Tag: men with cats

Sunday Cats: ‘Cat Daddies’ Documentary, Misconceptions About Cloning

A trailer for ‘Cat Daddies‘ comes right out with it: Men who love cats are often stereotyped as oddballs.

“People see a cat dad and they think ‘Oh he must be weird and creepy,” says one guy, who is shown hilariously working out his biceps by lifting his cats in place of weights. “I feel like we’re getting to a point where it’s okay [to say] ‘Yeah, I have cats.'”

Another man recalled a conversation with his college buddies in which one of them floated the idea of adopting a few cats.

“The reaction was ‘No man, you can’t do that,'” he says with an amused look on his face.

Of course, PITB readers know it’s perfectly natural for men to love cats, especially cats as muscular, intimidating and tiger-like as Buddy.

But if you’ve ever wondered what the experience is like for guys who want to adopt kitties, ‘Cat Daddies’ takes a look at several men from different backgrounds and their beloved felines, from a homeless man in New York who won’t part with his tabby even it means he won’t get housing, to an Instagram star whose rise to fame has been propelled by his feline masters.

Californians can catch the documentary in person, and help fund a good cause, at an April 16 screening in Long Beach, CA, on behalf of the Little Lion Foundation. The California-based nonprofit specializes in caring for neonatal and young, abandoned kittens, as most shelters aren’t equipped to care for them and such kittens are often euthanized if they land in an animal control or kill shelter.

For the rest of us, check out the Cat Daddies site for a list of virtual screenings and festival events.

Man with kitten
Credit: Tim Douglas/Pexels

A grieving woman explains why she’s cloning her late cat

Kris Stewart adopted Bear, a five-year-old ragdoll “with a big, bold, sassy look,” in March of 2021.

Stewart, the CEO of a senior care company in Canada, described Bear as “the smartest animal I’ve ever owned,” and said the resourceful cat could work out how to open locked doors and windows.

“What I didn’t realize was his need for adventure and exploring,” she wrote in a column for Newsweek.

After “cat-proofing” her backyard and taking Bear on walks via a harness, Stewart decided the ragdoll needed to be outside to be happy. Bear “was off-leash by May 2021,” she wrote.

“Then, one day in January 2022, I let him out about 4.30pm and within about 20 minutes I heard something, saw cars backing up down the street and ran outside. Bear had been hit. Obviously it was my fault. I’m his guardian and I made the wrong decision, and I have to live with that.”

Stewart acknowledges that cloning is a process that involves mistakes, although it’s not clear if she’s aware just how gruesome the process can be. Likening it to “human parents who want to go through IVF rather than adopt,” she said she’s hoping the clone will have the same temperament as her beloved Bear.

“I would much rather replicate Bear’s genetic material into another cat than adopt again because I would love to see the personality of Bear live on,” she wrote. “He was the most brilliant animal I’ve ever owned. Research tells us that a significant portion of personality is carried in genes so I’m willing to take the chance. I’ve said before that Mother Earth is not finished with Bear and Bear is not finished with Mother Earth. So, if I can bring back his genetic material in the form of another cat, I would like to do that. If their personalities are a little different, that’s OK, I’ll be happy regardless.”

Bear the cat
Stewart with Bear.

It’s clear Stewart is devastated by losing Bear, and we don’t want to sound callous by criticizing her decision. Grief leads people to do all sorts of things, and there’s no “correct” way to cope. We all handle it differently.

At the same time, it’s wishful thinking to believe a clone is somehow a continuation of the original, or that cloning can bridge the considerable gap between nature and nurture. That’s just not how it works. Sadly, Mother Earth is done with Bear — there’s no continuity of consciousness.

Even in science fiction stories where cloning technology is flawless and human cloning somehow exists despite considerable moral and religious objections, it’s clear that cloning is, well, cloning: Even if the clone is perfect in every way, even if the process manages to faithfully reproduce personality and memories can somehow be transferred, there is no “bridge” between the original and the copy. For the person who is cloned, life ends when their consciousness blinks out, and nothing can resurrect it.

