This is sad, for I thought that women loved cats and would therefore favor men who loved cats. It turns out, according to this article from the Wall Street Journal (click on screenshot), that if you’re a man who shows a picture of a cat in his Match.com dating profile, you’re less likely (5% only, though) to get a “like” than are catless men. UNLESS, that is, you’re gay, in which case the chances are 5% higher. Click on screenshot:
Shelly Volsche, an anthropologist at Boise State University, and Lori Kogan, a psychologist at Colorado State University, hypothesized that women would find a man with a cat more attractive because the cat would make him seem more trustworthy, gentle and caring—attributes that might signal his value as a potential long-term mate and future father.
To test the idea, the researchers showed groups of heterosexual women photos of a man with a cat and another photo of the same man without a cat. Two different men were photographed sitting in a chair against a white background. Each wore a blue shirt, and each was pictured alone in one photo and with a cat on his lap in the second photo. The same cat, a ginger tabby, was used both times.
A group of 708 women saw photos of one of the men, and a second group of 680 women saw photos of the other.
Whether the women saw the cat photo first or second was randomized, but regardless of the order, the man photographed with a cat was viewed as less masculine, more neurotic and, ultimately, less datable.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Animals, has limitations. Only women ages 18 to 24 participated, a range selected because that’s traditionally when women begin looking for a long-term mate. Both men who posed for the photographs were college-age and white.
I don’t care what the data say, there’s something wrong here!
Here are the data in cartoon form.
Sadly, d*gs make a man more appealing:
“Dogs are winning,” Ms. DeAlto said, a conclusion also supported by Match’s data. The “like” rate for both straight and gay men who have dogs is 20% higher on average, and the “like” rate for women is 3% higher.
I wonder what effect a duck photo would have. . .
The Times of London reports the employment of a lovely tuxedo guard cat at one of its properties. The lucky moggy is named LORD ROSCOE.
Ham House is a 1610 mansion in Richmond, southwest of London, and has a long Wikipedia entry. Here it is:
Staff at Ham House, near Richmond, in southwest London, took in Lord Roscoe, 6, from the Ginger Cat House Rescue centre last spring after the toes of Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune, and Mercury, the god of merchants, began to be nibbled away.
She said: “The squirrels have a real thing for the lead and they do a fair amount of damage in a few places, including the roof. The general consensus is they’re doing it to sharpen their teeth, but lead is quite expensive.”
The cat, plain Roscoe at the sanctuary, was ennobled when he took up his post at Ham House. He sleeps in one of two heated polytunnels where seedlings are grown or in the tool shed, but is allowed into staff quarters when it snows or rains.
The guard cat is strictly forbidden from roaming the halls of the main house, however.
Staff joke that Lord Roscoe has its own performance development review objectives but he is not set targets for the number of squirrels chased away, nor the number of pigeons, which peck at the vegetables grown in the kitchen garden.
Slack-Smith said: “The official line is we got him as a deterrent but he is more of a lover, not a fighter. He is a good tour guide and wanders around with the visitors who sometimes share their food and drinks with him. [JAC: drinks??? What kind of drinks???]
The article notes, though, that three other National Trust properties have resident cats, including this famous one:
When Chartwell, in Kent, the home of Winston Churchill, opened to the public in 1966, a year after the former prime minister’s death, his family requested that there always be a marmalade cat named Jock, with a white bib and four white socks, in residence, in memory of Churchill’s own cat. The seventh Jock, a rescue kitten previously known as Sunshine, arrived in May.
The Chartwell Trust site has a full page on Jock VII. Here’s the kitten on Winnie’s statue:
Cats and dominos! Do watch the whole thing; there are several neat bits where the cat’s participation is required to make the dominos fall. But the ultimate goal, of course, is to feed the kitties.
h/t: Neil, Dom, Matthew, Carl