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  #1  
Old 01-01-2010, 04:24 AM
I Have Hippos In My Garden I Have Hippos In My Garden is offline
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Is it wrong I love my cat more than my boyfriend?

I was thinking about love the other day and was wondering if other Dopers compare how much they love different people or things? If you are completely honest do you suprisingly love one person more than another?

My family and very close friends come at the top of my list. They mean more to me than anything. But I've always thought I did love my boyfriend. Now I am not so sure... because I feel like I love my cat, Milly, a lot more. That feels slightly wrong.

I'm not sure how I am judging how much I love a person. Maybe how I feel when they are in pain or ill, or what it would be like if they died (god forbid), or how much I miss them when they are away. But to me it says a lot that I feel more for my cat than my boyfriend of two years!

Last edited by I Have Hippos In My Garden; 01-01-2010 at 04:25 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2010, 04:47 AM
dnooman dnooman is offline
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The short answer is yes. Your cat is a cat, and you boyfriend is, presumably a human.

What would you think if your boyfriend opined that he might love his dog more than you? You would be hurt, and rightfully so.

Tell your BF about the fact that he deserves less love than your cat does. If he leaves you, well, good for him actually. If he stays, he's not worth keeping. Either way, you have your priorities waay out of whack.

It's fine to love pets, a lot even, but when that love outweighs the potential love for another human, you become the kind of cat lady that people are scared of. Find reality, then a boyfriend. Or, stay in love with the cat, and find an excellent vibrator. Don't make the poor guy suffer due to your lack of rationality.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:14 AM
mecaenas mecaenas is offline
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Then you don't love your boyfriend, you just like him an awful lot.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:16 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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It might say something about the state of your relationship with your boyfriend, but then it might just also say something about where you're at emotionally at the moment, or it might just be that you're misinterpreting your feelings.

Rather than thinking about if something bad might happen, think about who you look forward to seeing the most at the end of the day, who you want to tell some good or bad news to, or who you'd be looking forward to seeing the most if you were away for a weekend.

How long have you had your cat? It could be that the cat is new, so it's fresh and exciting, or it could be that the cat is old, and you're starting to worry about how much longer it will live. Either of those could factor in how you're feeling.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:35 AM
armedmonkey armedmonkey is offline
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Hippo*, don't listen to some of the idiotic responses above. They seem to be taking a view that you're question is either/or. It's not.

Which do I like better apples or oranges?

Well... it depends on the situation doesn't it?

There's times you want to be loved unconditionally, and there's times you don't. There's times you want to have an intelligent conversation, and there's you don't. There's times you want your toes licked, and...well, I guess they can both do that.

My point is that it is not a zero sum game. Love 'em both.


*Please, take no offense about me shortening your user name to "Hippo", it's just easier for me to type an animal name.

Last edited by armedmonkey; 01-01-2010 at 06:38 AM..
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:06 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Is it wrong I love my cat more than my boyfriend?

No. What is wrong is that you posted this question on a public message board. You can think stuff without uttering it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:02 AM
I Have Hippos In My Garden I Have Hippos In My Garden is offline
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I don't think I put my initial post across in the right way. Opps. I certainly didn't mean it as seriously as it came out, and perhaps I shouldn't have compared my boyfriend to my cat (though he finds this very amusing). The thread was meant to be about how love can feel different towards different people or things, and with different situations, like Monkey said.

Hmm, will think more about this, and perhaps how to phrase what I meant better. It is too late to edit now.

Last edited by I Have Hippos In My Garden; 01-01-2010 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:40 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Tell your BF about the fact that he deserves less love than your cat does.
I don't think that she's saying that. It's not a question of who deserves more or less love, it's a question of how much love she feels towards each of them. And sexual love is certainly different than the love one feels towards one's child, or one's pet. I would be willing to bet serious money that the OP does not want to have sex with her cat. I mean, I'm crazy about my own cats, but I have no desire to have sex with them, even leaving aside the problems of size and such.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:46 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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...I mean, I'm crazy about my own cats, but I have no desire to have sex with them, even leaving aside the problems of size and such.
Well obviously you've thought about the possibilities.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:01 AM
Shakes Shakes is online now
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When you say "Is that wrong?" I sure hope you mean it in a George Castanza "is that wrong?" kind of way.

