My nearly-17-year-old son Ben is a pretty typical teenage boy: He hates to clean his room, wants to hang out with his friends and works a part-time job to support his leisure-time hobbies — in his case, movies. But there is something he loves as much as collecting his beloved Blu Ray discs, and that’s his cats.
Ben’s grown up around kitties and has learned a lot about responsibility, love and respect by sharing his life with his feline brothers and sisters. I have to say that watching how sweet he is with our cats makes my maternal heart sing. It’s just one of the many reasons I’m proud to call him my son.
I often write about him and his sister here on my weekly “Kids, Cats, Chaos!” column, but I’ve never interviewed him directly about his love of cats. So he agreed to sit down with me for a few minutes to discuss cat-boy-dom, and he participated in the way you’d expect a busy teenager to — short and to the point.
Angie: So, what do you like best about cats?
Ben: I like their size and their fur smells nice. They’re cuddly.
See — cat-huffing runs in the family.
Angie: What do you like about their size?
Ben: They’re small and easy to hold and pet.
Angie: What’s your first significant cat-related memory?
Ben: Fritz’s funeral. I remember touching his eye.
Angie: Did you feel sad?
Ben: Not really. Just really curious.
He was three when Fritz passed. My daughter was all tears and Ben wanted to touch Fritz’s eyeball. I know he loved that kitty, but the little-boy curiosity is what emerged at the burial.
Angie: What have cats taught you?
Ben: Respect of animals.
It’s true. Despite his short words, he has a very deep and loving respect for all living things. He’s a great role model and a very cool kid.
Angie: Which of our cats is your favorite?
Ben: Oh, Phoebe! She’s loud, obnoxious and annoying. But best of all, she’s mine.
It’s true — the two of them are inseparable.
Angie: What do you two like to do together?
Ben: Mostly chill in my room. I made a little bed for her and set some boxes around the room for her. I like to lie in a certain position in bed so she can curl up beside me and “nurse” on a piece of my robe.
Angie: Do you have any nicknames for her?
Ben: Baby, Sweetie.
Angie: Do you think you’ll be a cat daddy when you’re an adult?
Ben: Um, yeah! I think I’ll have about two to three cats.
Angie: Do you have a certain kind of cat you like best?
Angie: Remember when you used to want a big orange Scottish Fold named Taco?
Ben: Yes! I don’t care about the Taco part anymore.
There was a time when he’d show me tons of photos of orange Scottish Folds and say, “That’s Taco.”
Angie: What are your favorite kinds of cat videos?
Ben: I like that Japanese cat.
Angie: Maru? The one who slides through boxes?
Ben: Yes! I love Maru.
Angie: What do you think of celebrity cats, in general?
Angie: Yeah, that’s true.
Ben: Cats are dope.
So there you go, straight from the mouth of a nearly-17-year-old cat-loving boy: Cats are dope.
Do have cat-loving kids? Tell us about them in the comments!
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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.