So, the side conversation that got started the other day by my threat to possibly join crazy cat lady-dom got me to thinking about the cause of crazy cat lady syndrome.
Before I go into the cause and my theory about crazy cat lady syndrome, I thought it best to get a working definition on the disorder. So, here’s what I have come up with… crazy cat lady = a female (of any age, although typically in the latter years of her life) who keeps more cats than is considered normal and dotes upon them with lavish attention, food, toys and accommodations.
One point to clarify is what number is considered more than normal. For a cat adverse person, one cat would be more than normal. In a small apartment or home more than three may seem excessive. I think to keep this from having too broad of an impact we will define the number considered normal as less than five. Hopefully this doesn’t seem to any a completely arbitrary number. I can certainly see arguments for having three cats in a house, to serve as rodent control. According to the 2007 US Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook the average number of cats for a cat owning household is 2.2. Because any portion of cat over two would need to be rounded up to three of course. Trying to give some latitude between the average and where a crazy label is applied I arrived at five as being the number of cats where crazy cat lady begins.
On to my theory of why crazy cat ladies happen. I’ll just lay it out. It is my insight that they are the women who would be horse crazy if circumstances in their life allowed them to own horses. It is a widely known fact that all horse people are crazy. So imagine if that tendency was never allowed to express itself fully through horse ownership and instead was subverted to another species.
The data on the AVMA website from the 2007 US Pet Ownership & Demographic Sourcebook supports this theory. Notice that although the number of households owning cats, birds or horses are fewer respectively than those households with dogs, the average number owned increases. With the largest average number being horses at an average of 3.5 per horse owning household.
Please also note that the average number of birds owned per bird owning household is 2.5. Again since one in real life can not have 0.5 of a bird, that would bring that number to three. (It is however possible to have 0.5 of a bee.) I am just sure Chickens are included in this average of birds.
The average cat weighs about 10 pounds. The average horse weighs in at 1000 pounds. Per weight it takes a lot of cats to make up for just one horse. Chickens on average weigh less than cats, requiring even more chickens to equal one horse.
In the interest of doing real actual authentic and meaningful ScienceTM it will be important to collect and collate information, representative samples and other data. Please help me in this research. If you have supportive information please share it in the comment section. If your information is likely to skew my data, kindly keep it to yourself. This is for ScienceTM after all.
Although this is at this point only a theory, please if you know someone inclined to be horse crazy, that is unable to experience horse ownership, help them realize their crazy dream. Otherwise, they are likely to end up as the crazy cat lady.
Please note that a large part of the inspiration for this theory comes from my own tendencies. While I only have two cats at the moment there are 15 horses and nearly 30 chickens that I care for on this place. Imagine how many cats I would have if it weren’t for the horses and chickens!