If not, you scare me.
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  #11  
Old 01-01-2010, 09:04 AM
Turek Turek is offline
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I shouldn't have compared my boyfriend to my cat (though he finds this very amusing).
Which?
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:16 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by I Have Hippos In My Garden View Post
I'm not sure how I am judging how much I love a person. Maybe how I feel when they are in pain or ill, or what it would be like if they died (god forbid), or how much I miss them when they are away. But to me it says a lot that I feel more for my cat than my boyfriend of two years!
Theres nothing wrong with it, it just means you don't love your boyfriend very much, if at all.

Again, nothing wrong with that. I didn't particularly adore all the women I dated. So you're lukewarm about your boyfriend, no big deal. If you were talking about your husband or child that'd be different.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:38 AM
The wind of my soul The wind of my soul is offline
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I think I "rank" how much I love a person by how emotionally reliant I am on him or her. This is sort of like what you were saying in regards to what it would be like if that person died.

With certain people, while I undoubtedly love them, I do not think my day to day life would dramatically change as a result of their death. But I have a couple friends who I feel an urgent need to talk to every time something exciting or upsetting happens. I guess the word that I'm looking for isn't so much reliant, more that I share a lot of my life experiences with them so they can feel proud or worried or what have you along with me. Those are the people who I'd say I love the most.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:56 AM
DianaG DianaG is offline
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I think that if we measure in terms of which of them is more a part of Hippo's everyday life, and whose absence would be more upsetting, it might make perfect sense for the cat to come out on top here. If I remember correctly (and please let me know if I don't!), IHHIMG is young, her boyfriend probably doesn't live with her.

I'd never say that I love my cats more than my boyfriend, but upon some reflection, I have to admit that I'd probably miss my cats more than my boyfriend in many circumstances, and when you add in the sense of responsibility that I feel for the cats' welfare (and don't feel for his, what with him being a grown man and all), I'd be way more upset at losing a cat than at us breaking up. (To clarify, I would be more upset about something bad happening to my boyfriend than something bad happening to my cats, but if he just wanders off of his own accord, I'm not exactly the type to pine.)
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:58 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
I mean, I'm crazy about my own cats, but I have no desire to have sex with them, even leaving aside the problems of size and such.
This made me laugh so much!

Last edited by Ellen Cherry; 01-01-2010 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: More merriment
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:04 AM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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Love is supposed to feel different towards different people (or animals). You don't feel the same towards your parents and your (hypothetical) children or best friends or whoever.

Most of the time, if you're a parent, you don't even feel the same towards your various children; they're individuals with different needs. While you love them the same amount, it's expressed a bit differently to each kid.

However, if you love your cat more than your boyfriend, you probably shouldn't marry your boyfriend. Wait until you find someone you love more than your cat. That doesn't have to be this week, though.
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  #17  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:13 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is online now
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Some cats add comfort, joy, and pleasure to your life. Most people don't. If one had to choose saving your cat's life over the boyfriend's life, basic humanity compels you to favor the boyfriend. But as far as valuing the relationship of one over another... well... some human partners add very little to one's life, even when they're not disagreeable. It's not unreasonable to love a cat more than a person, but don't lead that person into thinking that they're anything more than your human pet.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:21 AM
Napier Napier is offline
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Ditto Monkey and Bodoni.

I think there are too many different feelings covered by the word "love", too.

Probably more people would agree you have the moral right to decide to end your relationship with your boyfriend, and let him move on and be responsible for himself without any lasting obligation on your part, than you have to do the same with your cat.

