Whore Next Door: Polyamory and Pets

Bringing two cats together is harder than bringing two lovers together.

(Courtesy Siouxsie Q)

I’m finding it hard to stay optimistic these days, but as I count my blessings while we continue to plummet to our collective, late-capitalist, neo-fascist doom, I am reminded to be grateful for the simple things — such as cats.

“Cats and your profession are the main reason the internet exists, honey,” my mother said to me over the phone, as I scooped my new kitten off the counter before her pink nose could make contact with the clean dishes.

I decided to get a second cat a few weeks ago. With so much going wrong in the world, I figured it’s time to double-down on the things that matter — and there is not much better in this life than snuggling with a kitty in the late Sunday morning sun. (And in my life, more pussy has always been a good thing.) Negotiating multiple romantic partners can be difficult, but getting two cats to cohabitate peacefully is a challenge not for the faint of heart.

Still, I thought that with more than a decade of non-monogamy under my belt, I was up for the task.

Like many of my sex worker witch peers, I’m a cat person. My tiny best friend, a bossy black cat named Fantine, has served faithfully as my witchy familiar for years now. But with all the traveling I do for work, I felt like it was only right to get her a friend. Enter Cosette: a scrawny short-nosed white and-gray-kitten, less than a year old — a real Penthouse pet, adopted from the animal-rescue project run by Kelly Holland, the iconic porn publication’s CEO.

As I signed adoption papers, Kelly mused about how so many people in the world of sex work are also passionate about animal rescue. Julia Ann, who recently won an AVN for Mainstream Star of the year, is heavily involved in dog rescue, and locally, Bella Rossi, Cheyenne Jewel, and dozens of other porn babes use their platforms to signal-boost organizations that rescue animals. Perhaps because so many of us in the adult world know what it’s like to feel like we’ve been cast aside, Kelly wondered, we can’t bear to see that happen to the creatures who have loved and stood by us when some humans did not. Whore-phobia is exhausting, and when so much of the world is against you, coming home to a furry face and unconditional love is nothing short of a respite for the soul.

Nonetheless, integrating a second cat into a household can be a nightmare, so I was nervous when I brought the new kitten home. I wasn’t sure how she’d get along with Fantine, who is also a rescue cat — taken home from the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City four years ago.

My mother (my go-to expert on everything cat-related) advised that I keep them sequestered from each other for the first few days, letting them get used to each other’s scent and sounds through a door. The same wisdom applies when introducing a new partner: Interacting with a paramour on social media, talking openly about dates, and maybe even seeing the occasional pair of someone else’s panties in the dryer is a good way to warm up to the idea of other partners’ existence, before diving into weekly poly-family orgies.

Whether you’re a human or a cat, it’s OK to set boundaries when it comes to your body and your possessions. Cats are incredibly territorial and tend to get upset when they feel like their domain is under attack.

Fantine definitely has an “everything the light touches” complex, so ensuring that she still feels like the queen of the castle is crucial. Of course, as soon as I brought

Cosette home, she went straight to Fantine’s cat bed. If they were humans, I’d say, “Hey, Cosette, so it’s really important to Fantine that even though you’re a part of the family now, she still has some things in the house that are just hers, and that includes this bed, so paws off, pretty please.” But she’s a cat, so I just used the squirt bottle.

Though there was some hissing and growling at first, after only a few weeks, the two witch beasts have settled into a pretty cute comedy act that involves a lot of nose-touching and frantic laps around the living room at midnight. One morning, I woke up with Fantine snuggled up by my head, and Cosette nestled near my knees. In polyamory, “compersion” is the word used to define a feeling that is the opposite of jealousy — experiencing joy when your partner is with someone else. This must be compurrsion, I thought as I drifted back to sleep in the Sunday morning sun.

Siouxsie Q has been writing “The Whore Next Door”since 2014.

View Comments