Why My Cats Are Kids Enough For Me

Today’s post is written by I HAVE CAT fan Alexis C. Tucci.  I thought it was a perfect post for those of us without 2-legged children as we head towards Valentine’s Day, the day for celebrating those in our lives we love. 

Alexis C. TucciAlexis hails from the Lehigh Valley Area of Pennsylvania, she’s a lifetime cat lover currently co-habiting with Abyssinian kitties Scout and Ranger. Scout was named after the litter girl in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Ranger was named after her brother’s prized possession, a Ford Ranger. In addition to cats, Alexis’ other loves include blues concerts, sporting events and chilling with quirky neighbors and friends. She’s on a mission to find peace, passion and conversation. Her quest in life is making the world better – always with compassion and humor.  

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Those of you who have a cat will get this. I could never have kids, but for the most part I’ve been okay with it. I’ve always worried I wouldn’t be patient enough, not know enough, not be strong enough. I’m not much into the thought of an all-knowing-being guiding my life, but in this case, my not having kids was a bit of “Divine Intervention.”  I’m kinda thankful for not having to deal with the daily fears of doing ever-lasting damage to another person.

Instead, I have cats.

They’re much easier. They eat the same thing every day, wear the same “clothes,” and don’t go to college.  They can survive for extended periods without supervision. They’re lower risk But the truth of the matter is, my cats have became my children. I love them. I dote on them. I have lots of cute pictures of them with which to annoy my friends. They get the best vet care, best food, and above all the best toys. The cats however, make it clear they can live without me.

First day with the kids

First day with the kids (Ranger in the back and Scout in the front)

Their indifference to my affection is a rejection I keep trying to convince them out of. For their birthdays, and Christmas, and all the times in between, I make the pilgrimage to the pet store. I am on a quest for the ultimate cat toy. Some thing to show them how much they mean to me. Something that will turn them into crazed wild eyed catnip mouse conquerors.

I stand perusing the long aisle of potential toys for way longer than is probably sane. I need to find the right color. The right “playability.” Should it roll? How about feathers? Should it involve lasers or string? How mouse-like should it be? I agonize over the cost verses “play value.” If it costs more, will they like it more? Trust me, finding the coolest cat toy is daunting. I eventually make my toy choice. It had the right color, just the right number of feathers, a hint of catnip and it wobbles. Score!

Confidently I go home to present my offering. I’m giddy. This is it. I know they’ll finally love me. This is going to be awesome! I rush home and gather the “kids.”  I feverously rip the toy out of it’s packaging, eagerly offer them this treasure. Most of you already know where this is going. The cats look confused, then disdainful.

fire cat (2)

They love hanging out by the fire place

What in all our history made me think that cats could be bought?  They wanted nothing of my offering. I was crushed. Dissed again. The cats win. I settle back into my chair and put my feet up, trying to recover from the disappointment. It’s  been a long day and I’m tired.

In about ten minutes, the “kids” are back to see me. I toss them a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil. This, apparently, is the mother load of cat toys. Simple, inexpensive and apparently a whale of a good time. They race through the house batting and tossing the foil ball. It took such a simple thing to make them so happy. They skid into the kitchen, fly down the hall and finally collapse from the excitement of it all.

A few minutes later, my sweet little friends climbed into my lap to snooze. Sometimes it takes a bit of disappointment to understand you can’t do things to be loved. Just love and relax. Love will come to because you are who you are, not from trying too hard, and certainly not for what you buy. It’s easy to forget that often it’s the simplest of things that can bring cats and humans alike the greatest joy.

Scout (left) and Ranger (right)

Scout (left) and Ranger (right)

My cats have a way of making me laugh, feel comfort and provide me with a bit of peace. I can always count on Ranger for cat hugs and Scout is the house protector who keeps us in line. Only late at night when no one is looking will she climb into my lap. That’s when my night is truly complete.

Cats, just like “kids” can teach us life lessons, bringing us joy and fulfillment along the way. And they still don’t need to go to college. Score!

