Friday, May 6, 2011
I know that’s not a grammatically correct title, but if it's good enough for the legendary Tina Turner, then it’s good enough for me. This post is about pets and love – a pet mom’s perspective on Mother’s Day.
I don’t have human children, but I still consider myself to be a mom. I didn’t consciously choose cats instead of kids. My life just worked out that way, but I’m perfectly fine with it. I realize some people don’t believe you are a parent if you just have pets, but I think that’s just silly. I still laugh when I recall the indignant man who, years ago, said I had insulted all children when I wrote that my cats were “like children.” His response is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. I also think it speaks more to his own insecurities than to how I feel about my beloved pets.
Motherhood may mean different things to different people, but we can all agree that it involves love, and the desire to nurture and protect your child. Motherly devotion then, is the same regardless of whether the child is human, cat, dog, horse, rabbit or rat. Good mothers want the very best for their children, and they go to great lengths to see that the child is healthy, happy and safe. Good mothers also want to provide their children with nutritious food that feeds their bodies and helps them live a long, healthy life. As a cat mom, I’m proud to feed my kitties a premium quality, natural food like Felidae Grain Free Pure, because I know this wholesome food keeps them in tip-top shape.
I didn’t give birth to my four-legged children (thank goodness!), but I’ve felt all of the emotions that other moms feel during the course of motherhood. When my cats are sick or injured, I feel anxious and afraid. When they’re playful and happy, I feel joyful too. When I can’t find one of my cats, even though I’m certain they’re indoors, my heart races until I find them sleeping in the closet, oblivious to my distress.
When my “heart cat” Belle drapes herself over my shoulder and gives me the best hug ever, I don’t feel any less of a mom because she happens to have four legs and fur. We touch nose to nose (the Eskimo kiss), and when she purrs out loud, I purr silently as love fills every fiber of my being. I kiss the top of her head and lightly stroke her ears, and she reaches up to gently lick my face. That’s as close to “heavenly” as you can get while still here on earth!
Let me tell you though – it’s hard to type when a cat is on your lap, but I love having her there so I reach around her hoping to find the right keys. Sometimes, instead of actual words I might get this: frpor deowrt wirewal irt repdroes. Oops. Luckily, computers have made it easier to correct typing errors.
Being a mom to pets instead of kids has some advantages. For starters, kids grow up and leave the nest, but pets stay with you forever. Sometimes the child moves far away, and when they have kids of their own their focus shifts to their new family unit. To a pet, you will always be number one.
On a recent episode of “Hoarders” on Animal Planet, a woman said to her children, “I get things from the animals that I can’t get from you.” Now, I absolutely do not condone hoarding of animals, but I think I understood what she meant. What she gets from her animals might not be exactly the same as what I get from mine, but I did understand the feeling.
I’ve always felt my relationships with cats have given me things I can’t get from humans. They provide love on a level that goes beyond what a human is even capable of, because animals never judge, they don’t love conditionally and they won’t abandon you if you fail to live up to their expectations of you. Aside from the pain of losing a pet to old age or illness, they don’t deliberately cause you heartache either.
Some people see pets as property, or somehow “beneath them.” In my eyes, animals are far more evolved than humans could ever hope to be. Moreover, I do not own my cats – if anything, they own me!!
I would like to close this with a funny saying I recently spied on a button. You may not see the humor in it, but as a pet mom to children with fur, I think it’s the greatest button ever: “If I want to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet, I’ll put shoes on my cats.”
Photo by CarynNL
Read more articles by Julia Williams