DeAnne Smith and Um, A Cat

As much as I don’t want to be a lesbian cliché1, Autostraddle, I’m going to have to talk to you about cats for a minute. Rather, one cat in particular.

She’s napping on my yoga mat as I write this, curled up into an adorable little gray and white ball of pure furriness. I’d like there to be a joke here, or at least some kind of memorable phrasing, but I can’t think about jokes or crafting memorable phrases right now because when this cat is here my life is wholly and totally complete and I don’t need to pander to strangers on the internet for acceptance and validation. All I can think about is her, how cute she is, how much I already love her, how I can love her more, how I can make her love me and almond butter. Almond butter has nothing to do with this situation but it’s pretty much always floating around in the background of my thoughts, like a delicious, delicious, nutritious and protein-y ghost.



“Delicious, delicious, nutritious and protein-y ghost” hardly even makes sense as a concept or visual image2 and is probably the most meaningless set of words I’ve ever strung together but I already told you guys, I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING AT ALL IN THE WORLD EXCEPT THIS CAT AND OUR LOVE RIGHT NOW.



It all started a few weeks ago, when she pawed at my window3. Despite the chilly Montreal air, I started leaving the window open on the off chance she might want to wander in. Once in a while she did, but she’d always get freaked out and bolt. Then, one magical day last week, she came in, rubbed up against me, and didn’t leave.

“She came in, rubbed up against me, and didn’t leave.” I’ve started many a relationship the same way. I think that’s why I love this cat so much. I know what it’s like. I’ve spent a lot of time prowling around girls’ houses, looking underfed and extremely pet-able. When a girl finally relents and opens the window, I dash off. Not so fast, little lady! I’m an independent creature. I’ve got whole streets out here to roam around in. You don’t know me! Maybe I got two, three, ten other houses I go to. I’ll come back when I damn well feel like it. But P.S. if you really love me, you’ll leave the window open and risk all of your stuff being stolen and/or freezing yourself to death. Deal? Oh, and if and when I do come back, get ready for my ass in your face when you least expect it. That’s how I roll.



I’m sure the above paragraph is some kind of poignant metaphor about the ways in which I begin and, perhaps, ultimately doom relationships. If the cat wasn’t here right this minute purring like a widdleteenytinygrumblewumble and embodying everything that is right and good with the universe, maybe I could think clearly enough to more fully draw it out but I can’t because I can’t think about anything except this cat and how now she’s stretched out on the yoga mat like she actually knows how to do yoga



and the fact that “Come to my Window” is now stuck in my head and that I wouldn’t put it past Melissa Etheridge to presciently write a song about me and this cat 19 years before our love manifested because no doubt she has secret lesbian powers and as much as I’m a lesbian cliché, Melissa Etheridge is cliché O.G. but it doesn’t matter because once upon a time she gave us and all of humanity this amazing video with an insane Juliette Lewis scrawling on the walls



being hot and intense and kinda scary which I, for one, am totally into and what does that say about me and the kind of chicks I’m attracted to and even though I love this cat can I really commit to it and give it the love and attention it deserves or as soon as it’s coming around regularly will I feel like wait a minute, I’m pretty screwed up and if this cat wants to hang around me, there must be something really wrong with it and I could probably do better, and is buying all this cat food and kitty litter just another example of me putting someone else’s needs above my own and how much sacrificing of time and energy and resources is necessary in a healthy relationship and does it even feel like a “sacrifice” if it’s meant to be and what if I get bored ’cause I usually get bored and hey, that other kitten I’ve had my eye on is pretty cute and I’m more comfortable with instability anyway than a solid, predictable thing I can rely on and maybe I should see if I can entice that kitten to start crawling in my window because that would be a fun challenge and if I succeed in snagging that kitten I’m probably actually really a loveable human and how about the fact that I’m writing all of this on a borrowed laptop, because a few days ago the cat spilled a full mug of coffee on mine but I hardly even cared because within 20 minutes of the cat spilling coffee on my laptop, I was already Googling cat towers on my phone and am I in a codependent relationship with this cat or does actual love feel that way sometimes and what ever happened to Melissa Etheridge’s ex with that strangely compelling but totally nuts blog and oh my gosh how good is almond butter and when can I eat it again and what am I gonna put it on. Probably toast. Yeah, definitely toast.

