Celebrate that special bond
It’s Mother’s day and us cat moms deserve a place at the table. Let’s embrace our cool cat lady-ness and relegate that mythical creature, The Crazy Cat Lady, to the history books. We should proudly celebrate the special bond we share with our feline friends because we have almost come full circle where cats are earning their rightful place as cherished members of our families. They have reclaimed their ‘cool’ badge courtesy of the Internet, the dog park for kitty lovers. Cats have been in vogue for a while now with the likes of celebrity cat ladies, Taylor Swift and Katy
Purry Perry flaunting their furry felines on social media. There’s a Grumpy cat meme for every situation and who doesn’t like cats in bowties? But more importantly, there are more scientific studies being carried out on cat-human relationships and us humans are delving deeper into understanding cats better in order to live in harmony with them. Hooray for the kitties and their humans!
But wait, cats are jerks and you’re still a crazy cat lady!
As we know, cats did not fare very well throughout history especially during the Middle Ages when cats were tortured and burned alive due to being linked to witchcraft. Women and cats together were thought to be a terrifying duo, sharing this same horrible fate during medieval times. Today we are far removed from a society that used to burn cats and their female care takers alive. But the relationship between women and their cats is still somewhat derided or belittled. Nothing elicits the stink eye around the water cooler more than the female colleague who says she adores her cats or has more than one cat. It doesn’t even matter whether the conversation is about peoples’ pets in general, just do not mention that crazy cute thing your cat did last night otherwise it will be met with “cat are jerks”. We can partly blame the “crazy cat lady” stereotype, but also partly because there is still some thinking out there, that cats are inherently evil. I still hear people say this and it baffles me. Us cat women try so hard to dispel this insane misrepresentation of our clan. If you’re a single cat woman, then you have to somehow ‘cat-splain’ how normal you are and that you do actually enjoy hiking and CrossFit.
When people I meet ask about my cats I inevitably get the “oh you’re one of those” until I mention that it was my husband who rescued eight cats, I came into the relationship with only two! They don’t quite know how to react to the concept of a man who follows the UFC and loves his cats, because society has not put a label on it, and probably never will.
So, if I’m not the crazy cat lady, then what am I?
I am a cat mom, there, I said it!
I thought long and hard about this, and I will resist it no longer, I do accept that yes, I am a cat mom. I don’t view cats as being kid substitutes, because that will imply that they are a replacement for human kids. I was once chided on social media by a ‘friend’ for all my cat posts and was told to instead have a baby because that is what makes the world go around. I didn’t know how to respond to this meanness, as I was stumped! These days I would have had an answer, that I do have kids, just the furry kind. I joke about my oldest cat being my first born all the time and I have diminutive names for them when they’re being cute.
I am also that person depicted on funny cat memes, communing with the cat at parties. I am the adult at family gatherings, teaching the little kids how to “make blinkie-blinkie” to show kitty you love them. I am the catcaller who crouches down to say hello to the neighbor’s cat as he saunters across the lawn, while I eagerly mimic a friendly cat “trill” and feel utterly delighted when the cat responds kindly.
And while I am called upon to trim my cousin’s cat’s claws, I am also summoned to do kids face painting at parties and sing the Little Mermaid song “Part of Your World” to delightful little faces who demand “another one please aunty!” Nieces are awesome too!
What does it mean to be a cat mom?
Your home is literally their forever home. Cats don’t grow up and move out, the dynamic is different than with human offspring. They start out as kittens caught in the ‘toddler” stage, then move onto the obligatory two-year rambunctious adolescence and then become calmer more placid laid back teddy bear versions of themselves, enjoying tummy rubs and human company. Then comes the glorious senior years when they become less interested in tearing up curtains and more interested in your lap. You learn to comprehend all their little non-verbal cues and they, in turn, communicate moods with soothing and solicitation purrs. And you get it on a level that only you understand. We normally accept to be cat moms for 12 – 15 years or more, caring for them until the last breath, witnessing the complete life cycle of a cat’s life until the day they grow their wings. Your heart breaks into little pieces and you do it all over again. And that, my friends, is the most wonderfully selfless nurturing interspecies relationship that I wouldn’t want any other way.
How do you feel about your furry friend? How ‘cat mom’ are you? Please share in the comments below.
Happy Mother’s Day!