Do Your “Kids” have Mouse Breath and a Nip Habit?


(This week, Petside is celebrating the familial relationships that pets have as members of our families. Click here for more.)

My cats are my kids.

And like any parent, I make allowances for their transgressions, whether it’s pooping on the floor or puking in the parlor. I’ll clean it up with little complaint (little white lie: expletives are often involved), because, after all, they’re my kids.

It’s not always easy. There are days when their sole raison d’etre is to see how bad they can be before I throw a hissy fit. But just as I’m at the breaking point, they curl up in a catastically cute position and purr like a jet engine to melt my heart.

My husband and I made a conscious decision not to have kids. Part of it was practical…. we were ancient by the time we married and had a lot going on in our lives. But a lot of it had to do with the fact that we already have a happy little family and they fulfill us. Totally.

Some people with traditional kids consider that to be a sacrilege. When I was growing up in the Don Draper era, my mom frequently commented on a childless couple in our town. He was a vet and they were well-heeled, and yet — they didn’t have kids! They had a gazillion animals, but none were 2-legged tantrum throwers. My mom, a quintessential animal lover, still felt a family was only complete when human children were part of the equation.

Those who go the more traditional kid route often think that cat lovin’ couples are mental. Spending money on pets when they could be donating to end world hunger? It’s nuts!

This weekend I interviewed cat humor writer Dena Harris who, like me, made the conscious decision not to have human kids. Is her life incomplete without them? Heck no! She’s one of the nicest, smartest, most self-actualized people I know:

In a reader? Click here to watch the interview.

If you’re already considering Christmas gifts, any of Dena’s three books should be on your shopping list. They are:

You can read Dena’s blog here:

We’ll be discussing more this week. Do you have a story to share? Email me: karen AT catster DOT com.

[PHOTO CREDIT: Awkward Family Pet Photos]

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