Probably many people would appreciate that you can get a more unconditional and total affection from your cat than from your boyfriend, too.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:26 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is online now
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Love is infinite, so you can't love something more than something else. I love my husband and two children all infinately. None more than the other.

Obviously, my love for my husband is different than that for my kids. And, perhaps less obviously if you don't have kids, the love I have for each of my kids is unique.

I love my girlfriends in yet another way, and each uniquely because they are each an individual.

I love my pets, but differently. To me, they are animals, and I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of them if I needed to for the kids (like one of them developed allergies). That might mean I love them "less"

I love chocolate too. But that's a different meaning of the word love.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:27 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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I had a girlfriend once that got a cockatiel for her kids. For their particular household and those particular kids, it was not the right kind of pet. It got to fly free in during the day--it squawked and shit over everything. Every evening when it came time to put it back in the cage, they spent a half hour or so chasing it down, stressing out everyone involved (not to mention the poor bird).

I offered my opinion that should have chosen a different pet, which started a huge argument. At one point I made the mistake of saying, "If you had to chose between me and the bird, which would it be?" Of course, the bird won out, and that was the beginning of the end. We broke up about six weeks later. We had other issues, but the tipping point was that damn cockatiel.

Last edited by blondebear; 01-01-2010 at 10:28 AM..
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  #21  
Old 01-01-2010, 11:14 AM
Turek Turek is offline
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I feel like I just walked into a beer commercial. (And not in a good way.)
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2010, 11:28 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is online now
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All I know is my heart melts and turns over at the sight of my cat. I love him unconditionally. If anyone I used to date said they had allergies, or they showed they just didn't like my pets (being jealous = controlling assholes), I dropped them immediately. There was no question. We here in the Sali household are all fanatical cat lovers forever and ever. People are on a whole other level from animals, of course, but very few have touched my heart the way my pets have.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:40 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
I mean, I'm crazy about my own cats, but I have no desire to have sex with them, even leaving aside the problems of size and such.
They have mouths, don't they?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:42 AM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is offline
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I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Your cats are a constant in your life. Your boyfriend, not so much. You're still pretty young, right? (sorry if I'm wrong about that.) You're probably testing the waters with boyfriends while you've settled into a comfortable relationship with the cats.

All the people saying "Your boyfriend is a human! Your cat is an animal! I shall take to the internet to denounce you!" are being pretty silly, IMO. We're talking about a person's emotional attachment to something, not where people or animals rate on some rational ethical scale.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:48 AM
Man With a Cat Man With a Cat is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Borgia View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Your cats are a constant in your life. Your boyfriend, not so much. You're still pretty young, right? (sorry if I'm wrong about that.) You're probably testing the waters with boyfriends while you've settled into a comfortable relationship with the cats.

All the people saying "Your boyfriend is a human! Your cat is an animal! I shall take to the internet to denounce you!" are being pretty silly, IMO. We're talking about a person's emotional attachment to something, not where people or animals rate on some rational ethical scale.
That's the way I was interpreting this too. Cats are there, constantly and unconditionally. It's easier to feel closer in that context. Once there's someone in your life you feel that way about, it won't be a question in your mind. Your cats are dependent on you for everything, that extra compassion feels like love.

If it helps, I love my cats a lot more than I love your boyfriend, but if I had to choose between pulling him or one of them out of a burning building I'd save the human, as much as I know it would hurt me personally.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:56 PM
I Have Hippos In My Garden I Have Hippos In My Garden is offline
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You're still pretty young, right? (sorry if I'm wrong about that.)
Yes, still young and live at home with my parents

On reflection I really shouldn't have compared an animal to my boyfriend because it may make me sound like a very shallow person. I was, however, using the example as a way trying to explain I have different types of love for different people or things....and the whole OP just came out very wrong.

