It’s February and by the looks of the displays in almost every store, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. With an entire day devoted to love, I felt I should devote my monthly column to the same topic – specifically how Cat Love is different from Human Love.
We begin with a story. A good friend of mine (we’ll call him Connor because that’s actually his name), told me a story about how his human mom was about to feed him, but tripped and went flying across the room and ended up in a bloody heap (don’t worry – the human is totally fine now). After she cleaned herself up she lamented to Connor about how he didn’t really seem to care or “love” her, and didn’t seem too concerned about her injuries, but was more worried about the food situation (remember she stumbled while in the sacred time of feeding him). Connor and I had a pretty good laugh about this because apparently the fall was EPIC (like, YouTube worthy) and because the human thought Connor didn’t love her as much as he did the food. The story is funny because it’s true. Of course, he cared more about the food!
You see – human love and cat love are very different in both how we experience it and how we show it. There are three things I love in this world – 1) turkey gravy (see my November column for more information) and 2) French Fries (my mother loved them so much she gave me a French name!) and 3) pretty much every other food. You’ve heard of people who cook because “food is love”? I eat because I love food!
Humans play pretty fast and loose with the “love” word. I hear this all the time:
“I love the music from Aladdin.”
“I love my children.”
“I love the new red sweater I just bought.”
Cats love food. We might “like” things including the music from Aladdin (I do like to sing show tunes), and your children (provided they offer me treats), and your new red sweater (it is super comfy to lay on), but we don’t necessarily love any of those things, including you.
You may think that when we snuggle up next to you to sleep or meow to be picked up or sit on your lap that we are expressing our love, but those are simply signs of affection, which is not the equivalent of love.
I have demonstrated this using a Venn Diagram above. Notice how the circles do not overlap. This is because human love has nothing in common with cat love, except when it comes to food. When you look at it is really simple and extremely relatable!
And so Connor’s mom, and everyone else out there – there you have it – Jean Luc has answered the question that has plagued humankind for years. Do we “love” you? The answer is “no”. We are extremely fond of you. We like you a lot. We are affectionate towards you. But we love food, and only food.
Happy Valentine’s Day!