Can Cat Lovers Get Along With Non-Cat Lovers? part 2
Don’t take others’ self-description of “cat lover” as meaning what you mean when you say it, unless you know them very well. It could be “this person has cats, the way they have a toothbrush”. (No offense to toothbrushes!)
We spent a lovely day with a friend whose feelings about cats we did not know. She’d been to our home but ignored the cats and they ignored her. This time, we were at her house and stuck there at night with car trouble. While we waited for AAA, she encouraged us to just spend the night. We told her that our senior kitty needed nightly medicine and we had to get home. Even though she was a mother of two human children, the fact that our fur-child needed us was lost on her. She kept urging us to stay over, totally oblivious.
Then, she even talked about getting a cat for her sons. I asked who was going to take care of said cat. She said she was just going to let it go outside and take care of itself. I gave her the Reader’s Digest condensed thumbnail version of what care a cat needs, especially as it ages, and she declared, “I’m not taking care of ANYTHING senior!” She’d already cared for an aging relative and she was done. As disturbing as it was, I think we did talk her out of acquiring a cat that would be doomed to neglect and likely abandonment. No, we did not continue the friendship. The fact that she continued to push after we already told her the score was unforgivable, especially for a mother.
It also depends upon context. If you consistently deal with non-cat people at work or in your social circle and believe that these people are essential to your life, of course you can manage some cordial interaction whether they love cats or not. But you probably won’t invite them to your home. You probably won’t spend extended time with them nor travel with them, because they won’t understand that your cats come first. The associations will remain shallow and limited. However, if you don’t care for even basic friendliness with such people (and if they go around speaking badly about cats, I don’t blame you!) then no, getting along is unlikely.
Even if you’re normally a very friendly, warm, inclusive person, don’t ignore red flags that indicate people could actually be dangerous to your cats. If you tell them not to leave doors open and they don’t seem to care and/or do it anyway, that person is unfit as a guest. If they tell you there are too many cats in your house (the actual number doesn’t matter; envious cat haters think even one is too many, even when they’re optimally cared for), take that as a warning that this person may be a very real threat. We’ve known of actual cases of people getting rid of someone’s pets behind their backs with the sick, misguided notion that they’re decluttering and doing them a favor. Regard such people as the predators they are and shut the door behind them! I don’t care if jealousy is behind their statements; it’s not a risk worth taking. This is especially important if you are rescuing cats (or if a pregnant stray dropped by and now you’re caring for a litter) and tend to have a high number in your home at any given time. Don’t give troublemakers a chance to make trouble. They’re incapable of the love you show by caring about defenseless animals.