My Cat is My Child

Kika PawPets are family, or at least that’s what they should be treated as. For my wife and I it couldn’t be more true. Our so-adorable-it-hurts kitty is our only child and we love her like so. Unfortunately those out there just don’t see pets the same way. People think pets aren’t capable of any of the emotions humans are. They place them below everything else where in reality, we are all animals in the same kingdom. We share this world, we don’t own it.

Pets are meant to be part of your family no matter what animal it is. All animals are capable of love and appreciation. For our cat, every bit of love we give her she gives even more back which is really no surprise since she once was only a stray looking for a home. Ever since we became that home she has shown her appreciation for it each and every day. For a bit of inspiration I thought I would go ahead and tell the story of how we got our little princess. Prepare for a bit of a long post!

Before my wife and I were married we always said if we ever got a cat in the future we would want to name it Kit-Kat. One because we love the candy bar (I mean, who doesn’t?) and two because we thought it would be silly and cute. We also remembered reading that when naming your cat or dog using a name that has a strong sound and annunciation to it helps the animal associate its own name. It’s not so much the name itself but the sound the letters make. The more unique the sound compared to every day language the better. But anyway, at the time it was nothing we took serious as we never thought we would ever have a cat anytime soon. We expected to make the decision of a dog or cat after we got married and moved. Some time after whenever this discussion was, an offer was presented to us that we couldn’t refuse.

Stray cats are everywhere and are probably in your own neighborhood. My stepmother and father, who lived only a few minutes away by car, unexpectedly became a home for a cat and her babies. I say only a home because of course stray cats move around a small area covering multiple peoples’ properties. But they found the roomy underside of their backyard deck quite inviting more often than not. It was a great shelter from any and all inclement weather. Soon enough their babies had babies and those babies had babies. (Maybe even one more? Who knows! Who can keep track? The cute little buggers breed at 6 months old!) My stepmother was kind enough to take it upon herself to buy dry cat food and leave it outside for them. She then did something even more awesome and decided to capture whatever kitties were still coming around their house and take them in to be neutered/spayed and get their shots. Even if you let the cats go back into the wild, doing this is one of the best things you can do to help prevent more animals being brought and crammed into animal shelters, as well as less cats on the streets that make the overpopulation even worse than it is. Anyway, it was one of these that became the light of my life.

I remember the first time I really saw her. My father and stepmother were hosting Thanksgiving at their house and we had all our family over. I was hanging out in the back on the deck when despite all the people over this 1-1 1/2 year old cat came to say hello. At this point they were already feeding her here and there so she was no stranger and had already had a litter (or 2) of kittens. She even came right into the house without a worry in the world, again regardless of all the people. So after the holiday my stepmother decided she was an easy catch to take to the vet and get fixed. After my stepmother brought her home she kept her inside and was deciding whether or not to keep her. But then she took a shot in the dark and decided to ask me…

My mother was NEVER a cat person and neither was I but only because I grew up with only ever being around dogs. We didn’t know any better, as all we knew about cats were they loved to go after and eat the birds we loved to attract in our backyard. Most of the cats that came in our backyard were likely pets of people that just didn’t give a crap and let them roam outside as they please. So once she asked us and told us how sweet she was we figured we would stop by to see her while they were at work. She was also already litter box trained which was quite shocking. Apparently someone owned her and decided one day to let her go and either moved away or never let her back in. Despite whatever trauma she may have had (more on this later) she was smart, playful and of course very loving. But most importantly, what really won us over was her coloring…

Kika2

She was a tortie, or more commonly known as tortoise shell. She was colored like chocolate, caramel, nugget and yes, wafers! She had all the colors of a candy bar. It was almost a no decision. Before we even knew our answer we knew Kit-Kat was fated to be ours. It was all too perfect… but first, I had to convince my mother to agree to it. We asked her about it and promised her when my now wife and I get married and move we will take her with us and until then make sure we take good care of her. We then took her to go see her. By the end of the visit she just couldn’t say no to that adorable little face.

It just so happens that one of her babies had a litter as well before she got fixed. They too were hanging around and living under my stepmother’s and father’s backyard deck. At this time she was finding homes for some of the other cats as well. Again she captured them and got them neutered/spayed and found homes for a couple of them too. Two of them she decided to keep. Being Kit-Kats granddaughter, one looked almost exactly like her just with the colors switched. Even though they retired and moved they still have her today along with two other rescued cats and now a new adopted dog. They both currently volunteer at their local shelter, foster pets and help find homes for cats and dogs in need.