So I’m sorry to be cliché, Autostraddle, but I just had to talk to you about cats for a minute. Well, one cat in particular.

How about you? Have you ever felt the same way about, um, a cat?


1 But who am I kidding? I’m a gluten-free, vegan, sideways haircut-having, flannel-wearing, bowtie-rocking, hummus-loving, feelings-processing, ukulele-playing queer currently looking at copies of “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom,” and “The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” on my bookshelf. The only way I could be more cliché would be if I had poor boundaries with my ex and was wearing a pair of her underwear right now. Which, um, I’m so totally not or anything. …What?

2 Also “visual image” is totally redundant. As is this aside.

3 I live in a semi-basement apartment so my windows are sidewalk-level. Upsides include cats pawing at my windows and relatively cheap rent. Downsides include everything else. (Unless you hate direct sunlight and love dead lily plants, in which case my semi-basement apartment is all upsides!)

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I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at

DeAnne has written 22 articles for us.


  1. This happened to me a month ago! This awesome, sassy bengal cat started visiting my house so we started feeding him and loving him and then it turns out he belongs to my neighbours. The good news is that they already have a dog and another cat and foster two kittens (who he is scared of?), so they are letting us have joint custody!!

  2. that s how i got my 3 cats. i m that lesbian cliche, so is my gfriend hahaha we both have 3 cats, and i love them!!!!!!! it s a loev i ve never known before, so pure and selfless :)

  3. Update: the cat slept at the foot of my bed ALL NIGHT.

    She is currently staring out the open window, testing my love by my willingness to freeze out my house.


  4. Can we talk about how my Instagram feed, Tumblr, and Facebook are basically an altar to my cat, Offred.

    I don’t have a bio on Tumblr, I have a link to the pictures I take of my cat. Because she is the Best Cat.

    • whoa! Do you live in washington state? I canvassed someone once with a cat named Offred, could it have been you? hmmmm!

  5. cats are the best.

    Also, sidenote – no lily plants near your new fuzzy friend; they are amazeballs toxic to cats.

  6. this is my life: and what if I get bored ’cause I usually get bored and hey, that other kitten I’ve had my eye on is pretty cute and I’m more comfortable with instability anyway than a solid, predictable thing I can rely on and maybe I should see if I can entice that kitten to start crawling in my window because that would be a fun challenge and if I succeed in snagging that kitten


    i love kittens (and by kittens, i mean felines and not chicks/women). i’m allergic to cats though so can’t live with them. i’ve set myself up for the fact that i’ll never find another queer woman to love-shack up with because of that allergy.

  7. I love cats too, it’s okay. One time I had a dream that I gave birth to my youngest kitty, Pepper. Like I gestated her and she came out of my VAGINA that’s how much I love her. The nurse handed the baby to me all wrapped up and there was her little kitten face peeking out at me.

    • I can’t even find this weird because it’s kind of adorable…help, I’m a crazy cat lady

  8. I appreciate the amount of almond butter love in this post. Also, it spoke to me in ways I did not think an article on um, cats, could. Please excuse me as I process my feelings while awww-ing over fond memories of those Royale commercials with the kittens running into a mound of toilet paper

  9. You guys, am I still allowed to be a lesbian if I hate cats and get violently allergic even being around someone who recently petted a cat? I mean, uh, I’m asking for a friend.

    • I too am soooo allergic to cats, so the answer is that you are allowed to be a lesbian, but it does get in the way of being a lesbian. Like when you basically can’t go to a girl’s house because she has cats. (and let’s be real: she has cats.) #thanksstereotypes

  10. Oh yes, this totally speaks to me, my cat was draped across my lap while I read it (and was doing her best to make typing as awkward as possible). I love my cat so much that I don’t like going out of town for the weekend because I miss her too much and feel guilty about leaving her alone cause she might feel abandoned.

  11. This post, oh this post. Thank you for it.

    I am in love with my cat. He is my boyfriend. I live alone so he’s the only living thing I talk to on my usual Sunday afternoons.

    We get each other and AS gets me.

  12. My kitty currently has her butt draped across one arm and her chin resting on the other. I had to very carefully maneuver my laptop so the keyboard was in typing distance and I didn’t disturb her purry slumber.

