Spinsterhood is a terrible state to be in, if one is to judge by the synonyms for spinster and spinsterhood in the English language. The word spinster itself has negative connotations these days (see this old post), and then, of course, there's old maid. Old maids are often associated with cats and the OED has the entries
tabby: An old or elderly maiden lady: a dyslogistic appellation; often with a half-humorous attribution of certain qualities of the cat; sometimes applied to any spiteful or ill-natured female gossip or tattler
tabbyhood: the condition of being an old maid
pussock: an old maid (from puss)
Then there's tea-bottle, slang for an old maid, according to the OED, tea being the ordinary drink of spinsters, as claimed in one of the citations at the entry, from James Redding Ware, Passing English of the Victorian era: a dictionary of heterodox English, slang, and phrase (1909). Another slang term is thornback, otherwise a fish with a row of spines on its back.
And where are all these old maids and spinsters? On the shelf, of course. There are two definitions of on the shelf in the OED, one is 'Of women: without prospects of marrying', and the other is 'in a position or state of inactivity or uselessness'.
Ape-leader is another obsolete synonym of old maid. The phrase to lead apes in hell is also in the OED, defined as 'the fancied consequences of dying an old maid'. The phrase was in common use in Shakespeare's time. In Act II, Scene 1 of Much Ado about Nothing Beatrice says 'I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell', and in Act II, Scene 1 of The Taming of the Shrew Katharina says 'I must dance bare-foot on her wedding day, And for your love to her lead apes in hell.'