As an owner of three cats, I am embarrassed yet proud of my lovely furry friends, but being a cat owner comes with a certain stigma. This stigma is personified into a cat lady; you know, the lonely old woman who has way too many cats to count, to keep her company until her demise. This is not necessarily to be desired, and in fact, I'd avoid it. As my cat count keeps climbing, I think it's important to share how to NOT get too many cats, because I fear I'm on the tipping side of the scale.
Step One: DON'T GET A CAT.
Cats are irresistible I know. You visit a shelter or pet store, and have to bring one home. You love your friend's cat. You want your own. But beware, this is how it all starts... with that one cat. That companion who will eventually just NEED a friend. After that, they will both need a friend. This will all escalate very quickly until it's simply too late.
Step Two: DON'T RESCUE CATS.
You find a kitten behind a dumpster. It doesn't bite you, and you bring it home. BAM, YOU HAVE ANOTHER CAT. You can't give it away now, you've already fallen in love. Cats from the street who look like they need a home usually don't need YOUR home. Find a no kill shelter, or a friend who is looking for a pet. You don't need another cat, so be a hero by giving the precious find to someone who does.
STEP THREE: DON'T LET YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER GET A CAT.
You're in a love triangle with your cat and your boyfriend. Boyfriend loves your cat. Boyfriend brings another cat home claiming it's his cat. You and boyfriend break up and he leaves "his" cat with you. You now own multiple cats. It happens so quickly. Collecting cats from past relationships is a dangerous road, my friends.
STEP FOUR: GET THEM FIXED.
Kittens! Everyone wants one. But do you really want four newborn kittens, in addition to your other three? At first, yes. Of course you do, kittens are fucking adorable. A year later, you are practically running a cat colony in your studio apartment, where you are outnumbered 6 to one. You can't even wear black anymore without looking like a furrball, all because you forgot to pay thirty bucks to get your first cat fixed. Shame, shame.
STEP FIVE: SET A LIMIT.
Maybe you do want more than one cat, but let's be real. Cats are an addiction. If you're gonna be cat crazy, set yourself a limit. From personal experience, I've found that having more than three cats defines you as a cat lady/person. Some say two is too much. It's all about how many you can handle; although they are easy to acquire, buying four bags of cat food every time you go grocery shopping can put a dent in your wallet.