I need to start by apologising to every cat mum that I criticised before becoming a cat mum myself. I sat and judged you, and your cat (or cats), and I really didn’t know how hard it was to be a cat mum.
“My cat will not be allowed on the bench”
My cat spends most of its life on the bench. He uses the bench to look out the window, to watch what I’m cooking, to look at the water running from the tap, to jump on to the fridge, to get from the kitchen to the dining room. He actually prefers to eat off the bench, because eating on the floor is for cats.
He spends so little time on the floor that I did some research and I’ve put together my findings in a graph:
“My cat will eat what it is given, when it is given. I will not make special meals for my cat”
My cat only eats expensive cat food. And only certain flavours of expensive cat food. Turns out he will not eat the cheap stuff if he is hungry. He will not eat at all, he starves and then after a few days he starts to look gaunt, his coat starts to lose condition and he starts to lie around a lot, and pretend he’s too weak to lift his head.
He’s currently on a hunger strike and not even the finest of Dine will do, it’s slivered beef or roast pork, maybe some shredded chicken – but with the skin removed, and not from the fridge.
“My cat will behave when we have guests”
People that like cats, love my cat, because he comes in all handsome and rubs his face on their leg. Even people that don’t like cats don’t mind my cat, because “he’s pretty cool for a cat”. When we have guests, my cat insists on being on the bench, on the table, on top of the piano, or hanging from the top of the TV.
His favourite game when we have guests is “look at my bum”. Sounds complex, but basically he just climbs to eye level and flashes his bumhole. He likes to do a circuit around the table, and onto the bench so that any guests in the kitchen don’t feel left out. He appears to give himself a bonus point for wiping his tail across a guest’s face.
“My cat will have to work around my routine”
Oh, it’s midnight and you want crackers? No worries mate, I’ll get up and get you some. Oh, you want me to go and get them while you stay on the bed? OK, you wait right here, I’ll be back in a jiffy.
Oh, it’s 4am and you want to play? Let me move my foot from side to side under the blanket and keep you entertained. The sun is barely up and you want to go outside? Righto buddy, I’ll remove the fortress from in front of the cat door for you
“My cat will come when I call”
Fail. He does not come when he’s called. He lifts his head, then remembers he doesn’t come when he’s called, and looks the other way, all of a sudden very interested in a patch of grass, or a stray stick. “Shake the bickies” you say. Nope, he’s wah-heeeey too cool to come for bickies (which are technically crackers, because they’re savoury not sweet). And fresh beef doesn’t make a sound when you shake it…
“I will be the cool mum, I will not embarrass my cat”
For years my cat has been getting the bash from Floppy next door, and even the Maine Coon with the mangled hand from the house in front can kick his ass. As a result of these nightly beatings (and because he brings wild animals indoors), he is an inside cat from dusk.
Just yesterday, I heard a fight and went out in my PJ’s, gown and crocs (at 4pm – stop judging), yelled down the driveway to him and told him to get his fluffy bum inside before I really gave him something to cry about. He was mortified, and didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day.
When I’m getting the silent treatment, he’s lucky he has three parents, and when he’s walking around the house climbing the curtains and hanging off the fly screens and jumping into closed windows, he’s reeeeeeally lucky he has three parents, because we sometimes vote whether we should hold a pillow over his furry face and put ourselves out of our misery.
So to all the cat mums out there, I get it. It’s so much harder than it looks, and some days I wish I had spent all that money on shoes instead of flying him over from Australia, but I can’t exactly send him back, although if he beats up his 86 year old aunty one more time I might just try!