As a self-proclaimed ‘cat-mom’ I devote most of my time tending to my three fuzzballs. Many people have joked, or even criticized the way I treat my cats. Pamper them, one might say. Why did I buy a cat tree instead of a new laptop? Why do I have more treats in my cupboard for my cats, than for myself.
Truly, the answer is simple. As I’m sure it may be for any other cat lover, or pet enthusiast like myself. Like Blue Buffalo says, “Love them like family, feed them like family.” In essence, that is the answer. To me they are not simply pets. They are family, the only family who has stuck by my side in fact. So, I figure it only makes sense that they get the royal treatment.
You may say my ‘pet parenting’ behavior began when my mother rescued three kittens. Brought home in a cardboard box, they squealed and scratched at the box in confusion. Despite her discovering the homeless kits, the tiny balls of fur were terrified of the woman, much larger than I. It was then that I took on the caregiver role. Bottle feeding them, changing their sheets, even teaching them to poop (something I had not something I’d ever considered having to do). At night, they would cry out. I couldn’t help myself. Wrapped in a blanket, off I went. To their segregated room, to their little cardboard box. I spent the night asleep with them there. As they outgrew their small bow, we upgraded them to having their own room. Our spare bathroom. Even then, most nights were spent on cold tile, soothing noisy kittens. Merry, Pippin, and Poppy, I named them. Soon, only Merry and Pippin would stick together for the long run.
I cried when my mother sold Poppy to a neighbor without mentioning the deal to me. As if something were stolen.
When I moved out on my own, I became separated from my cats. And at that time it felt like I’d severed a life line. As if I were living on life support, trapped in a joyless shell. That’s when my boyfriend saw it fit to surprise me. With what you ask? An orange striped, blue-eyed bengal kitten, waiting for me to return from work. Xavier become the love of my life and the glue that held me together. The bond formed between him and I, is one I have trouble describing in words. Thought it may sound cliche, I truly do love them like children. And at 18, certainly not to be bringing people into the world, the least I can do is make the world an amazing place for my ‘adopted family’.
To Be Continued (after the kitties dinner…)