We have had our little baby for at least 5 years now. We moved 3 years ago about 12 hours south (and now only 3-4 hours away from my father and stepmother!) and of course she came with us. After almost 2 years my mother fell in love with cats because of Kit-Kat and was sad to see her go. It wasn’t long before my sister adopted a cat of her own to fill the kitty void they never knew they would ever have.

Any time you give an animal a home or attention they deserve they never hesitate to show their love and appreciation. It makes me sad that people don’t understand the intelligence and emotions pets are capable of. Even many owners who have had cats or dogs most off their lives neglect to see this. Pets aren’t property, they’re family.

Kit-Kat brings more joy and happiness to our lives than anyone could ever know. We love her to death and she means the absolute world to us. I would do anything to protect her just like I would my very own human child because I see her as just that: our child. I would die before I let anything happen to her as she is far too precious to my life. It pains me to think of her first year or year and a half before she was taken in when she spent all those days wondering if she was going to go hungry and dealing with all those loud thunderous heavy rains and of course those cold snowy winters. Every time I look outside at any bad weather I think of her. But because she was an outside cat for so long she just loves the outdoors. We put a leash on her, attach an end to the outside somewhere and let her hang out. In reference to that trauma I mentioned earlier, she would get really scared whenever we shut the glass door after letting her out. Every time we did she would come and scratch at it frantically. Only until recently, a whole 5 years later, has she finally lost her fear of closed doors. So it’s obvious someone left her and gave her an everlasting painful memory which just breaks my heart to think. Pets are lifelong commitments, no different than your own children, and are meant to be yours for life.

It’s obvious pets have emotions just like we do. All you have to do is pay attention to yours and you will see the signs. Unfortunately people out there just flat out don’t give a shit. We will always treat Kit-Kat with the same love as we always have. We don’t have any children yet but when we do, it won’t change a thing. Some may say it’s different once you do but I ask this: Once you have your second child, do you ever stop loving the first?

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About Jon R.

Silly, serious & everything in between – that’s me in a nutshell. (Salty too… since I’m in a nutshell I might as well be suitably seasoned!) It’s apparent that I have a different way of thinking and seemingly have a talent for viewing things with a more independent perspective as well as an ability to perceive the objective nature of things more than most. Much like anyone else, I wish for the world to be more civilized and enjoyable for all. I’m full of ideas and love to improve things, and (un)fortunately the world has plenty wrong to offer. I’ve always been a problem solver and I love doing it. My endless ambition plus the urge to defend what’s right and bring reason has lead me to writing. With this I aspire to contribute some good to the world in order to help make it a better place. Regardless, all views are my opinion and not meant to offend anyone. While I seem to have the less popular point of view on things, I don’t represent any one side. I respect all sides and do my best to reflect on all fairly and within reason. I hope readers will find the content on this site interesting, and just maybe, will leave with a little more of an open mind.
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10 Responses to My Cat is My Child

  1. girlychristina says:

    Aw! My cats are my children, too! I have two cats and one is all black and the other is a tabby. I love how your cat has little dots on her paw pads! hehe ❤ Too cute! =)

  2. Wordsgood says:

    Yes, yes and YES! That is exactly how my husband and I always felt. Oddly, enough he was raised by parents who just don’t get it and are still, 20 years later, convinced that we sacrifice so much for the animals just to keep me happy.

    We currently have two senior kitties, one is 14 and the other is just two months shy of turning 20! We also have senior black lab who will be 14 this June. So yeah, we are definitely animal lovers.

    I’ve heard all the lines non-pet people throw at those of us who know, rightly so, that the animals we bring into our homes are indeed family. Equal to any two-legged children. The only difference, in our eyes, being that the furry kids never grow up enough to move out! Well, okay, that’s not the only difference, but you know what I mean.

    Oh, and I have never once had one of my cats or dogs hit me up for money. The same can not be said of our human kids, adults though they now are. 🙂

    Kit-Kat is GORGEOUS! I hope you and your wife have many more happy and healthy years with her.

    As you may have guessed, by username if nothing else, I have no problem with long posts. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, so thank you for sharing it!

    You know, it’s kind of ironic that I should land on this post when I did…I just finished posting a story about my childhood dog. Please feel free to swing by and read it. I think you’d enjoy it.