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Can you guys relate to Alexis’ feelings about her cats?

Do you think of your cats as your children?

 

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  • frankly for someone that has part of its work dealing with children (i simply don’t have mine for lack of means and that prince that hans’t yet arrived…) i can distinguish the two feelings thou!!
    don’t get me wrong i loooove my cats it’s untrue! but kids are kids and furry babies are furry babies! totaly different kind of love! 😉

    • CAROL WALKER

      how sad ! I personally know this is not true. hope you discover this too. 🙂

  • My cats are definitely my children! I buy them presents at Christmas and turkey flavored cat food at Thanksgiving. And they never ask to borrow the car or stay out past curfew! Alexis, your cats are absolutely beautiful!!! Are they Abyssinians?

    • Alexis C. Tucci

      Yes, they are Abyssinian. These guys are my heart…

  • mome

    No. I have cats and children! As much as I love cats, they could never take the place of my children. There is nothing that can compare with the sweet feeling of having your baby fall asleep on your shoulder, of holding the hand of your toddler, of discussing politics with your teenager.

  • Krista

    yes, my cats are my kids. I have zero desire to have children, but I still know love nonetheless. Procreation isn’t required for that 🙂

  • Brooke

    I’ve had cats nearly all of my life. Love them more than most people. What changed my life forever was when my oldest 2 were born. I was 15 and starting my first year of homeschool. While everyone else was heading back to school I was in my bedroom with a pregnant cat who was in labor. I can remember that day just like it was yesterday. I delivered 6 kittens that day. I raised them all until they were old enough to part ways with their mother. I convinced my parents to let me keep 2 of them. I catered to their every need. Treated them just like children. Over the years every decision I’ve made has included them and how it would affect them. Even boyfriends.. if the cats didn’t approve or if the boys didn’t like the cats then that was that. On to the next guy! lol Today they are still my everything. I never could have kids and the man I married cant have kids so we have 6 cats and 1 dog that fill that role. I love my cats just like I would love a child. They get treated just like a child would be treated. Oh and as far as toys go, we have a house full of expensive toys for our cats. The toys seem to be just for ‘looks’ because my cats would rather have qtips, aluminum foil, paper towels, a safety stick out of a rifle or a bean to play with. lol

    • CAROL WALKER

      Don’t forget the “boxes”! Every time I go to Sam’s club, etc. my eyes are scouting the isles for ‘just the perfect box’! And it sounds like you’re one up on me … my mother always warned me to trust in the instincts of animals, in choosing a man. I didn’t ! 25 years of horrible abuse (a quarter of a century !) and 9 kids later, I broke free, but Thank God you were smarter than that ! Now my life revolves around my cats! Like you, every decision in my life is based on what’s best for them. Their love is so pure, and we are so blessed!!! 🙂

  • victoreia

    My cats are definitely my kids. I’ve never really wanted two-legged children; four-footed kids are enough for me. I’d rather be the quirky aunt who’s able to give the human kids back when they get too mouthy. ;D

  • Rebecca

    My favorite “get” from this wonderful article is: “… you can’t do things to be loved. Just love and relax. Love will come to because you are who you are, not from trying too hard, and certainly not for what you buy. It’s easy to forget that often it’s the simplest of things that can bring cats and humans alike the greatest joy.”

    No, cats (or dogs), are not like having human children, but for those of us without kids, and WITH cats, it is a true honor to parent them, love and honor them and feel a nourished soul. Love IS love, regardless if it has 2 or 4 legs. xoxo

  • So lovely and cute post! ♥

  • Great article. I have 2 sons (in their 20’s), and presently 1 cat and 1 dog. More times than not I would have sent the 2 humans BACK where they came from but felt that would have been more painful than having to deal with them. Of the many kitties I’ve had, Rox is the only pup I’ve had….not once have I ever considered sending any of them back where they came from.

  • I don’t have kids, and never will, because they spayed me. However, if i had kids, well, they’d be cats, so pretty much, yeah, my cats would be my kids. – Crepes.

