some cats are shy if they don’t know you. But I consider myself a cat whisperer and can make friends with any of them.

Dogs will jump all over you and crave your constant attention, but with cats, the process is a little more sophisticated.

What’s the secret? You have to give them the chance to get to know you and get comfortable — they’re a lot like people.

When comparing homologous segments on human and domestic cat chromosomes, researchers in a National Library of Medicine study found that 90% of the homologous genes mapped to both species. In other words, about 90% of human genes have a matching version in cats!

So yes we’re close to cats genetically, but we’re also close to other mammals so this isn’t such a big deal. But it is fun to think about. When I say I’m a “cat person,” I think of this genetic connection. 

Cats can bring so much joy into your life. Once you earn their trust, you’ll be treated with purring, “kneading”, friendly greeting meows and sometimes even cuddles.

I’ve had cats my entire life. This year, my roommates and I got a cat named Odie to have in our apartment. He is the sweetest boy and follows us around everywhere. We technically weren’t allowed to have him in the apartment at first (someone told management on us and they came in with a black light complaining about hair on the couch.) But after a lot of stress and some paperwork, he is officially ours. 

It’s so great to come home from school and work everyday to a little friend who’s happy to see you, but isn’t overbearing and is pretty much self-sufficient. Cats clean themselves and are easily entertained. A loving and low-maintenance pet? Sounds like a win to me. 

I’ve found that people who don’t like cats (typically guys I’ve met) complain that they don’t like to be held or won’t cuddle with you. But these are sometimes the same people who incessantly bother them and don’t give them their space. Can we talk about men who actually like cats? A gift to this world. They understand boundaries and are just more gentle. 

I’ve had times where I’ve been crying about something and cats I’ve owned will come up to me purring to see what’s wrong. Sounds like love to me. 

You should consider giving cats a chance because the best music artist of all time is a huge cat person. Taylor Swift (AKA the music industry) has three of them. Cats must be doing something right if they’re worthy of her company. 

That reminds me, Taylor Swift also gets a bad rap. I’ve never heard anyone make sexist comments about male artists the way they do about her. I would say she’s the best songwriter of all time. The re-recordings of her Red album come out Nov. 19 with a 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” Check it out. 

Anyway, back to my point. Cats don’t deserve the bad rap they get and more people should give them a chance. You’ll be happy you did.

— Emma Gadeski
Editor in Chief

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