08/08/2013 05:58 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Why Can't I Marry Max -- or Marley?


Recently, legal same-sex marriages were performed for the first time in Minnesota and Rhode Island. Those two states joined 11 others as well as the District of Columbia in allowing such unions.

The results, so far, have put to rest an objection expressed by opponents of gay marriage: "Well, if we allow that, people will think they can marry their cats and dogs."

Actually, I haven't heard that canard lately. Then again, I'm a transgender woman living in New York, so perhaps I'm a bit sheltered.

Still, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that there are still people who echo such an absurd reason not to allow people to marry whomever they choose as long as both parties are of the age of consent. How allowing Doug to dwell with Dave or Marissa to get hitched with Janis will lead to Bob tying the knot with Spot is beyond me. But I'll grant, for the sake of argument, that there is indeed such a slippery slope and that legalizing gay marriage will cause us to descend faster than Lindsey Vonn on the Super-G at Val d'Isere.

That would mean, of course, that all the free-floating iniquity released by the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in my home state is filling me with the urge to tie the knot with my beloved Max. That got me to thinking about what, exactly, might happen if the county clerk declared us Mr. and Mrs. Kitty.

Hmm.... Well, for starters, we can file joint tax returns. (Isn't that the real reason that people get married?) I'm not sure, though, of how much good that will do either of us. After all, we have no dependents, as neither of us is capable of creating any. Also, he has never, in all the time we've been in each other's lives, made any money -- which means, of course, nothing was ever deducted from his paycheck. And even if he were to declare his occupation as "mental health professional" (he keeps me more or less sane), what could he -- or I -- deduct as expenses? His litter box?

What other advantages does marriage confer? Each of us could declare the other as a beneficiary.

Also, never having had a job, Max has never had any health insurance or other benefits and has never paid into Social Security. On the other hand, I have those things. Even though they're not much, they're better than nothing.

Now, Max is absolutely brilliant at doing all those things that cats do. However, he has no mind for numbers or legalese or paperwork. I've tried to teach him, which showed me where the expression "like herding cats" comes from. So I have no idea how he'd avail himself to my doctor, dentist or what little money I have.

Ah, but there's another twist in this story: Max isn't likely to benefit from survivors' benefits. In feline years, he's a bit older than I am -- which means that, according to the actuarial tables, he's likely to get to that great windowsill in the sky before me. That's sad for me, but probably a good thing for insurers and taxpayers.

But enough morbidity. Let's concentrate on our day-to-day lives. Max is sweet, loving and gentle, and I'm a woman who, let's just say, is a bit old for raucous parties and loud music and simply doesn't have the temperament for violent arguments. We don't smoke or do drugs (unless you count 70-percent-cocoa Lindt). We are the best neighbors anybody could have, and I don't think that would change were our love for each other to be legalized.

I think the real reason that anyone would object to me and Max tying the knot is that it would make them envious. After all, how many women are lucky enough to have a guy who -- without being asked -- rubs her feet after she kicks off her pumps after she's spent a day dealing with various snowflakes and is perfectly happy to be fed something she hasn't cooked herself? And how many other women of my age (and who look anything like me) can say that they live with a male who just absolutely loves her body so much that he can't keep himself off it?

I'll confess: I would indeed marry Max in a heartbeat. We love each other, and no one else would be harmed by our union. Well, almost no one else: It might hurt Marley's feelings. I mean, why shouldn't I marry her? She's sweet and loving and shares all those other qualities I described in Max. Plus, same-sex marriage is legal here in New York. But polygamy (polyailurism?) isn't.

A state in which same-sex marriage and polygamy are both legal? Now there's something for tea party members to think about. Being the gracious lady that I am, I'll invite them to my wedding -- for which I fully intend to wear white!