That’s because their pets’ lack of social need taps straight into our worst fears as the human inhabitants of New York. Cats, after all, don’t have other cat friends. You can’t take them to the cat run. Cats and their owners are on a private, exclusive loop of affection. Thus cats have become symbolic of a community eschewed and a hyper-engagement with oneself. They represent the profound danger of growing so independent in New York that it’s not merely that you don’t need anyone — it’s that you don’t know how to need anyone.Remove the parts about New York (to which I've never been) and cats (which I do not have), and it's still a poignant few sentences. Paraphrasing myself from a couple years ago when Jason and I broke up—well, temporarily—I realized that until then I had always seen myself living alone, independent, and being happy about it. And before dating Jason I think I would have been perfectly happy doing so. But since then I either learned something about myself, or something changed. I wonder now if I didn't know how to need someone then. Is that what changed?
(I consider myself a "cat person," but I don't have any because I am allergic to them and don't want to clean up after them.)