All my life, I’ve thought cats were pretty cool. When I was younger, I always wanted one, but my Dad hated cats and said they were not worthy of being a pet. “Disloyal” is how he would describe them. Whereas a dog would love you unconditionally no matter what you did to them, pretty much, a cat was a snake who would take up with anyone who had a food bowl. So, I never got to enjoy felines growing up.
Years later, I was living with my now ex-girlfriend in South Carolina. She was a huge cat person and often spoke of missing them. Well, one fall season we started to have a mouse problem a couple months before Christmas. When she went to her family’s house for a few days during that holiday, I headed down to one of the local animal shelters to pickup a kitten. I saw a five-month-old black one who appeared to have had his tail cut off, but I was later informed that he was born that way. I’d never heard of the Manx breed until that day, but he was so cute and so amiable, that I soon decided that I had to get him. Not only that, I reasoned that it was pretty cool to have a tailless cat. How could you not think that?
Anyway, my Dad was wrong. I still have King Tut (he was even suspended from Twitter, believe it or not), although I don’t have the ex-girlfriend. All is not lost, as we’ve both moved on to other things and people. I know she has to miss this guy, though. How could you not?
You might be asking yourself why I just spent 250 words telling you about how I got my cat. That’s a fair question, but as always, I assume you’ve already divined the answer thanks to my detailed headline. In all the years I’ve had the King (4), I never once thought of calling him by gender neutral pronouns. Why is that?
Probably because I’m not completely batshit crazy.
Lauren R. Taylor can’t honestly say the same. Come to think of it, that’s why The Washington Post hired her to write this bonkers post in the first place. Sane just isn’t as sexy as mental competence. After seeing Ms. Taylor’s headshot, I speak strictly of the spectacle, not of the author.
In case you missed this laughable piece, let me excerpt it for you so we can laugh together…
Around the house, with just me, Essence and Trouble – named for Rare Essence and Trouble Funk, for the DC music lovers reading this – things were pretty easy. I’d make a mistake (called “misgendering”), saying something like “Where’s your brother?” (Yes, I talk to my cats.) Usually, I’d remember to fix it (“Where’s your sibling?” or “Where’s your pal?”). Just as I’d hoped, I began finding it easier to remember to use gender-neutral language for the humans in my life…
Things got a little more real when Essence got sick. They were really sick. I took them to the vet and had to weigh the question: Do I explain their pronouns not only to the vet, but also the front-desk workers, the vet techs, and everyone else we interacted with? Before the illness was over, we saw five vets, two sets of front desk people, and countless vet techs. I chose to fall back on my cis-gender privilege (look it up) and used the singular pronoun for Essence. I understood that wouldn’t have been so easy if I were the patient — or if Essence were human…
But at the same time it’s necessary. People are coming to understand that not all of us fit into the “girl” box or the “boy” box. Those who don’t are claiming space to be who they are. We all need to find ways to acknowledge and respect that. My way of respecting it just happens to be raising my cats gender neutral. You can choose your own.
Honestly, I’m sick and tired of radical feminists pushing this sort of thing down everyone’s throat. Not content to stick with humans, now they’ve moved into the realm of felines. By doing this, they’re actually hurting the transgendered people they profess to support. Just let people deal with this in their own way. If someone I respect politely asks me to call them something, I will almost certainly comply (Someone I don’t respect? That might be a different story.) But either way, I won’t be held hostage by the whims of the politically correct chattering class.
I was unfamiliar with Taylor’s particular brand of insanity before writing this post, but after looking at her Google results, this might be one of the most lucid parts of her résumé. I seriously doubt any of you will be motivated to follow her advice, but perhaps I’m wrong. Let me know either way down in the #BasedCommentSection.