10 Ways My Cats Are Preparing Me for Motherhood
Before any one freaks out, understand that I am not saying that raising kittens is the SAME as raising a child. Of course it isn't. However, my best friend and I have been cracking up over coffees about the similarities for months now, and I look at what my cats have been teaching me as a little sampling of what parenting is going to be like. Like, a teaspoon-sized sample of what difficulties lie ahead. So, with that being said, let's begin!
Here are 10 ways my cats are preparing me for motherhood:
1. I have to put together complicated things
For every parent who says, "You don't know what it's like for parents on Christmas morning," I raise you the assembly of this cat tree:
Do your kids climb all over you and run off with the screws in their mouths while you put their toys together? I didn't think so! Also, they broke all three of those dangly balls in under 24 hours.
2. I don't get to sleep in anymore
As they get older, they tend to pick specific times, like 6 a.m. In early kittenhood, however, it's whenever they feel like it. And you WILL wake up.
If the meowing doesn't do it, Freyja jumping on the headboard and knocking all my stuffed animals and books on my head will. Or Lucipurr jumping into a mug of yesterday's coffee and catapulting off the dressing table. Or both of them working together to knock EVERYTHING over until you get up.
3. I have to clean up their poop
Granted, I definitely have it easier here than parents of human babies do. I often wish that human kids came out potty trained. Or listened as well as kittens do to their mother's instruction on how to poop in a box. Hell, we even have it easier than dog owners because we don't even have to TOUCH their poop. But this is still something one normally doesn't engage in, cleaning up after someone else's doody.
4. I take care of them when they're sick
I've always been one to mother people when they're not feeling well. So it's probably no surprise I recently stayed up until 3 a.m. holding Freyja and comforting her because she wasn't feeling well. Cats, like most animals, will definitely let you know when they are not 100 percent. Maybe because mine are so spoiled, they know this means they can cling to mama and cry and demand extra cuddles and attention because mama will fix it.
5. "Not in front of the kids!"
If you get the reference via this picture -- I love you. So, I know my family is gonna read this. I don't wanna go into much detail here.
Let's just say there are things you definitely would never do in front of your kids, and we are the same way with our furchildren. Escape to a room they aren't allowed in, or shut the door on them for a while. If my husband so much as kisses me in front of Freyja, she lets out a very jealous and confused "What are you doing to mommy?" meow. You see our dilemma.
6. Sometimes, they need to learn things the hard way
I know some parents might be horrified at the idea of letting their kids learn anything the hard way, but I think it's a more realistic approach to parenting. How many of us learned not to touch the stove after touching the freaking stove?
I'm still not keen on letting the cats learn THAT exact lesson the hard way (though Luci already has), but some other lessons they need to learn themselves. Like what kind of jumps they just can't make. Why pockling on top of their brothers' cage is a bad idea. Or, for Luci exclusively, why letting the sleeping Freyja lie is the best idea (instead of tackling her and biting her face).
7. I can't leave them alone for two seconds or they'll cry
I know people always say cats are independent, but every time I hear that, I'm just like, "DUDE, have you MET my cats?" I can't even imagine a needier cat than Freyja, and I know a few Siamese cats. There is not a single pee had in my house without two kittens outside the door screaming like they are being brutally murdered and flung about the house by Jason Voorhees.
Most of the time I just let them come with me so they don't freak the hell out, but I'm gonna draw the line on that with human children. On a related note, though, unlike kids, you can leave the house without needing a sitter.
8. They get jealous
I know this is a weird one, but it's true. I have to make sure I'm giving them equal love and attention and at all times. Sometimes, they'll end up scrapping for my affections. Or worse, if I'm giving Luci any love, Freyja will come up, give a sorrowful meow, go sit in the corner and stare at me with big, sad eyes.
I imagine distributing equal love between siblings close (or not) in age is even more challenging. A cat, after all, cannot speak up and remind you about that time you gave his sister a new cat toy and he didn't get anything.
9. They throw tantrums and hate going to the doctor
Have you ever seen a cat have a tantrum? If you've read my first article for Mommyish, you know about the "bank incident" with Luci.
When Freyja is out in her pram, she's more prone to just loudly complain (much like a child deciding it's time to cry for the hell of it) whenever we are on the bus, or in a shop she doesn't like, or if mommy stops the pram for any reason (though if we stop long enough, say, for a coffee, she catches on and has a rest). She gave off so loudly last time we took the bus I had to bend down, open the pram a bit and comfort her, and I was as red as my sweater. What's more embarrassing than a child in a pram giving off in public? A cat in a pram giving off in public.
10. I've never loved any creature like I love them because they are my precious furbabies
Read more about cats and kids:
- Does Parenting a Cat Prepare You for Parenting a Baby?
- Cats and Kids Are Alike -- And I Have Pictures to Prove It
- Four Life Lessons Cats Can Teach Your Kids
- Hey, Angry Commenters: Kids and Cats CAN Peacefully Coexist
- 5 Ways Cats Bring Families Closer Together
- 5 Ways My Human Kids and Cats Act Like They're All Siblings
- 5 Parenting Lessons I've Learned From My Cats
Learn more about your cat with Catster:
- Weird Cat Facts: 8 Reasons Your Cat Likes to Lick You
- 10 Sounds That Cats Make -- and What They Mean
- 8 Things to Try When Your Cat Won't Eat
About the author: Hana lives in Belfast after moving from the U.S. of A. with her two spoiled kittens, two chubby rats, and one cheeky husband. Hana works in admin but occasionally goes on tour working for an Austrian death metal band. When she's not putting up road-weary punk rockers and metallers, you can find her taking the cats around town in their stroller, whipping up new recipes, or playing way too many video games. She writes at Mommyish and Catster. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.