Why does the speaker in Eunice de Souza's "Advice to Women" advise women to keep cats?

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The speaker in "Advice to Women" advises women to keep cats because these pets are reminder that being in a healthy relationship involves keeping a certain distance from one's partner.

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The speaker advises women to keep cats because it will teach them about the "otherness" of lovers. She states that the aloofness cats often display is not neglect but simply a reminder that, even with companions, we all are ultimately alone.

The speaker uses cats as an extended metaphor for a relationship with a man or other significant other. Like cats, men (or lovers in general) are not necessarily clingy. Their seeming apartness is no reason to raise a fuss, because it is just the way they are. Like cats, lovers want their own space. They show up when they need something, like the litterbox. Otherwise, they keep to themselves.

In acting the way they do, cats teach us to keep even the most intimate of relations at a certain distance. Cats, she says, reveal to us the truth that in the end, we "die alone." Most people accept this behavior in their pet without feeling hurt or rejected. Women should, therefore, take that way of relating and apply it to their human relationships.

Without saying so, the speaker implies that women are often too needy in their relationships and need to stand back and cultivate a cat-like sensibility.

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