One of my intentions in writing this column is to shine a light on the beautiful relationships that can happen between kids and cats. I’ve always lived with cats, and am a huge believer in teaching kids at an early age how to properly handle and interact with kitties. Lasting friendships develop when humans of any age and cats share a mutually loving and respectful relationship. This is true with any kind of pet — dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, and any living being! As grownups, it’s our responsibility to help our kids grow into compassionate, responsible adults.
I wanted to feature kids who have positive relationships with the special kitties in their lives, so I interviewed three children about their lives with cats. Not only did their answers make me smile, these kiddos are excellent examples of kids and cats living harmoniously, learning responsibility, and seeing the fun and humor in their feline-human friendships.
Brody is a nine-year-old cat boy who lives with Miles, a year-old tabby, and Oliver, a nine-month-old gray and white kitty. He says Miles is playful, sometimes really playful. When Brody’s sleeping and Miles wants to play, he’ll nibble his fingers and toes. Having spent time with Miles, I can attest to this cat’s crazy-playful demeanor. He’s a nut.
Brody and his mom found Oliver abandoned on their street when he was a kitten. He has one eye, and Brody says, “He’s very playful, but also kind of scared of people.”
Brody says he’s like a cat because he’s athletic and likes to jump. He also has a penchant for huffing his cats. He says, “They’re so soft, and sometimes Miles smells good. Like a fancy party.” It makes my heart swell to watch the next generation of cat lovers getting their huff on.
Brody says he’ll always be a cat guy and will have one or two cats when he’s an adult. Look out, ladies of the future!
Oh, and he can scoop a mean litter box!
Fifteen-year-old Sydney adores her cats Shakespeare and Phoebe. Shakespeare is a four-year-old tuxie who’s a fabulous hunter of stuffed animals and has a dog for a best friend. Sydney says he has a distinguished, slick James Bond personality. He once stole a small bag of potatoes and hid it under her brother’s bed. I’d pay good money to have seen that maneuver!
Sydney and her mom found Phoebe, a two-year-old calico, when they were walking in the woods. She says she approached the kitten carefully, but the tiny baby kept retreating further into the woods. Sydney patiently moved closer to her and says, “I tried purring (or as close as a human can come) to make her feel safe, and eventually I was able to catch her.” And Phoebe hasn’t stopped purring. Syd says she walks around the house purring and making squeaking noises.
In addition to being an expert cat-snuggler, Sydney feeds the cats, cleans litter boxes, and occasionally finds herself “cleaning throw up or hairballs.” Good practice for a future cat woman! She definitely sees herself always living with cats: “As many as I can fit, wherever I am living.”
Nolan is nine and a half and shares his home with senior kitty Yemaya, who’s black with a little white spot on her chest. She’s 17 years old, so Nolan has known her his entire life. He’s a total cat boy, and he and Yemayah are wonderfully close friends. Because she’s elderly, he knows he must be gentle with her, and treats her lovingly and respectfully. He says she’s “talkative and lazy.” Like other cats, she sometimes weaves and falls over when she’s sleep-standing. I love it when my cats do that — it never fails to make me laugh. Nolan agrees.
He helps with her care by feeding and watering, as well as scooping the litter box. Nolan thinks if Yemayah were a human, she might be an accountant because she reminds him of a book he once read. When asked if he’d like to have cats when he becomes an adult, he replies, “Yes. 74.” That’s a mighty large and specific number, guy! Maybe he’ll run a senior cat rescue?
Yay for cat-loving kids with big dreams!
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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.