Cat people of Portland! It's time to make yourselves known!
You may recall my recent post about Portland's proud status as the city with the largest population of cat ladies in the nation, and my concern that Seattle's cat ownership is following close behind. This prompted much criticism from my honorable colleague, Rich Smith, books and national politics writer at our sister paper the Stranger, who questioned the numbers I cited, even though they came from a relatively reliable though admittedly stodgy source. Smith accused me of instigating a campaign of fear. I accused him of needlessly vilifying me, and called for the cat men of Portland to stand and be counted, suspecting that Portland has more cat people IN GENERAL than Seattle.
In his latest missive, Smith cedes that I "may be right," but am "probably wrong," then suggests that we "bring some hard numbers to the table in the form of a Slog poll," an informal cat ownership poll of Stranger readers.
The impulse is understandable. Who can blame Seattle for being jealous of our cat swagger? But I question Smith's methods here. Slog polls are notoriously unreliable, even moreso given that since its initial posting, at least one Stranger commenter—a cat-owning man who, by his own admission, DOES NOT LIVE IN SEATTLE—claims to have responded to the poll in the affirmative. I'm sure he just wants his cat ownership pride to shine, but that doesn't change the fact that he's set a precedent for CARPET BAGGERS stuffing the ballot box. Without any kind of quality control, the numbers can't be right. There are many ways to achieve cat-ownership dominance over the Pacific Northwest (one is through Multnomah County Animal Services' Home for the Holidays initiative), but I'm sure Rich Smith would be the first to agree with me that CHEATING is not one of them.
I demand a recount. It's possible that the recount may reveal that Seattle has more cat owners than Portland. But I doubt it.
To be clear, this is an ongoing battle, and it's far from trivial. Nothing less than our city's good name hangs in the balance. None of this is to be taken lightly. But ultimately, Smith and I agree that cat ownership's odd tie to relationship status is the dirty work of the patriarchy, and can only be stopped by acknowledging that folks from all walks of life enjoy the company of cats. Or as commenter Tedder put it succinctly in response to my last post, "What the hell, why does it have to be SINGLE dudes with cats? I'm the cat person in our relationship and have the cattoos to prove it."
What the hell is right, Tedder! And it's what we're about to find out, because it isn't enough just to count the cat men. (And congrats on the "cattoos." That is some hardcore cat worship. Hail Ailuros!) We have our own polling capabilities here at the Mercury. Make yourselves known, cat-people of Portland! The day is ours to win!
And for good measure, cat people of Portland, please post your best glamor shots of your cat in the comments below. Let's show Seattle what we're made of—adorably!