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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cat Ladies and Company

Cat Ladies creep me out. Really. They freak me out with their wirey hair and beady eyes. Cat Ladies should never be confused with The Cat Woman from Batman. Big difference. She wore a black latex outfit. These ladies wear unflattering khakis and knit Christmas sweaters all year round with a turtle neck underneath. As if their hot flashes aren't bad enough, they're just setting themselves up for a sweaty disaster.

The oddest holiday sight that I have witnessed in recent years happened this week at Petco. There was a line out the door of nearly 25 eager and socially awkward Cat Ladies, cradling their feline friends close to their heart. They all have one passion in common, their cats, so you'd think they would have something to talk about while standing in line. But there was only silence among them, as a few of the more introverted ladies nervously rocked their cats back and forth in their arms. My eyes are itching just thinking about all the cat hair that was circulating in that place. At first I thought I was walking into an audition for a reality show called Crazy Cat Ladies, but I quickly spotted Santa and knew what these women were here for. Tis the season for their cats to meet The Claus.

Santa looked disgusted and annoyed and possibly allergic to all animals as each cat was placed on his lap. I could tell by his face that he was a bitter man who has struggled with addictions for most of his adult life. I'm sure that his "extremely rough around the edges" disposition had been one of the reasons that he had been denied the roll of Santa at the local mall and ended up at the local PetCo instead.

Cat Lady #1 was holding her camera, shaking a bit, and desperately trying to snap the perfect picture of her twin cats on Santa's lap. Sweetheart needed to project her voice a bit more, because the cats couldn't hear a word she was saying over all the other commotion. She was repeating strange phrases that shouldn't leave the home, like, "Look over here Sugarballs!"
Now it was Cat Lady #2 who was waving a little mouse stuffed animal at her cat to get his attention. She's lucky she didn't give the lady behind her a black eye or a bloody nose, as she was swinging the mouse back and forth in hopes of gaining her black spotted cat's attention. The cat continued to ignore her, as if to publicly confirm in the presence of all its cat peers, "I do not know or live or sleep or spoon with that crazy woman! I swear! Ok fine, I do spoon with her but only because she keeps me warm. Throw your paws up if you know what's up!"

Cat Lady #3 had perseverance and would not give up on getting a photo of her cat child with Saint Nick. Her cat was freaking out and I don't know how Santa didn't end up with a big cat scratch on his forehead. "Hold him Santa!! PLEASE! Pin him down! I need to get just one picture!" I secretly cheered as the cat broke free and dove off of Santa's lap.
That's as much as I witnessed in the 5 minutes that I was standing in line to buy Mozie some dog food. But that's all I wanted to witness and that's all I could have stomached. I looked toward the middle-aged man behind me in line in hopes of some sanity, and our eyes met as he whispered only one word, but it was all I needed to hear to know that I wasn't alone in the world. "Bizarre."