We hope Stewart finds peace and loves her new cat, but we don’t believe cloning is right answer when grieving the loss of a pet.

Cat Guys Get No Respect

Remember the study from this past summer that claimed single men with cats are perceived as “less masculine” and are less likely to score dates than their cat-less counterparts?

Now Match.com has some bad news for us as well, saying their internal data shows men who have cats are less attractive to women on the popular online dating platform. From the Wall Street Journal:

‘If you’re a heterosexual man looking for love this Valentine’s Day, here’s something you probably don’t want to do: include a cat in your online dating profile.

“Chicks don’t want a guy with a cat,” said Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert for Match, an online service that promises to connect compatible romantic partners.’

The Match.com data mirrors the data from the earlier Colorado State University study, which showed women photos of men with and without cats. When the authors asked women whether they’d consider dating those men, the female participants said they were less likely to date the cat servants by a margin of about five percent. Match.com’s data says men with cats are five percent less likely to receive “likes” than men without cats.

“Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable,” said study authors Lori Kogan and Shelly Vosche, who titled their paper “Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing With Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability.”

cute cat smelling unrecognizable bearded man on windowsill at home
Photo by Yuliya kota on Pexels.com

That study was limited: The authors worked with about 700 female participants who were all between the ages of 18 and 24. At the time, we speculated that the anti-cat bias would probably be negligible among women in older age brackets, but there were worrying signs, including the idea that men who care for cats aren’t as manly as men who haven’t discovered the joys of hanging with a miniature tiger.

“Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they wrote. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

The results, they said, indicate “women are more likely to seek masculinity first, then consider other components of the potential mate.”

The findings were “influenced by” whether the women self-identified “as a dog or a cat person,” although it wasn’t clear just how much that impacted their responses.

Vosche and Kogan speculate “that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group.”

That study also prompted us to write a fake news post headlined: “Study: Male Actors, Models Are 96% More Handsome When Pictured With Buddy,” alongside the “proof”: A photograph of actor Chris Hemsworth in a fat suit, sans Buddy, and a photo of Hemsworth playing Thor the god of thunder, pictured with Buddy and looking heroic. Haha!

Thor with Buddy
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth photographed WITH Buddy, illustrating a dramatic difference in perceived power, masculinity and handsomeness.

It’s worth pointing out the difference is in perception. There’s nothing to indicate men who care for cats don’t have “good genes” any more than there’s evidence that men without cats have supposedly superior genes. Rather, as the study authors note, the perception is reinforced by cultural biases, at least here in the US.

Likewise, both the Colorado State University study and the Match.com data are looking at first impressions based on photographs, which means women are evaluating the men in question based only on limited visual information, to the exclusion of everything else that factors into whether one person views another as attractive.

We don’t know if the same biases hold true in other situations. For example, how would women respond to men who are out and about walking their cats on harnesses? How would they respond to a man who casually mentions he’s got a cat back home?

The Match data also cuts both ways, to the detriment of women. While straight men with cats receive five percent fewer “likes” than other men, straight women with cats suffer an even larger perception penalty, receiving seven percent fewer “likes,” probably due to the “crazy cat lady” stereotype.

Some people think that makes perfect sense:

Screenshot_2021-02-12 The Wall Street Journal(1)

“[T]his goes for both men and women – having a cat often means you’re addicted to caffeine, on SSRI’s [sic], love to binge-watch netflix, zero libido, cry a lot, late night ben and jerry’s pint, etc.,” Mahbod Moghadam wrote in a Feb. 12 Facebook post in response to the WSJ story.

Mahbod Moghadam. I know that name. Where do I know that name from?

Oh, right. He’s the Rap Genius (Genius.com lyric site) co-founder who was thoroughly clowned by Sacha Baron Cohen on his Showtime series, Who Is America?

