“I’m a tiger when I want love…”




“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. ”

– Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)



I’ve never read Heinlein’s work (I know, shame on me; I’m not a big science fiction fan).


So, I can say with complete honestly, upon reading the quotation above I went immediately to the Internet to learn—


How many times he’d been married.


To my utter lack of surprise, I discovered he was twice divorced and thrice married.




To those readers that have been with me for years, it should be guessed instantly that I believe he has it all ※ completely backwards ※.


Relatedly, I believe it to be no coincidence that my father’s steadfast insistence “Every boy should have a dog” and the ‘sphere’s somewhat cruel insult to women to “Die alone, surrounded by cats” are intertwined more than most in our modern – post-agrarian – world ever suspect.


I’ll dive deeper into this particular theory of mine more in later posts but, for now, I’ll state a handful of points:


1} Dogs were domesticated since they traded freedom for nutritional stability and security.


2} Cats were domesticated only in the sense of living with humans peaceably. They were not – and are not – trained, per se, because their natural inclinations (hunting vermin) served human needs well enough on their own.


3} On the whole, women love cats for their low-maintenance and their independent natures.


4} On the whole, men love dogs for their loyalty, willingness to obey and generally submissive natures.


5} Neither cat nor dog is superior. They each provide value to different humans. Only need dictates worth.




The comments section on this one may or may not quickly alleviate any need for further posts on this topic.


If not:


“Just say a word and the boys will be right there

with claws at your back to send a chill through the night air”


If so:


“…well, that’s alright by me”.




15 Responses to ““I’m a tiger when I want love…””

  1. 10/10 observation.

    I had a sketch book for an art class in high school, and we were given an assignment to do every weekend. Early in the semester we were tasked to do a pencil self portrait of our eyes, nose and mouth. My effort looked like it was done by a child, which I was in terms of the art world. About a month later, we were given the same assignment, but this time the teacher offered one sage comment which not only altered my art career, but affected how I looked at everything:

    “Draw what you see, not what you think you see.”

    I still have the sketch book. The second effort looks like it was done by a completely different person. The truth is always there, the only determining factor is whether you want it. Sometimes the most difficult hurdle is to recognize it when it presents itself.

    • Myopia,

      Sincere thanks for the “10/10 observation”

      Also, this line just grabs me and refuses to let go:

      “The truth is always there, the only determining factor is whether you want it.”

      Well said, to say the very least.

      All the best,


  2. Coincidentally, I just got back from feeding my brother’s cat. First cat I’ve ever liked. Perhaps that has more to do with my state of mind than the cat himself. Hard to say. Wish I weren’t allergic though.

    Excellent article. Never occurred to me before that the old “men are like dogs, women are like cats” analogy might be ass backwards (well, past the physical limberness part of it anyhow).

    • 7!,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      The sentiment expressed in your comment is exactly the reason I wrote this.

      So many look at the surface appearance and take it as presented.

      When the deeper facts say the contrary.

      All the best to you & yours,


  3. Beppo Venerdì Says:

    “Time Enough for Love” was weird at times, especially during the last third with the time travelling.

    Heinlein was interesting (both connotations) to say the least.

  4. Interesting observation. For some reason that quote from Heinlein reminds me of another too often repeated refrain: “Happy wife, happy life.”

    I wonder if the men who bleat that constantly are as romantically [mis]content as Heinlein was.

  5. A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    -Robert A. Heinlein

  6. This was from the biography about his second wife (first marriage only lasted a year)…

    ‘At some point Heinlein turns decidedly iconoclastic, which comes as something of a surprise, despite some mild mystical leanings at the academy. In 1932 he stole and married his friend’s girlfriend, the bright and “intense” Leslyn MacDonald, who held a master’s degree in philosophy, worked in the music department at Columbia Pictures and who would later serve as his talented in-house “story doctor.” She also practiced “white witchcraft,” had a Theosophist mother and shared Heinlein’s interest in nudism. Such traits should be far from dull, but somehow in this biography her anarchic energies feel tamped down, at least until her alcoholism contributes to the unraveling of their marriage…’

    Sounds like he did his friend a favor by taking the bullet.

  7. A♠,

    We tomcats have been corraled by a Paper Tiger called the State.

    And boy do women love Big Kitty. He trains the girl pups to act like cats and the boy tomcats to act like dogs. No better way for Big Kitty to vanquish his rivals than to turn them into their opposite; loyalty even if there are beatings.

    Fun and power … for a while. But sooner or later Big Kitty loses his ersatz puppies. Tomcats get bored of the absurdity and their instincts kick in. They simply jump the fence and disappear down the alley. Gone. They can get their own damn food.

    Big Kitty, in turn, will die and be eaten by his pups. Ironic justice.

    • JD,

      “We tomcats have been corraled by a Paper Tiger called the State.”

      Well said and very true.

      Also interesting to note that big cats kill the offspring that aren’t theirs if the mate they desire has cubs already.

      Speaks volumes here, eh?

      Sincerest best,


      • Humans do the same, except the smarter more civilized ones just use psychological and emotional torture instead of outright sexual or physical abuse to neuter their competition’s progeny.


  8. miriamspia Says:

    Cats are able to be trained to do much more than most of us even realize. I do agree that they ‘got off easy’ in the first place thanks to hunting vermin, which was a big help to humans.

    I do not agree that cats are low maintenance. Most cats like a great deal of attention and affection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: