Do you have a tattoo? Does it mean something? (Of course it does! You’re a young person with a tattoo!) Well, there’s a new kind of cool tattoo now, and it basically hoists the whole idea of “meaningful” ink out the window: the cattoo. It’s a tattoo of a cat, the only meaningful part being that you love cats. Like, a lot.
According to Williamsburg artist Betty Rose of Eight of Swords tattoo parlor, there’s been an increase in requests for cat tattoos—and not the Ed Hardy-esque jungle variety, either. “People used to get wild cats all the time. But it’s a sea of domestic cats now. People are more OK with sharing the fact that they have cats and they love them,” Rose told the New York Daily News. (Sorry, folks with tiger tats. You are not included in this trend.)
Now that Rose has crowned herself as the cattoo queen, she’s up to doing about one per week. “Most of the clients want the intense look on the cat’s face. That’s where the personality is,” she said. (What is an “intense” cat expression? This, I guess?) She’s even got a few of her own—the photo above, on her back, which is a play on the painting and popular tattoo inspiration, Pharaoh’s Horses. She calls it “Pharaoh’s Kittens.” We will keep our opinions to ourselves.
The popularity of branding one’s love of cats onto one’s skin begs the question: have we killed the stereotype of the sad, crazy cat lady? The New York Times thinks so, as does the dude who wrote Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too, the delightful illustrated guide for men with cats. Plus, last week we learned that cat people are generally smarter and less conformist than their canine-loving counterparts, and there’s nothing we young urban folk love more than being smarter and less conformist than everyone else. Today, calling someone a cat lady is akin to calling someone a nerd—that is, it’s basically a compliment. Cats hate pretty much everything except for killing things and cardboard boxes. So if a cat loves you, well, you must be pretty special. So sure, get that cattoo. Just know you’re doing it as kind of a humblebrag.
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa