English · Modern Dilemma

A Hilarious Incident Caused by A Horny Cat

The unspoken rules of modern day texting and dating.

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My friend Lily is an interior designer at a boutique studio in Chelsea. She met her ideal future husband on the dating App Tinder. Johannes was his name, an investment banking analyst who works at one of those big, evil American banks.

Although Lily is a stylish twenty-something girl living in contemporary London, she is by definition a ‘Charlotte York’ of the 90s era Sex and the City, where “less is more” was the motto for both life and fashion. She doesn’t like the idea of having many dates, but finding the “one” is her ultimate goal. She’s like every other person using this app, who has gone through the phase of addiction. After checking her every social media account, she remembers, ‘Ah! There’s still Tinder!”, and so she continues to play while waiting for the bus or relaxing in the bath. Bohemian by look, Conservative by heart, if she’s going to “like” a guy on this app, he’s going to have to meet some very specific criteria. (Here, by Conservative I mean Lily was largely convinced to join the Conservative Party because our mutual friend Lizzie found her long-term boyfriend at the UCL Conservative Society. Lizzie’s motto goes, “All decent men are Conservative, not Labour!” Here, the word “decent” is just a less pretentious way of saying “posh” in these girls’ dictionary.

Lily would only click “like” on the guy if in 5 pictures or less she could judge whether he might have the potential to become a West London gentleman, or whether he is one of the me that will forever remain an East London hipster. She’s been using this app for 3 months, with the statistics of: 2/3 matches without conversation, for 2/3 of those she matched and talked with the conversation has already run dry, and the remaining few that she actually met up with were not exactly the ones she’d been looking for.

This guy Johannes, however, first won her heart with his physical appearance, and then (after the introduction) with his ‘resume’: Johannes was born and grew up in Munich, the city Lily regards as the poshest one in Germany. He was then private schooled in Switzerland, followed by the successful completion of higher education in England, with a year exchange in high ranking business school in Paris. His professional life has already been blessed with 2 years in Wall Street and a year in Hong Kong, plus an added bonus of numerous holidays in the Caribbean and Aspen. His worldly experience impressed her; she even swooned at his mixed German-Italian heritage. As a ‘Charlotte York’ living in the contemporary London, Lily occasionally has fantasizes potential marriages, her thoughts have already drifted towards indulgences of raising a family in the Bavarian Forest and the Tuscany sunshine.

They have been talking on Tinder for a few days, which was then followed by an exchange of numbers –and regular chatting on Whatsapp. She liked his sense of dry humour-My French is a bit limited, but I do speak a little English in addition to German.” He was probably impressed that a fashion girl like Lily had some knowledge of finance as well as her gift in home styling. Their intention to meet up were always halted by the fact that either she had to stay in his office until late or she had to go to an industry event in the evenings.

On one blustery wet evening that followed, Lily was at our mutual friend CC’s for dinner. She hadn’t taken her eyes off her phone for more than 10 minutes due to her happily on-going cyber communications with Johannes. CC has a cat-exotic shorthair. On that particular evening, the cat happened to be horny.

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She had been scratching the sofa and floors for days, not to mention emitting the typical wails of a horny cat. So while CC was preparing dinner, Lily had to help CC to massage the poor little horny cat. Johannes was still stuck in his office, and messaging Lily was a way for him to take his mind off work, lets say energy re-boost?

Lily is blessed. In a sense, despite the bitchines that exists in her world, she remains quite down to earth. Well, actually, only to some extent. She likes to speak her mind-although one of the pitfalls is that it doesn’t always do her a favour.

Lily sent Johannes a picture of CC’s cat to “keep him entertained at work”.

Johannes replied immediately, “Nice! Is this your cat?”

“No, It’s my friend’s. I am just playing with her now.”

Without too much thinking, Lily continued “But she’s quite horny, been scratching the sofa and floor the whole evening!”

“Good that you are taking care of her”, Johannes said.

“I don’t really know what to do…I am actually trying looking for a matching cat for her actually…. Online!”, Lily probably didn’t realize the connotations of the word “online” that Johannes might have suggested to Johannes.

“Tragic situation, she shouldn’t be lonely… Do you have more pictures of her?”, Johannes asked.

“Yes I have! Do you want to see more?”, Lily said while looking through her phones for a snap of the cat with herself in the picture too.

Johannes obviously enjoyed the picture that Lily sent to him and said, “Hehe, nice.. I hope you find the matching cat soon so she has someone to play with… I wish I could help…”

As a naïve girl, Lily, who simply hoped Johannes could help in this situation, messaged him back “Awww I wish you could…”

Thirty minutes later, Johannes, who said earlier that day he was too exhausted from his company party the previous night and wanted to have a quiet night in messaged Lily saying he was about to leave the office and would love to meet up for a drink. “I am fine for one or two drinks” he said. Lily was tired but she couldn’t refuse a drink with him-they’ve been talking online for 2 weeks and if she said no this time, she has to wait until the next time he got out of his office “early”.