    Also, ukulele is a freaking lesbian stereotype too? Add another one to my always growing list of stereotypes I fulfilled before even knowing I was into chicks. I hate it but I love it.

  13. My cat and I are completely co-dependant. If he wakes up before me, he’ll sit next to the alarm clock, waiting for it to go off, and then he jumps down and paws at me until I get up to cuddle him.

    There is nothing in this article that is not true to me. Thanks for that… and now I have to go snuggle little Fuzzy-butt.

    • “Sits next to the alarm clock, waiting for it to go off”?! That’s one thoughtful kitty. If mine wakes up before me, he BECOMES my alarm clock, even if it’s 4 a.m.

      • He also gets grumpy when I don’t go to bed on time. I swear, he’s like my mother some days!

        I came home late (or should I say early, at 4am) one night, and he was waiting on the couch. He gave me this “I’m disappointed in you” look, then jumped down and walked up the stairs to bed without a single meow. I got the silent treatment all the next day, too.

  14. This made me laugh so damn hard it isn’t even funny. It also made me realize that every time I see a stray cat on my back patio I stand with my face pressed against the backdoor’s glass.

  15. Oh I love this. I was once in love like this with a cat, but my ex got her in the breakup. But we did have joint custody for awhile, which was the most lesbian thing I’ve ever done.

  16. oh man, I am so in love with my cat. I call her beautiful one and ask her all the time if she knows how much I love her. She was seven weeks old and feral when I successfully lured her into my grasp. An ex and her friend showed up at my back door one day to retrieve bananagrams, which I was borrowing from the ex and said “did you know you have a kitten in your back yard?” Then there was forty minutes of not-caring-what-the-neighbors-think including hanging upside on the neighbors fence until finally she came close enough for me to reach out and grab her and quick run inside before the big thunder and hail storm started. She leapt out of my arms, across my apartment, and scaled my blinds. Then she hid under my bed and pooped in the corner for most of three days. Then we fell in love.

    • I’m looking at her now. She is the best ever. I just got her spayed this week and I was a crazy nervous wreck. I had myself convinced that maybe she didn’t even have ovaries so all of this putting her under and slicing her open was maybe unnecessary. But she’s okay! She didn’t die! I’m out of her kitty opiate and she’s coming out of her drug haze!

  17. This was my life with cats for soo long…my girlfriend and I have 4 of them. And then, we got PUPPIES! And now I am that girl who is completely obsessed with/taking pictures of/talking about her dogs. So much. I’m out of town for the weekend and I’m already missing them even though we just dropped them off at doggie day-care like 3 hours ago……the cats are at home, running shit, because that’s how cats roll.

  18. I “just” adopted (read last February) a cat! He was a sort of semi replacement for my poor beloved cat that was 20 when he died. I went to many shelters and finally hit the interwebs and found a Maine-Coon at a shelter…I was hooked on first sight. Ultimately it must be said it wasn’t a perfect pairing off the bat, he is old and weezes and a bit of a baby who runs away from everything. Luckily we have bonded and now I can truthfully say that my family and sister say I have an unnatural love for Kegan.
    Oh and he’s 25lbs and 40″ long: a house tiger!

  19. aw, I am super happy for you that you’ve gotten a kitty! They’re so great, even though a lot of people are all, “rah rah rah bah humbug cats are evil and they hate everyone and everything and they suck because they are antisocial~”

    those people are WRONG, okay, cats are often misunderstood and just because they don’t warm up to everyone instantly doesn’t mean they’re evil or heartless, it just means they are super cautious and when they actually do love you, it’s so awesome because they will love you forever!

    I miss my cat :( I should’ve gone to a school with pet friendly dorms! :P

    • Haha, I moved off campus specifically so I could have my cat with me at school. Incidentally, this is posted under her name.

  20. When I’m on ASS-chat, generally people are happy to see me, only to ask for my cat to be helt up to the webcam about 3 seconds later. :D

  21. Firstly, this was just adorable, I love cats but unhelpfully am allergic to some of them. Luckily my family is generally good at working around allergies so we have always had cats, I can’t wait to be a responsible non student with a job etc and enough stability to have a cat.

    Second, thank you for opening my eyes to a new possibility for places to live! I’m that crazy person that really isn’t keen on direct sunlight and plants around me tend to die on their own, will be keeping me eyes open for semi – basements from now on :)

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