Am I a cat person now? Yes, but let's use the term "cat parent." I think there are two types of people who share their lives with cats:
- Cat Owners -- Live with cats and consider them an "easy pet to care for." Cat owners care about their cats, but only to a point. They don't spend excessive money or time on their animals.
- Cat Parents -- Nuture their cats like children and put an enormous amount of time, energy, money, and emotional commitment into their feline family members.
If you've read this blog for a while, you know that somewhere along the way, I crossed the line and became a cat parent. How can you tell?
- I often put my cats' needs above my own. My boys love my leather chair and I'll often give it up for them. In the evenings, Arthur likes to curl up on my chair while I sit next to him and give him a belly rub. I'll grab a diningroom chair for myself so the king can have his throne. My fiancee Liz calls me a pushover, but that's just my nature.
- I don't normally refer to my cats as "my cats." I call them "the boys" or I talk about them by name. My fiancee Liz and I refer to them as "our sons." One of us will sometimes call the other one and say "do you know what your sons just did?"
- I experiment with all kinds of shmancy cat food. Lately, I've been feeding the boys a lot of Merrick Cat Food. Merrick is the brand with flavors like California Roll, Cowboy Cookout, Surf and Turf, and New England Boil. I can't say they like it all, but I'm figuring out what flavors they enjoy. When I meet other cat people, we often talk about food and litter.
- I can't stand to leave them alone. The longest the boys have ever been alone in the past has been 17 hours (on Christmas) and I wasn't happy about that. I'm going to get someone to catsit if Liz and I ever get to go away for a weekend. The boys aren't allowed in the bedroom so I often stay up watching them until late. I love to watch them sleep.
- I'm very picky about cat products. A lot of cat toys and furniture are poorly and dangerously made. I'm obsessive about finding the safest things I can. Nothing's perfect, though.
- I miss my boys. When I'm at work, I stare at the pictures of the boys I keep on my desk. I can't wait to get home and feed them their dinner.
- I prefer cats to dogs. I've never had a dog so maybe this isn't fair to say, but there's just something about the feline form I really admire. Is it the graceful way they walk? Is it the all-too-human expression on their faces? Is it that "sense of cool" that I'd like to emulate in my own life? All of the above.