On the number of cats

An observation, rather than a gripe. A typical exchange with a new person in the “casual questions” part of the conversation:

Person: So do you have any pets?

Me: Yes, we have cats.

Person: Oh, how many?

Me: Four.

Person: (raises eyebrows) Oh wow!

During my life, I have owned (ok, been owned by) one, two, and four cats at a time. Summary of reactions: If you have a cat, it’s a normal occurrence and people will ask if it’s a pedigree cat and/or what its name is. If you have two, it’s a normal occurrence (for people categorised as “cat people”) and people will ask if they’re pedigree cats and/or what their names are. If you have four, people will raise their eyebrows, say “oh wow!” and cannot think of anything to ask.

I have theorised that the thinking goes:

one cat: a normal person

two cats: definitely a “cat person”

three cats: okay, very much a “cat person”

four cats: a cat person who has simply lost control of an obsession and can no longer be considered a fully-functional adult with any self-discipline


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