They need to know just as much as you do.

Carlos hiding his face. Photo by author.

Contrary to popular belief, cats are emotional creatures. They’re not always aloof or cold — they have emotions and needs just like humans do. Cats may have very different ways of showing how they feel or requesting what they need, but they feel happiness, loneliness, anger, grief, and even joy.

We want our pets to have the best lives, and we make sure that they’re well-fed, exercised, and that their litter-boxes are kept clean. Most of all, we want our pets to know that they’re loved.

While cats do have a certain entitlement — I’m a feline; therefore, I should…


As women, we learn to be tough.

Photo by Alexis Antonio on Unsplash

“I would rather put my dick in a wood-chopper than have sex with you,” some random guy wrote me in a Facebook message. He responded to an article I wrote years ago about men who had sex with fat women but wouldn’t date them.

This article still has some legs, and Upworthy shares it a lot, and when they share it, people, men especially, react to it. It doesn’t say that they have to date or have sex with fat women, just that this phenomenon exists.

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 20-years, so the article isn’t…


You may need to change your mindset to see them

Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash

When I look back on my twenties, I remember all the things I had and didn’t appreciate: my youthful body, my relative lack of fear, and the confidence to be open to the possibilities lined up endlessly before me.

What isn’t at the forefront of my memory is my insecurity about everything, the emotional turmoil I was always in, and my impatience at not being where I wanted to be in my life, especially when compared to others.

I didn’t appreciate my youth when I had it and always felt like my best years were behind me. I felt this…


It’s not because I need more cats.

Photo of Josie by Author.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I have four cats. Four may be high for some and not enough for others, but four is a good number for me. It’s the legal limit in my town, and I feel it’s a respectable number of cats to care for in my home without feeling as if I’m an out-of-control hoarder.

There’s no set equation for how many cats is too many in my mind. …


Bathroom habits of cats

I obey them

Photo by Litter Robot on Unsplash

We learned long ago that if we didn’t follow the litter-box rules my cats had set forth, there would be hell to pay. If anything, cats know how to punish those who don’t follow their wishes.

Litter box etiquette is much more complex than you may think, so here’s some advice

Every cat is unique, and you’ll have to adjust to your own cat’s needs and quirks. For example, did you know it’s considered rude to stare, sing, or tap-dance while your cat uses the potty?

How many litter boxes should there be?

The rule is one box per cat plus one extra. I have four cats and five litter boxes. Don’t try to fudge on this. …


Your mother sounds like a very wise woman!! And kudos for finishing Atlas Shrugged, that's an accomplishment that not many (myself included) can claim.


There’s a reason they’re able to make money and hold on to it.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

My first day working for a Beverly Hills housewife — not the reality show kind, but a real-life multi-millionairess kind started with enough drama to fill multiple episodes.

Marvin*, Aurora’s first assistant, explained my duties to me when we heard a loud bang, followed by multiple crashing sounds, and the collective noise a crowd makes when something major has happened.

We went out to investigate.

As Aurora’s gold-plated electronic gates slowly opened, I saw my blue Honda Civic covered in black soot, with smoke coming off its roof.

A maid from one of the neighborhood mansions had lost control of…


Clearing up some kitty confusion

I need to set the record straight

Photo by Koen Eijkelenboom on Unsplash

Dear Cats,

There’s some confusion regarding my role as your human and my duties therein. I’m happy to accommodate most of your demands, most of the time, but you should know where I draw the line.

Here’s a list of what I’m not:

  • I’m not your bridge.
  • I’m not your personal masseuse.
  • I’m not your quicker-picker-upper.
  • I’m not your wingman.
  • I’m not your launching-pad.
  • I’m not your scratching post.
  • I’m not your protégé.
  • I’m not your puppet on a string.
  • I’m not your waiter for this evening.
  • I’m not your crash-test-dummy — nor am I a member of The Crash Test Dummies.
  • I’m not your pin-cushion.
  • I’m…


How I almost lost my love for reading.

Photo by Hatice Yardım on Unsplash

If I’m somewhere where there are many books, or even only one book — I’m in my happy place. I’ve always been a reader, and when I was younger, it was almost as if I ate books — I went through them so quickly.

I have a constant supply of books.

I enjoy buying, borrowing, and having easy access to books. I love talking about them, and when I read something that touches me, I feel changed in a small way.

I have author-friends whose books I must read, and I’m lucky enough to win books where often I’m supposed to reciprocate by reviewing them.

I’m in…


Is our friendship doomed?

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

I delight in all things cats. I love their unique personalities and find them not only wildly entertaining but as sources of comfort. I’d say that being a cat person is a major part of who I am.

So, what do I do when one of my friends detests any member of the feline species? Cats are a major part of my personality. If she rejects cats, isn’t she rejecting me too?

We want our friends to appreciate us.

The love of cats can be as much a part of your personality as the environment you grew up in, the experiences you’ve had, and the people you…

Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, The Startup, Tenderly, Fearless She Wrote, MuddyUm. Christineschoenwaldwriter.com

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