A health study that may give you paws


Cats are better than dogs.

OK, I’m not really talking about Catwoman. But I wanted to deflect the ire of dog-lovin’ lesbians long enough to let me make a point. And I do have one.

Yes, another gratuitous picture. You’re welcome.

Personally, I love dogs and cats equally. I have cats because, well, I’m lazy. But a recent University of Minnesota study suggests that people with cats are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease than people without cats. Dog owners had the same rate of stroke and heart attack as non-owners. Of course, I already knew that my cats help reduce stress, especially when I’m working at home. I mean, this is what I see when I’m blogging.

One theory about the results has to do with the nature of cats — they are lap animals that want to be petted. When the owner pets the cat, down goes the stress. I would have to balance that with another aspect of the feline nature: a fondness for attacking toes when the owner is asleep. And the fact that a kitty’s favorite place to sleep is on whatever part of the bed is highest at a given moment and, if its position is threatened, it will hang on with extended claws. In other words, sex can be, well, a pain in the butt. Literally. (This is, unfortunately, not just theory.)

Still, we love our kitties. Witness the popularity of Lolcats.

OK, maybe that’s more a testament to illiteracy than feline love.

Many of our favorite women love cats. Ellen DeGeneres talks about her cats on Ellen more than she talks about Portia. An excuse to post a picture of Ellen and Portia? Absolutely.

Martha Stewart has at least eight cats and, apparently, a photographer who lives with her. How else did she get pictures like these?

Martha and Bartok

Electra and Sirius

Verdi and Vivaldi entertaining friends at Verdi’s birthday party.

Verdi, the next morning.

I’m not sure if these babies belong to out celebrity chef Cat Cora or not. But aren’t they adorable?

We know Melissa Ferrick‘s cat, Moon, from the cover of her album, In the Eyes of Strangers.

And then we have the kitties that insist on being a part of AfterEllen.com videoblogs.

Jill Bennett‘s Luna

Sarah P.’s Stuart, who likes to play MST3K while watching The Lo-Down.

Michelle Paradise apparently edits her cat out. Bad, bad lesbian. But here’s a glimpse — lower left corner.

Admittedly, a 1995 study found that dog owners were six times more likely to survive a year after a heart attack than non-owners. And I defy stress to remain in the same room with my friends’ dog, Izzy.

So, I’m not ready to assert with certainty that cats are better for your health than dogs. But whether the research holds up or not, some of the statistics published in conjunction with the study have far-reaching implications for lesbians. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, people in the U.S. own 90 million cats. And according to my t-shirt:

You do the math.

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