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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Can you guys relate to Alexis’ feelings about her cats?
Do you think of your cats as your children?