We’ve all been there.
You are invited by someone special who has invited you to be whisked away for the week-long vacation of a lifetime to their two full bath timeshare in beautiful Maui to take things to the next level in your fresh new relationship, but your neighbor can’t cat-sit Mr. Pickles because he’s away on a forest bath retreat with his YA writing group upstate and you’re cat-sitting his cat, Bella Swan.
You could put Mr. Pickles and Bella Swan in a kennel . . . or argue why should Mr. Pickles or Bella Swan have to be inconvenienced just because you may have finally found the right person and tell your potential human soulmate to hit the road, chump.
Plus, this week you already promised Mr. Pickles you would do his quarterly taxes (from TikTok residuals).
Who stays, your cat or your other significant other? Choosing one or the other is an age-old quandary that has riddled humans from the beginning of time. Much has been written on this subject, but without an evaluation, it’s hard to tell if you even have a problem or not.
Try to answer the following questions honestly. Only then can we consider a proper solution, which could range from an intervention to a break-up or a juice fast or getting more cats.
Bob Eckstein's Relationship Quiz
You consider yourself:
- an open-minded, caring person with enough love to give to BOTH a cat and a person.
- in an unfulfilling abusive relationship with a cat that thinks he’s out of your league.
- undeserving of a real, mutually loving relationship with this cat.
- in a pickle.
Others consider you:
- a people person.
- an animal lover.
- moody. Because of this cat.
The last party you planned was:
- a birthday party for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- an adoption anniversary for a cat.
- a birthday party, with a cake and invitations, for your cat’s girlfriend, Bella Swan.
- an unplanned intervention at your place where friends and family confronted you regarding, how they put it, “Mr. Pickles controlling your life and conservatorship issues.”
What quality is most important to you in a girlfriend or boyfriend?
- Is a non-judgmental listener who likes to cuddle and fall asleep on you
- Provides emotional support on air flights
- Is housebroken and has the ability to think inside the box
- All of the above
On your profile...
- you lead by saying you are a cat person.
- you state you are already in a complicated relationship.
- you have a picture of Mr. Pickles as your profile photo.
- was created by Mr. Pickles without your input.
- You’re getting ready to go on a date. You
- check your appearance in the mirror and make sure there is enough food in your cat’s food bowl.
- try to track down Mr. Pickles to ask what he thinks of your appearance.
- look good, feel great, and can’t wait for this evening out.
- cancel the date because Mr. Pickles is in a mood.
During the date:
- you discuss your children but it’s not until you share photographs that your date realizes that you are referring to your cats.
- you text Mr. Pickles numerous times.
- tear up and have cheater’s remorse when your date orders the seared tuna.
- can’t help but wonder how Mr. Pickles and your date would get along and suggest a Zoom at the table to find out.
At the end of the evening your date asks if they could come up for a coffee...
- There is no way this is going to happen. Your apartment smells like you have twelve cats.
- There is no way this is going to happen. Mr. Pickles is just not ready.
- There is no way this is going to happen. First I learn that this doctor, who moonlights as a underwear model, is a dog person is now a coffee person? I’m a tea person.
- This is not going to work. To dissuade them, when they lean in for a kiss you cough up a furball.
For you, the third date means it’s time to...
- break things off.
- meet Mr. Pickles.
- pack a birth control and a Benadryl
- Get the cat carrier and pack up some cat food and cat toys—Mr. Pickles going on a sleepover!
Studies show that over 40% of people would choose their cat over their partner. Let’s say you are running out of your burning house. Inside is your spouse and Mr. Pickles. You can only run in and save one, for reasons that make no sense except for the sake of this quiz. What is your thinking?
- “Wait. 40% of people would dump their spouse for a cat? This country IS crazy.”
- “Wait. Only 40% of people would dump their spouse for a cat? I thought that number would be higher. There’s your Big Lie.”
- “Wow. It’s finally here. That moment we all dread. My personal Sophie’s Choice. I consider both an important part of me. I’ve been married three years and it’s been the happiest time of my life. But I’ve known Mr. Pickles longer—he was there for me through all those years alone, through all those bad dates. Woo, this is a tough one. I find myself frozen in indecision. How did Sophie do it? That movie was like a zillion years ago and, it’s funny, now I really don’t remember how it ended. It doesn’t look good for either of them and the time to have acted and run back in would have been like twenty minutes ago.”
Answers: There are no right or wrong answers. Like the cats we love, we are non-judgmental listeners, here for you to cuddle with.
Bob Eckstein is a New Yorker cartoonist, NY Times bestseller and his new book is The Complete Book of Cat Names (That Your Cat Won't Answer to, Anyway). Make sure to check out his newest book, All’s Fair in Love & War: The Ultimate Cartoon Book.