This year I haven't seen my boyfriend very much because I have been travelling around the world for 3months, and also he has been living in a different part of the country, which makes seeing each other hard. My cat, however, lives with me and I have seen everyday while I've been at home. These differences in the two relationships have created a very different kind of love that I have for the two of them. It was wrong to question if I have more love for one or the other. Besides, the title and last question were meant to come across jokingly. Obviously they didn't! My mistake.

And so I wondered if other Doper's have different love from different relationships and why this is....I wasn't seriously questioning my own relationships.

Last edited by I Have Hippos In My Garden; 01-01-2010 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:49 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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So what are you going to say if your boyfriend says he has stronger feelings for you cat than he does for you? At that point, he loves your pussy more than he loves your pussy.

Lost by a whisker!


Last edited by Duckster; 01-01-2010 at 02:50 PM..
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  #28  
Old 01-01-2010, 04:57 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Years ago my then-bf and I were thinking about getting a place together. He told me he would live with me only if I got rid of my 2 cats. That's when he became my ex.
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  #29  
Old 01-01-2010, 05:05 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I would say it's not "wrong," so much as shows there's something with the relationship that is "wrong."

A boyfriend is a person and your husband/wife/kids should have first priority in your life.

If a cat is taking first place over them, well I'd look close at your relationship.

Just remember you can love someone very deeply, without actually LIKING them.

Liking someone and loving someone are different.

You could easily like your dog or cat more than your spouse.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:41 PM
Hilary Algar Hilary Algar is offline
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It would depend on the cat and the boyfriend.

Greatest cat in the world vs. lousiest boyfriend in the world might not be so weird.
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  #31  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:35 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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I would say it's not "wrong," so much as shows there's something with the relationship that is "wrong."

A boyfriend is a person and your husband/wife/kids should have first priority in your life.
A "boyfriend" is not a husband or a kid.

In the context discussed, "boyfriend" is a pretty casual relationship with no established long term commitment. There's nothing wrong with having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) you don't have especially strong feelings for or commitment to.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:12 AM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is online now
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A "boyfriend" is not a husband or a kid.
QFT. People are really getting their thongs in a knot over nothing. Hippos has, presumably, had the cat longer than the guy, and it's normal for a not-necessarily-serious romantic relationship to not be as...emotionally vested as a friendship of longer standing than said relationship. There's a hell of a lot of excluded middle between "some guy I've dated a few times" and "the man I want to spend the rest of my life with," and relationships at various points on that continuum are going to have different places on the hierarchy. If you're routinely loving someone you've dated a few weeks more than a pet or other friend you've had for years, that's just plain not healthy.

I think when you love your pet more than your SO, it's not necessarily a sign the relationship is wrong. It might be wrong, or it just might not have had time to ripen that much just yet. It was a few years before DoctorJ outranked the dog I'd had since I was 16, or the friends I'd had since childhood. It took a few more years before he outranked Mom and Dad. It's just the nature of how relationships grow over time.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:11 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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I knew a girl who would constantly post on Facebook about her cat. She once referred to him as "the love of her life." I jokingly asked her if her boyfriend knew, and she told me that she told him when they first started the relationship that, if she had to pick between him and the cat, the cat would win.

They're now engaged.
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  #34  
Old 01-02-2010, 04:26 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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How do you get engaged to a cat?
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:32 AM
BestWifeEver BestWifeEver is offline
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I completely understand about the different types of love. The bond with a pet is different than bonding with a human. The unconditional love of a cherished pet is a wonderful thing to have and it is natural to crave it, even when in a committed human-human relationship.

For example: My hubby and I are very much in love. When we adopted two cats a few years ago, they chose to latch onto me and not to him which hurt him a little. Despite being loved by me, he really wanted to have that special pet-human relationship.

3 days ago we adopted a dog that he can give all love to and get that unconditional pet love in return.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:56 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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How do you get engaged to a cat?
Sizing a ring is tricky, getting it on their little toes is even trickier, and you have to be prepared for the cat to remove the ring, play with it, and lose it down a heating vent.

Don't ask me how I know.

Lynn
Not having sex with cats since...none of your business
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:52 PM
I Have Hippos In My Garden I Have Hippos In My Garden is offline
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People are really getting their thongs in a knot over nothing
I quite agree

My boyfriend is not a SO, but that doesn't mean I don't love him, or that there is something wrong with our relationship.

And besides, as I have repeatedly said, this wasn't meant to be about my relationship with my boyfriend. Or my cat!

Last edited by I Have Hippos In My Garden; 01-02-2010 at 02:53 PM..
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  #38  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:51 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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I have, at times, loved a cat more than a significant other because the cat is always the first one to apologize when we have an argument, while the s/o will continue to play the hurt dejected victim for days on end.

Usually within minutes after an argument with my cat, there she is purring and rubbing up against my legs saying "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! Feed me and rub my belly?" So adorable.

But after an argument with the s/o, he will speak to me when he's damn ready and certain that I've learned my lesson. Screw that.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:21 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Usually within minutes after an argument with my cat, there she is purring and rubbing up against my legs saying "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! Feed me and rub my belly?" So adorable.
When you and the cat argue, who wins, generally?
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:37 AM
Surly Chick Surly Chick is offline
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Meh. I had a friend who admitted to loving her pug more than her fiance. We went on vacation together and she took a picture of the dog with her and set it up by her bedside every night. Before you ask, there was no pix of the fiance. They got married and have, I think, at least two kids. Haven't heard from her in ages so I don't know if they're still married but I do know that the pug died about a year and a half into marriage. I suspect foul play...
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:00 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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QFT. People are really getting their thongs in a knot over nothing.
In my experience, most of the times someone says something positive about a relationship with an animal, some people feel threatened enough to come into the thread and make an "it's only an animal" type statements. Just shrug it off.

Now if you loved your cat more than a dog....
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  #42  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:25 AM
Natepie Natepie is offline
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I'd pick my cat

I'd save my cat before I'd save many people from that burning building. I can't stand the "humans deserve to live more than animals" argument. Why- because we humans think they should? I just don't agree in all instances and I'm not a lonely, old, crazy cat lady (I'm a 39 yr old happily married father).
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  #43  
Old 09-19-2010, 03:57 PM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Love is infinite, so you can't love something more than something else.
Sure I can.
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  #44  
Old 09-19-2010, 04:49 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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A lot of people seem to be threatened by this question.
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  #45  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:10 PM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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I love my zombie - is that so very wrong?
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  #46  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:17 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
I love my zombie - is that so very wrong?
We're no longer reflexively closing zombie threads. The OP isn't posting actively these days, so people should not try to engage her, but if anyone wants to comment on the issues in general, that's fine.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator
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  #47  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:42 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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So you're lukewarm about your boyfriend, no big deal.
Yep - before I met my husband I preferred my dog over most of my boyfriends. He's still quite delightful (my dog); however, hubby wins that contest now, as does baby.

I wouldn't worry too much, but I might be reluctant to commit to marry him or anything. If you're going to make things permanent you should love the guy at least as much as your pets who's poo you need to clean up.
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  #48  
Old 09-20-2010, 01:47 AM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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Well you and your pet have a more permanent commitment. And being simple beings, they are more openly affectionate and have less potential ways of pissing you off.

In general, they just have less potential for either harm or good, and are less complicated.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:30 AM
HazelNutCoffee HazelNutCoffee is offline
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I have made it clear to my boyfriend that if North Korea ever invades, we are packing Olive in a backpack and taking her with us wherever we go because I am not leaving her to the mercies of a Communist army.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:44 AM
palacheck palacheck is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
This is the internet. I'm confident that in just a couple minutes of searching I could find more than a few websites and forums dedicated to...loving pets.
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