Finally, they met at a bar near Lily’s apartment. Sadly, the pouring rain and gusts of wind did not light the spark for mind-blowing chemistry between the two that evening. Their conversations went from commenting about unequal society in different countries, to complaining about unfairness in each of their industries. Lily found that he was unlike any guy she had met before-he wasn’t flirty! She thought he probably wasn’t attracted to her because he talked to her as he did to his professors! If the French cheesiness is what Lily was used to, she simply couldn’t acquaint herself with this German coldness! Is this a German thing or just him? She thought she could probably get rid of the disappointment by increasing her level of alcohol intake. A few drinks later, the horny cat had started to rub off on her. “he doesn’t seem to be into me but he is so cute! If I don’t get him tonight, he won’t want to see me again.” This debate in Lily’s mind only went on for about 30 minutes before she made a quick decision: “At the very least, let me have him for just one night.” She invited Johannes over.

It was the least romantic setting-the rain had washed off 30 percent of Lily’s make-up and the wind had messed up 90 percent of her blow-dried hair. This un-arousing atmosphere had probably shattered 95% of Johannes’ original desire; the remaining 5% was probably prevailing only because he didn’t want more sunk cost and wanted to get his interests straightaway. They had a mechanical sex on that night.

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Two days later, Lily hadn’t heard from Johannes, but one week later, Lily received a text from him saying that he just wanted it to be a one-time thing. Afterwards, Lily joked with her friends about how cold and un-flirty German men could be. Her friend told her that German guys aren’t like the French or the Italians-they take longer to melt. One month of aimless Tinder-swiping later, Lily still hasn’t met any guys that have interested her like Johannes did-and most importantly, for a 2010s’ version of Charlotte York the guys she has talked on Tinder also didn’t have the perfect “package” like Johannes had. Did being so easily affected by the horny cat and sleeping with Johannes straight away make the opportunity cost too high? What if she hadn’t met up with him on that night, and instead stayed at her friend’s to calm the horny cat? Would later meet-up have been a better opportunity for them to get to know each other, and to get to like each other, perhaps? What about if his coldness was simply the reflection of his stereotypical German quality? Then, did she just miss out on the opportunity of getting to know her potential ideal husband? What puzzled Lily was working out whether or not Johannes’ more-or-less decent manner and cold German exterior was just him trying to ‘play it cool’. Had the two weeks’ long conversation on Tinder and Whatsapp really just been for the sole purpose of getting laid?

Johannes’ intentions still remain unknown. Maybe he felt just the say as Lily did when they met up for the first time-there just wasn’t enough chemistry between them to merit another meet up. Did Johannes get the wrong signals from Lily’s “horny cat text”, and consequently ask her out for a drink despite the fact he was knackered from work in the hope of getting lucky? I think he most certainly did.

Since Johannes’ cold decision to cut it off, there’s been a horny cat living inside Lily. Every time she thinks the fact that the could-possibly-be warm and rosy relationship turned into the in reality icy and frozen situation, the cat scratches her heart. 

She spoke to her best guy friend about this and asked him to read through her texts with Johannes. Her guy friend is adamant that Johannes received wrong signals from these texts and that made him categorise her as a ‘one night stand’.

“You sent him a pussy!” Lily’s guy friend cried!

“It’s not a pussy! It’s a cat!” Lily shouted back.

“A pussy is a cat! Haven’t you ever heard of the word ‘pussycat’?”

However, Johannes’s intention wasn’t purely “naive”. “I’d like to keep an open mind and just want to know what Tinder is about.” (Holy bullshit…a man who doesn’t know what Tinder is about before he downloaded it…?)

Lily’s guy friend continued, “Babe, you should assume that guys are as simple as your horny cat. When he’s on edge because of his physical impulses, he loses both his mind and his self-restraint! They easily and willingly take innocuous things as signals and invitations.You go to see him with a bit of cleavage on show, and he sees it as an invitation for sex; you tell your non-guy friends that you and your boyfriend’s relationship is not very stable at the moment, and they regard it as a confirmation of “yes, I stand a chance of hooking up with you”. You tell them that your cat is horny, and what they hear is “I am horny!” Lily had nothing to say, but difference between the way that complex females and simple-minded males think, makes everything so much more complicated. How fucked up is that?

Johannes would probably never know that Lily wasn’t making up the story of the “horny cat”.  She was actually looking for a matching cat for her friend’s poor little sweetheart. She utilized all her resources and multi-faceted channels to make sure her friend’s cat could “get laid” in a safe environment with the right breed. She even managed to find a breeder who lives a 3 hours drive outside of London. In the end, Lily’s friend CC decided to not go for it as she simply couldn’t stand the fact that she would have to be separated from her little love for 3 whole days! Sadly, the cat got neutered, Lily clearly was not.

Lily’s failed “match-making” story probably tells us girls that we should be careful with what we say to the male species. Some words should remain between you and your girlfriends because guys don’t think in the same way as we girls do, unless he is a very close friend! Perhaps, shouldn’t be too straightforward with men. It’s just like how we cannot show our naked asses to guys who are not our boyfriends or husbands but it is totally legitimate to hint to them that you have a nice firm bum with the way you dress. You need to be a master of dressing to seduce, but you have to be aware of the thin line between being tasteful and being tacky.

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Luning Wang

Luning is a London-based writer and arts & lifestyle journalist. “Picasso and the Single Girl” is dedicated to the stories and species of the art world, cosmopolitan life, modern dilemma and female brilliance. Luning also consults European brands on their Chinese marketing and media strategies.
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