    Cheers! And treats for Kit-Kat!

    • Jon R. says:

      lol, maybe they’ll hit you up for a treat but we’re always glad to give one! Animals don’t know any better, which is why they can get away with certain things, unlike our two legged kiddies who eventually SHOULD know better. They won’t grow up to want nothing to do with you either (so I hear hehe) ;-).

      Some say we spoil her as well but I really don’t think we do. I just see it as normal care for a cat. Any pet really deserves such treatment. She wouldn’t sleep under the covers between us at night and cuddle with us whenever she can if she didn’t appreciate us for it.

      That’s amazing that your pets have made it that far, especially 20 years! I really hope the best for Kit-Kat as well. I’m definitely hearing more and more people having cats live into their 20’s which is really promising. I bet the love and care you give has something to do with it.

      Thanks for the awesome reply. I will definitely swing by and check that out once I return from my trip in a few days.

      • Wordsgood says:

        Okay, maybe this time my phone won’t die halfway through my reply. Dang technology!

        You’re right about the hitting me up for treats, lol. They aren’t the least bit shy about that, of course it’s more of a command than a request.

        About cats living longer, I think (at least in my case) that it can be attributed to two factors. One, the quality of pet food has grown exponentially in the past few decades, as has my personal knowledge about it. And two, I’ve gone from being one of those who believed cats “must” have access to the outside to be happy, to advocating they always be kept inside. Proper outside enclosured excluded.

        And of course there has to be both the ability and more importantly, the willingness, to provide medical care for our furry kids. More than once we have gone to what strikes some people as extreme measures to provide medical care for ours. But, as you say, they are part of the family! 🙂

        Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, I suggest you look into purchasing pet healthcare insurance. We didn’t until it was too late and boy, have we ever regretted it.

        Okay, enough babbling from me. Cheers!

        I love that Kit-Kat snuggles in bed with you and your wife at night. Definitely a sign of love and trust on her part!

        • Jon R. says:

          Oh you’re so right about pet food these days. The amount of information available on the internet about pets has been such a great resource as well. I have no idea why cats have taken over the internet over the past few years but I’ve learned a lot through it. I also heard leaving them outside is bad for them. As much as our kitty loves the outside, she’s only allowed on a leash to stay close to the door and not allowed to eat the critters outside. Wild cats supposedly only live a handful of years as strays which is such a significant difference.

          Funny you say that, my wife’s health insurance through her job has an option for cats or dogs. We are totally adding her to our plan next time it enrolls for the new year. 🙂 It’s awesome they even have the option as I know from my wives previous dog before we got married that it can be as much money as a simple trip to the emergency room ourselves. Kitkat is still fairly young so hopefully we won’t have to worry about anything for awhile but at least we can feel comfortable knowing we will have the insurance.

          • Wordsgood says:

            Hi Jon.

            Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that being outdoors is bad for cats. It’s more of a case what’s outside that can hurt them…cars, other animals, poisonous plants and substances, sadistic humans, diseased wildlife…and the list goes on. It’s the same reason our dog is NEVER off leash.

            That’s why vets recommend keeping them indoors, though if you can get Kit-Kat to walk on a leash, that’s awesome. We tried that with ours when we made them indoor kitties many years ago and it did not go over well! If we weren’t renters, I would have an outdoor enclosure and a cat door so they could go outside in nice weather, but since that’s not an option, mine have have happily adapted to their inside only life.

            About the vet bills, believe me I can relate. Our current lab alone has cost us about $15,000 in vet bills alone – not counting regular check-ups, her specialty food (major skin allergies) or any of the medication she’s needed over the years. I won’t scare you any further by telling you what past and present cats and dogs have cost. So yeah, even if the premium seems really high, do get Kit-Kat insured ASAP.

            Oh, that post I wrote that I thought you might like is one I put up a couple of weeks ago called, “My Dog, The Teacher.” Please do give it a look when you have a moment, I think you’ll really like it. And, of course, comments are more than welcome. Not trying to push a plug on you…well maybe just a bit. 😉

            Off to bed now, so give kitty a snuggle for me, and have a great Friday!

            Cheers.

            p.s. Thanks for following my blog! 🙂

          • Jon R. says:

            Oh I know, I was agreeing with you. I’ll definitely check that out. Thanks 🙂 (yay for new emoticons)

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