02 January 2012

‘Glee’-nalysis: Lessons Learned from Sharing the Story of My (Possibly) Gay Cat

Brittany (Morris) with Tubbington

Not long ago, I wrote about my cat, Mr. Whiskas, and his tom-crush on Lord Tubbington, a character on the television show Glee. Whenever Brittany (Heather Morris) picks up Lord Tubbington, Mr. Whiskas jumps on my lap and mews for me to hold him the same way. He has only to hear the name “Tubbington,” and he comes scampering into the den, sits down in front of the television, and waits expectantly for his beloved. And you should hear the caterwauling throughout any Glee episode in which Lord Tubbington doesn’t appear! (Which is most of them, I’m sorry to say.)

It seemed like such a cute story. But then the e-mails, phone calls, and certified letters started to pour in. I wasn’t prepared for the reactions.

“Animal abuse!” some cried. “You’re exploiting your cat’s private emotions for your own benefit!”

“How humiliating!” other people said. “The other kitties are laughing at him already, I hope you realize. And that story is going to be on the Internet for thousands of years, haunting poor Mr. Whiskas!”

“Mr. Whiskas has the right to his own sexuality, without having it broadcast and advertised all over the planet,” said others still. “Coming out should be a personal choice, not dictated by others.”

Funny, they never said a word when I shared the stories of my 6-year-old possibly gay son, my 14-year-old possibly gay daughter, my 19-year-old possibly gay niece, my 37-year-old possibly gay neighbor, or that fortysomething possibly gay guy I keep seeing at the grocery store. (He’s always squeezing the endive. Endive!)

Not to mention the story of my uncle Claude. No “possibly” about that one, right?

“There’s no such thing as a gay cat,” others said. “And if there is, I don’t want to hear about it.”

Bigots! Right here in America! Can you believe it?

Some of the comments I got were even threatening.

“You’d just better hope I never catch you alone in some dark, deserted alley,” one writer said. “I’d grab you roughly by the shoulders, throw you to the ground, and force you to watch this season’s totally terrible Christmas episode over and over until you begged for mercy.”

Well, if that’s the price I have to pay for showing my possibly gay cat that I accept him unconditionally, that nothing can change my love for him, and that really it’s no big deal if he prefers tom to pussy — so be it.

But I’m surprised and saddened to learn how narrow-minded some people can be. Especially when I also hear from literally hundreds of Americans who think their cats may be gay, too. It only strengthens my resolve to be the best cat-mommy ever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take Mr. Whiskas to his Zumba class.

Because one Tubbington is enough.

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