  • I absolutely adore my cats! I never had the desire to have children, so my cats are my kids!

  • Jamaka Petzak

    Having been born into a home “with cat” and having thought of him as my big brother of another species, I don’t think of cats as children, but equals, beloved family members of another species. I’ve never wanted kids and with overpopulation being the crisis that’s driving all the other crises in our world, I believe it’s irresponsible to add more to that. I believe the same about cats, of course, and have always advocated for spay/neuter and adopt for life. Scout and Ranger are adorable! and obviously very discerning. 😉

  • My son is my sun and my cats are my cats. I love them all. We are a family and each bring our unique qualities to the group. Our immediate family also includes my mother. I would never compare my son to any of my cats but that doesn’t reduce my love for my cats. I have different relationships with each member of the family, including different relationships to each individual cat. Our dog Lizzie recently passed. I loved her too, but not like a cat. I’m not expressing myself very well so let me try again.

    Every time you love it changes you. Every love you live is different as every loved one is different. You don’t love a cat like you love a child, you don’t love a cat the way you love a dog and most importantly you don’t love one cat like the next. What is important is that you love. You don’t have to give birth to love a child and no child can be replaced by a cat, dog or another child. It’s unfair to make a woman feel bad about not having children. So, I hope we all can live life’s full of love and joy, no matter who populates our heart. For those of us that have children as part of our lives it’s important to teach them to love. I know my son loves the cats in our family and the loss of our dog was a deep wound. But these animals aren’t replacements for brother or sisters…they are a love all their own. That’s what I’m trying to say. None of us should be a replacement but loved as our own unique souls deserve.

  • Ms. Phoebe’s Mom

    I don’t think it’s a matter of human kids vs. cat ones, love is love. Those who adopt human children are no less a parent than those who birth them. Giving birth or fathering a child biologically doesn’t make you a parent- raising the child, feeding them, clothing them, providing medical care, protecting them, and loving unconditionally is what makes you a parent, be it to one species or another. Why does one have to be less? A living thing is a living thing, and no matter the species deserves the same respect and to be treated humanely. I personally do not trust people who do not like animals and view them as ‘just a dog or cat’.
    We as people show our humanity by how we treat one another and other species we live amongst, so if someone minimizes or shows no compassion I don’t know that I want to be around someone like that or would feel safe. Maybe that’s just the social worker in me or maybe it’s a cat lady bias, either way I admire those who have kids and the dedication they are giving to another helpless being: human, feline, canine, whatever. For it is such people who help convince me that I can have some faith in a decent world future.

    • Exactly! Very elegantly explained.

    • very well said in deed.

      I do not like the idea of using established words to explain things people do not understand. Are my cats my ‘children” no, but it is the closest word out there for how I care for them, love them, worry about them, etc. so if you want to be annoyed that I call my cats my kids, or my furkids, or my kitties, that’s on you.. judge all you want, cause once again that’s on you, and that simply limits your life. I never said I love my cats like you love your kids.. nor would I ever. I also would never say I love my husband as much as you love your husband – or significant other in what ever form that takes.. so lets just stop the comparison.. and just accept that we are all capable of love and who we choose to bestow that on is our choice, as it is yours.

    • Karen C.

      Those are my thoughts! At work one of the girls said how can you put your “animals” on the same level as my nieces and nephews? I say who am I to say there should be different levels? She gets mad at me. And she has a dog. Not a new member of the family, she has a dog and that is only because her husband wanted the dog.

  • Karen C

    I enjoyed your article, Alexis 🙂

  • Roz Ballard

    I too love all my cat-babies. It is a challenge sometimes to give them all the cat toys and the yummiest of wet foods, but we make out just fine. They probably eat better than I do, but I wouldn’t be a good pet parent if I didn’t try to indulge them. They keep me focused and happy, and I love it when I wake up to find my bed full of cat baby bodies. And even though sometimes they act indifferent, I KNOW they love me!