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Why I Hate Cats

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By Megan Karpinski

Flash alert: there's a social epidemic spreading in the City of Brotherly Love. No, not flash mobs. You can stop tweeting about that. Cats. That's right. Kitties. I've made my dislike of these glorified rodents very apparent in the past few years, yet every. Single. Friend. Of mine. Has gotten not one, but two cats. "One will get lonely," they say, or "but they're so cute."

Skinny jeans and heels are cute. Reading Twilight in our 20s is cute. Young women between the ages of 20 and 23 investing in a pet that will potentially live for the next two decades is not cute. Yet so many of my friends are following this trend, as if they don't realize--or care about--the commitment.

I understand the companionship. But for so long? Get an older cat; get a boyfriend; get a goldfish. We're too young to be cat women. And this is not a boring place to live. Sure, those snow storms last year sucked, but be prepared, girls. Get a box of wine, chick lit, and chick flicks, and hold it out. You don't need a furry friend to keep you company. You need me, helping you with that wine.

And I won't ask you to feed me. Or clean up my defecation. Or to love me even though I chewed through your Coach wristlet, making it a wristlet no more.

Cats.jpgWe're in that limbo between college and . . .whatever happens after college. We graduated, got jobs, apartments, cars, and now wear slightly better clothing. Being a group of young people, living in Fairmount, one of the city's lovely, fun, young neighborhoods, we should be able to find something else to do with our time and money other than bring more hair into our homes and onto our clothes.

I say this as I'm getting more feline attention that I ever have in my adult life. And the one giving the affection?  Simba, my roommate's cat. There has never been so much cuddling, purring, and nudging with a head than right now. Ok, so I get it, they're nice to have around.

I just don't understand when and where this happened. At this point, it doesn't really matter, since I'm just a few snuggle sessions away from getting a kitten of my own. I just don't want it to be my ball and chain; the demise of my freedom to go out when I want, and to leave for as long as I want.

So here's my idea for the next big trend: urban kitty bags. Or carriers.  Cat mats maybe? Whatever you want to call it.  Because no matter what neighborhood you're strolling through on any given day, many people will have their city dog out for a walk. Why not change it to cats? If this trend is on the rise--and all signs point to yes, it is---then this a potential gold mine. An accessory, for your accessory. And this will be so much more tolerable than a Chihuahua in a bag, because cats don't bark or really bite. That's right: this anti-cat lady has decided to become part of the pro-cat trend. Mostly because there's money to be made.

This time next summer, when you walk by Belgium Café, there could be a kitty bag/cat mat. The vision: a yoga mat (also big in the Fairmount area) down-sized for cats, with little Velcro loops to keep the cat attached, you know, in case he/she decides to go after that Chihuahua. Then, when you're done your micro-brew, simply fold up the cat mat, zip up the sides, throw the strap around your shoulder, and you're on your way.

In my dreams, the cat mat will be the next big thing in East Coast cities. Just like Uggs made their way in (even though they're Ugg-ly); just like leggings infiltrated every bar in Old City and Fish Town alike (even though they don't count as pants), this is going to be everywhere. Because 20-something, bright, educated, attractive women are deciding that yes, cats are the way to go.

Until this idea rises and becomes a reality it looks like I'll just be that girl patiently waiting for her friends outside a bar, as they show up 15 minutes late because of another cat fiasco. But, if someone, years from now, asks where this trend started, you can confidently say: in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, Pa.

Megan Karpinski is a writer who lives in Fairmount with her roommates cats.

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