I say “clowned.” Esquire says “humiliated.” In reality, neither word captures Moghadam’s so-cringeworthy-it’s-hard-to-watch appearance on the show. Believing he’s there to be photographed and interviewed by an Italian fashion photographer named Gio Monaldo (Baron-Cohen in disguise), Moghadam is legendarily awful in the segment:

In the middle of the photoshoot, Gio compliments Moghadam repeatedly, calling him cool. He then asks he to “do something like a black guy.” Seemingly without missing a beat, Moghadam makes the Blood sign and mimes shooting a gun at the camera while saying “pop, pop.” Of course a lot of editing goes into Who Is America?‘s segments, but there’s really no excuse for that.

Much like with the Olympios interview, Cohen then persuaded Moghadam to pose with a green screen so he can photoshop the founder feeding starving children. In the middle of the shoot, Gio stops, convincing his muse that he needs to make his penis look bigger. Naturally the only solution to this is to stuff the arm of a babydoll down his pants. Moghadam never seems to protest any of this, not even when an intentionally racist Gio swaps out the white babydoll arm for an African-American one.

I’d link the footage, because there’s no way I can do justice to how awful it is, but miraculously it looks like it’s disappeared. Indeed, Moghadam comes off looking so bad in the segment that it looks like he’s gone to incredible lengths to get every clip of it removed from sites like Youtube and DailyMotion. If that guy is the kind of person who thinks men with cats are less masculine, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.

Screenshot_2021-02-13 Founder Of Rap Genius Mahbod Moghadam Skewered On ‘Who Is America’

Mahbod Moghadam
Mahbod Moghadam on ‘Who Is America?’

Study: Women Don’t Want To Date Men With Cats

Sad news, gentlemen: A new study from a team at Colorado State University claims men who love cats are perceived as “less masculine” and are less likely to score dates with single women.

The study surveyed 708 women between the ages of 18 and 24, showing them photos of men photographed alone and with cats. The women were asked whether they’d agree to a date with each man they viewed, and whether they’d consider a long-term relationship with each man.

When those same men were shown with cats, the number of women who said they’d date them dropped by five percent, while the number who said they’d consider a serious relationship dropped by four percent.

The women who took the survey also rated men “on masculinity and personality” according to their appearance in the photos. In addition, the participants answered questions like: “Is he reserved?”, “Is he generally trusting?” and “Is he lazy?”, and asked the women whether they believed the men were outgoing, sociable, kind and considerate.

“Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable,” wrote authors Lori Kogan and Shelly Vosche, who titled their paper “Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing With Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability.”

catsstudy2
In an attempt to reduce variables, the photos were all staged the same way in front of a plain white background, with the men wearing blue button-down shirts. Credit: Lori Kogan and Shelly Vosche/Colorado State University

The researchers also asked the women if they viewed the men as dominant, gentle, sympathetic, affectionate, warm, decisive and possessed of leadership abilities.

The presence of cats hurt men across the board with the female respondents, who found the cat men “ultimately less datable in the short or long term,” Vosche and Kogan concluded.

That begs the question: Why?

Women want manly men, Vosche and Kogan argue.

“Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they wrote. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

The results, they said, indicate “women are more likely to seek masculinity first, then consider other components of the potential mate.”

The findings were “influenced by” whether the women self-identified “as a dog or a cat person,” although it wasn’t clear just how much that impacted their responses.

Vosche and Kogan speculate “that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group.”

The authors didn’t say why they concentrated on the 18 to 24 range, nor did they speculate on how women in older age cohorts might respond.

Buddy responds

We would be remiss, of course, if we didn’t run this by Buddy the Cat. This is his blog, after all.

The outspoken tabby cat dismissed the study as “fake mews” and said it’s well-known that cats are “spectacular wing-men.”

In addition Buddy — who holds doctorates in being a cat and being handsome — argued that, while some cats may indeed make their human male servants seem less masculine, other cats — like Buddy — amplified masculine and desirable traits by several orders of magnitude.

“If a man is pictured with a scowling, flabby Persian, then sure, maybe women are less likely to view that man as masculine,” Buddy said. “But if a man is pictured with a ripped, dashingly handsome cat such as myself, women are 96 percent more likely to want to date him.”

Asked where he arrived at that figure, Buddy replied: “I made it up. But obviously it’s true.”

Buddy the Wingman
In research by Buddy, women were 96 percent more likely to date men pictured with Buddy.