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Favorites: The Dirty Secret of Cat Ownership

“Of course I don’t have favorites. Don’t be absurd. I love all of our cats the same.”

That’s what I say. Then, in the next breath: “Oh, look at Comet. Look how cute Comet is, all curled up. Look how cute Comet is, flinging herself at my leg. Let me get a picture of Comet. Did I tell you what Comet did today?”

Of the people I’ve known with multiple cats, I haven’t known any who’ve been willing to acknowledge, openly and without a shred of guilt, that they had favorites. And I’ve known only a handful — if any — who really and truly didn’t. It’s the dirty little secret of having multiple pets. We never want to admit that we have favorites … and we totally do.

*

Thus begins my new piece for Catster, Favorites: The Dirty Secret of Cat Ownership.

Yes, you heard me right — I am now professionally cat-blogging. I kind of can’t believe it. I am proud and happy and delighted all out of proportion. This may well be the emotional pinnacle of my writing career. My debut piece is a hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism, in which I totally blow the lid of this whole “favorites” thing. No, really. To find out more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    That last closeup of Comet is awesome! I refuse, however, to admit that I have a favorite. I’ve got two. A favorite little brown-footed cat and a favorite little white-footed cat.

  2. buddhabuck says

    With multiple humans and multiple cats, the reality is that the cats choose favorites as much as the humans do. I find I’m lucky if the preferences match up. When they don’t, the cats’ preferences win.

  3. machintelligence says

    I liked the “sorry I can’t move now — COL” (cat on lap).
    Of all of the cats that have owned you, do you have a favorite? I know I do.

  4. Brownian says

    With multiple humans and multiple cats, the reality is that the cats choose favorites as much as the humans do.

    I don’t disagree with this in general, but the cat we have now seems to love my girlfriend and I equally, splitting his cuddle time between us.

    It’s notably weird.

  5. Celeste says

    My favorite recently suffered a blood clot that killed his lower body and had to be put to sleep. I am in agony over it. He was my little baby and I was very definitely his human. All of my cats are wonderful, I love them dearly, but he and I had a special bond that none of my other cats have with me. So yes, I totally get that you have a favorite.

  6. Nurse Ingrid says

    Celeste, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s obvious how much you loved your cat. I’m sure you gave him a wonderful life. Greta and I have lost beloved cats before, and we know how hard it can be. You have my sympathy.

  7. Celeste says

    Thank you Nurse Ingrid. It’s amazing how big of a hole such small creatures can leave in our lives.

  8. carpenterman says

    You want a real dirty little secret? It’s the same with parents and their kids.

  9. mythbri says

    @Celeste

    The only problem with loving cats is that their lifespans are so comparatively short. I’m sorry for your loss.

  10. Didaktylos says

    When I still lived with my parents, we had two cats, one male, one female and litter-mates though you wouldn’t have thought it to look at them. And I was quite definitely “owned” by one of them, the black-furred female with a white throat patch. Her ginger brother would sit on anyone’s lap – but she ever caught him sitting on mine she would see him off sharpish.

  11. littlejohn says

    I have two gray cats from the same litter who appear to be identical twins (do cats ever have identical twins?). I can tell Ted and Al apart only in good light: Al has a chronic weepy eye. They have slightly different personalities, but I swear I have no favorite. Ted is a little more aggressively friendly, but that’s not always a good thing, such as when you’re trying to sleep. Honest. No favorite.

  12. Alverant says

    I empathize with your loss. I lost my “favorite” to cancer two months and a week ago. Sarge was the first cat I ever adopted which made him special. (Before my cats were what my parents adopted.) I think some cats try to make themselves favorites by giving affection and just hanging out with you. Sarge would greet me when I came home and often napped near me. At night he’d crawl up on the pillow around my head and reach out with one paw to touch my shoulder. He became the Buddy Kitty. When he passed I had to re-connect with the other two cats since Sarge’s illness dominated my free time. The second cat I adopted, Lena, became the new favorite and is definitely aware of her status. Pepi is different though. She can’t stand being held by anyone. She wants love but not sure how to accept it (she was abused as a kitten). I do my best with her. She can’t really be a “favorite” since part of how I define the term is, “in case of an emergency, which cat do you grab first” and I can’t grab Pepi. She hates it enough when nothing is happening, it would be downright impossible to do it during an emergency.

  13. Cthandhs says

    I have a favorites triangle with two of my four kitties. Ernest and Ada are basement cat litter-mates that I rescued from the pound. Ada is my favorite kitty and I am Ernest’s favorite people. They both sleep on me, Ada at the head and Ernest at the feet, and they have separate snuggle times. Ada before work and Ernest after work. They rarely sit on me at the same time, though they play and snuggle frequently otherwise. Often though, if I’m petting Ada and she leaves, I will suddenly find Ernest in her place.

  14. Trebuchet says

    @Celeste:

    My favorite recently suffered a blood clot that killed his lower body and had to be put to sleep.

    That happened to one of ours — who I will admit was the favorite — about three years ago. It was awful. I’m feeling tears coming on just thinking about her. I’m so sorry for you.

  15. Celeste says

    Thank you mythbri.

    Trebuchet, the vet did tell me that this problem is peculiar to cats. I’m so sorry you had to go through it as well.

    Alverant, my condolences on the loss of your kitty as well. Pepi sounds a little like a cat I had too. We named her Chimney because she looked like she had rolled around in soot. She passed away and it was hard, but because she could never fully give herself over to us, the hole she left wasn’t as bad. She was a clever little thing though and had the cutest trill instead of a meow. Even when they’re not a favorite and are even stand-offish, the memories of them can be comforting.

  16. MNb0 says

    “I haven’t known any who’ve been willing to acknowledge, openly and without a shred of guilt, that they had favorites.”
    Here I am, nice to meet you. 25 years ago, when I was still living with my father and his friend, we had two cats and a dog. I liked/loved all three of them, but our white cat (well, some white and red spots too) easily was my favourite. Ever. And I don’t feel guilty about it. In fact she’s the only animal I ever had I still miss. And usually I prefer dogs; nowadays I have three of them but no cat.

  17. badgersdaughter says

    However many cats I have, and however much I love them all, the teenage brat cats are always my least favorite. It’s bad enough that I am considering only adopting full-grown kitties from now on.

    That said, I have two now, both full grown, and although they are sweet and sane and loving, the one I love best is the one who loves me for myself and not for the goddamn cat treats.

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