MANILA, Philippines – How do you know you’re in the presence of a cat lady? Thick glasses. Check. Oversized sweater. Check. Unkempt hair and maternity pants. Check and check. It’s a tired and outdated stereotype, to be honest. Today’s cat lady, we have found, isn’t as oddball, or, for lack of a better term, identifiable. While still bordering on the eccentric, today’s cat lady is someone you’ll have to get to know personally before you can tell. That means co-mingling and then hearing statements like, “It’s not just that I have cats. It’s that I love them.” Or “You can just stay at home with your cat every day, forever.”
For Young STAR’s pet issue, we sat down with four women to learn what it means to be a legit cat lady in the modern age. Manic pixie girl. Goth girl. Hallyu girl. Cali girl. Huh? Told you there’s no particular type. — TDV
Katie Abesamis, 21, with Pang-pang
I’ve become more affectionate towards people now that I own seven cats.
One time, my ex-boyfriend broke up with me. And I cried on my cat until she was drenched in tears. I was so gigil at that time. I remember licking her throat because I was so upset. So the fur got in there for a few days.
All my cat lady friends, if you’re familiar with MBTI, they’re all INFP.
Samantha Aquino, 19, with Momo
With the Internet, the whole cat phenomenon helped (change the stigma). People who were scared of cats before understand them better now.
Literally my Snapchat is just my cat. I write about my cat on Twitter.
I was petting the cat and I had a little bit of food. When I walked to the car the cat followed me. He jumped onto my lap and kinda just stayed there. I shut the door and drove home with the cat on my lap and that’s how I got Momo.
Alex Bichara, 20, with Oreo and Furball
I’m an only child. I didn’t have a lot of friends in high school. And that’s when I got him during my sophomore year. He was my best friend, my son, my child.
(I noticed that) in Ateneo, a lot of cat ladies had dyed hair and tattoos.
You don’t have to walk them outdoors. You can just stay at home with your cat — every day, forever. It’s a very tempting lifestyle.
Erin Noir, 30, with Ninja
Why would you get a cat tattoo, or cattoo, if you don’t like cats?
Apart from food, give them what they want. Cats are clingy when they want to pero at the same time, if they don’t want human contact di ka nila lalapitan.
Photography Cenon Norial
Produced by Toff de Venecia and Tin Sartorio
Assisted by Maine Manalansan