I’ve been married for a long time! Maybe not that long, by some standards, but longer than I ever thought I’d be. My partner is a private, awesome guy. I don’t say a lot about him to respect his privacy. But I’m constantly astounded at how loving and great he is with the cats. He didn’t start out a cat person, but after these many years, I can’t imagine life without my partner or the cats.
We have a really good marriage, in my opinion. It’d probably be fine without the cats, really, but they give the special layer that only fur-kids (or real kids?) can give. Here’s how I think my cats make my marriage better:
In these northern climates, when the light gets low, sometimes things can get a little serious. Winter (especially this one!) can get us down. Here’s where the cats come to the rescue, because, mostly, winter and the low light outside doesn’t seem to bother them one bit. They’re so good at making us laugh. Whether a cat is trying to get his head into a too-small bag on the floor, or whether Norton is performing cat jumping Olympics in pursuit of his wand toy, instant laughter travels through the house. Just now, Norton was leaping five feet in the air in pursuit of a fly (it’s a beautiful winter day and the temps are climbing, and the flies are hatching).
No need to fear that we’ll get slothful and out of shape in this household. We are constantly running after the cats, or running with the cats. With four litter boxes, five indoor cats to feed, and one of these (Chester) who loves to be carted back and forth to the office — life gets a little busy. And active. And that’s a good thing. Sitting is the destruction of the body (and of marriage?), but my cats make sure I don’t sit too long.
Additionally, the adolescent Norton has tons of energy. So I’ve been doing laps in the house with him, dragging the feline fisher so that he chases it. He never gives up. Upon the advice of a cat blogger friend, I also starting training him to walk in a harness (my friend suggested that Norton was so energetic that he’d really benefit from being outside). Norton took to the harness well, and I see lots of walks in our future.
We’re both introverts (although I’m probably less so than my husband), so the house, if left to us, would get pretty quiet. Again, the cats save us! Their noises, whether loving, spatting, or anything in between, force us to act. Humans are social creatures — we need interaction. The cats help us nurture this. I completely understand why so many people, especially those who are alone or older, benefit from the friendship of a fur-kid.
There’s nothing like a cat to teach us about love. This is both wonderful and heartbreaking. But what better way to know our heart? Some of us have been hurt by humans, and perhaps feel safer practicing giving love to an animal companion. I completely understand this and I think it’s a wonderful thing. Love begins anywhere. Love, in my opinion, is significant whether given to a cat or a human or other being. We all benefit.
Whether we’re learning about love in joy or in sorrow, you can bet the cats are a big part of it. In fact, I never knew I was capable of deep love (at least, I didn’t know I was) until I cared for (and eventually let go of) loved cat companions.
My husband once remarked that the household would be pretty “sterile” without the cats. He’s right. They round out and complete our family, and I can’t imagine life without them. And I think they make our marriage/partnership the best it can be — because they help us continually learn to become better and more loving humans.
Does your cat help your marriage or partnership? Does your cat help you be a better person? Tell us how!
More from Catherine Holm about what cats teach us:
Learn more about your cat with Catster:
About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.