Mothers Day is Sunday. Do you suppose my furry kids will take notice and bring me a gift?
I have five kitties, who I affectionately call my kids. I do indeed believe they do love me as I love them. Some people, including my siblings, think I’m nuts for thinking this way.
My felines are not substitutes for kids. They are my feline family with whom I share most of my waking hours when I’m at home. Other than my time at work, I probably spend more time with them than I do any people. So why shouldn’t I ponder about our relationship as we come to Mothers Day?
Mothers Day was first celebrated in 1908. I’ve been celebrating Mothers Day since I can remember, and that dates back to the 1960s. I, like most everyone else I know, bought cards, flowers and gifts for my mom, as a token gesture to let her know how much I loved her.
The cats don’t have the luxury of going shopping. So what do you suppose my kitties will bring home to me to show their affection? For one, they don’t have any money, so they can’t go to the store and buy cards or jewelry, which I’d really like. They can’t order flowers. They could, if I let them outside, look for some tulips in blossom. They like to leave me gifts of affection, like mice they’ve found inside the house. They like to leave them by the front door. The other day, they left a mouse in the middle of my bed. Now if that isn’t love, what is?
If they aren’t feeling well, they will leave me a couple of hairballs in plain sight to make sure I walk over them, and don’t squish through them, tracking them all over the kitchen floor. I clean them up, thinking, “Yuck! Really?” But I realize it’s just something that happens, and I move on to the next one.
The kitties leave plenty of fur around for me to clean up. When the wrestling matches begin, almost daily, plenty of hair flies. Of course, the warmer spring weather makes kitties shed a bit more, resulting in even more hair for me to clean up.
Every so often the kitties get so excited they knock some dishes or other treasures off the counter-top. “Yikes!” I exclaim, as I clean up the mess and let the kitties know, well, they should do better. But then again, maybe I shouldn’t have left those things out so as to be in their way.
Each of my five furballs has something special to offer. They all have their special personalities, their unique mews and purrs. They express their hellos and loving head-buts just a tad differently. They take turns sharing my lap and my bed. And they all greet me as I arise from a good night’s sleep and meander downstairs — mostly because they want their breakfast … like, NOW.
My Pink Collar has a dainty meow, and she’ll come up and do a head butt around my feet. My Siamese, Linus, isn’t dainty at all. It’s plop onto whatever part of my body he can find, as he stretches his lean slender body and attaches to me like Velcro. On the other hand, Lenny romps and prances in front of me because he’s got too much kitty energy to slow down for long. Little Yellow, not so little anymore, likes to fight with Linus over optimum lap position. And fraidy cat Clyde stays in the background till he feels safe to check me out, preferably when I’m sitting having my morning coffee.
However, the best thing they bring to me, their mom, on Mothers Day is unconditional love. What better gift could there be? If people don’t believe our kitties love us, take note and ask, if our kitties can’t love us, how can they give humans unconditional love?
If we don’t believe our pets love us, then how can so much research be devoted to the human-animal bond, pointing out how beneficial a cat or dog’s unconditional love is to us humans. There’s been a lot of research into this, and it doesn’t take too long to find out there’s tons of benefits to having pets. When I got my first cat, I knew my Victory would be a lot of company, but I never dreamed of anything more.
I’ve since learned that the bond between animals and humans is as beneficial to pets as well as humans. I never would have believed this years ago. It’s heartwarming to learn this because it makes me feel more like a mom to my feline family. In the last few years, I’ve learned about HABRI, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, which in partnership with Purdue University, has put the science behind what I know to be true — the shared love between me and my cats is good for my heath and theirs.
I do believe my cats counter depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, and more. There’s nothing quite like coming home to my cat who pounces of my lap the minute I sit down, or having Lenny go sailing through the air as he tries to entice someone into playing with him. This is real entertainment. It’s much better than turning on the TV to hear the latest warmongering, depressing economic news, or local catastrophe.
We can think of only one thing at a time, and the kitties help me leave the work world where it belongs, back at work. They keep me centered on the better things in life — cats.
All this gives me time to pause and reflect about what love really is. It really is all over the map, which gives credence to love being beyond us — something in the universe that’s spiritual, mythical, almost impossible to define. One thing we cat lovers know is that our cats love us just as much as we love them, maybe even more. That said, there’s no doubt, our pets share love. I know mine do. And they show me how much every day, not just Mothers Day.
For Mothers Day, I don’t need anything else from my cats. I’ll probably be working on a computer with three, four or five all sitting by me, giving me their moral support and heart-felt paws of affection, that is of course, after I feed them breakfast.
Read more on Catster about moms and mom cats:
About the author: BJ Bangs is a cat person through and through. Age defying wisdom has brought her to appreciate the human likeness of cats, and she loves her 5 felines as if they are all her sole mates — but of course, they are. When she isn’t writing about cats, she writes about other stuff.