Dear Cat Lady,
There’s this game on Facebook where you can take care of a cat, raising it from a tiny, fluffy kitten to an adorable doddering oldster. You earn points to buy it cute costumes by brushing it, and if you’re playing on your iPhone, the whole device starts to vibrate in an electronic purr!
Anyways, it’s adorable – and addictive. Marcus Purrelius, my “second life” kitty, is the best thing ever. Anyways, I keep seeing ads for another game where you can take care of a boyfriend in a similar fashion. It vibrates, too! Should I give up on my hopeless quest for a “real life” boyfriend, and just have a digital one instead?
Love and digital hairballs,
The Electronic Cat Lover
Dear Electronic Cat Lover,
As you know, I’m no digital guru (unless you count knowing how to extract a computer mouse from a cat’s stomach – Didums ate one once in an act of extreme literal-mindedness). So, I asked my nephew Henry to come to my aid, and show me this “Facebook” of which you speak. He told me to make a profile, but it turns out that I already have a fan page, and that’s good enough for me.
Now this game you’re playing, “Cat World Catty McCatcat” or something being the title, is… interesting. I think it’s programmed wrong, though. My electronic cats keep dying from overfeeding, even though I’m feeding them exactly the same amount as my real cats. Either the game is wrong about how much cats actually can eat, or I’ve finally got an explanation of the persistent vomiting problem chez moi.
But there’s a much bigger problem with the game. Online, it’s just you and your digital kittens. But in the real world, your cats come into every aspect of every relationship you have. Their musk offends the nostrils of your butcher as you yell at him for not cutting the sirloin into proper tidbits. Their hair transfers to your clothes, and then to the clothes of any strangers you happen to brush against on the streets. And, just like their stench and their fur, their love also passes through you to humankind as a whole. Especially humankind who are allergic.
In short, digital love just isn’t enough when it comes to the real world. But, as I’ve made clear many times before to my dedicated readers, the only things boyfriends are good for are (1) supporting you and your cats in the style to which they are accustomed and (2) getting those really big, sticky clumps out of the litter box. So you have to ask yourself, Electronic Lover – can you support and scoop yourself? If so, I’ll be dancing at your wedding to Mr. Digital Hunk (just as long as my kitties Fred and Wooley get to be flowergirls).
Love and actual hairballs,
The Cat Lady