There are many daily allowances I make for my cats. I hadn’t even about these until they were pointed out to me the other day by another person. “Do you realize you can’t do this, this, and this because you have cats?” the person said. What a revelation! Yes, there are things I avoid doing, but I hardly even think about them. Here are eights things I can’t do because of my cats (and then some things I can do):
1. I cannot leave lettuce on the counter
No way. I have two cats now that happen to love lettuce. They love lettuce so much that they’ll tear off the tips of a head of dark leafy lettuce. These cats can’t wait for me to tear off a leaf of lettuce for them, so I can never leave lettuce on the counter, or I’ll have no idea what’s been mouthed by a cat when I go to make salads.
2. I cannot be careless about the door
Granted, this is my choice. But I can never be careless about the entrances to our living spaces, since I don’t want my cats getting out. I find myself constantly checking to make sure the door really is tightly shut, especially since I have a couple of screen doors that are deceiving — they appear closed but really aren’t, and a smart cat might be able to push them open. I haven’t had it happen yet, but I don’t want to experience a first time.
3. I cannot have plants in the house
Another “no way.” My cats love love love anything green. I don’t want anything toxic for them in the house, and I don’t really want to deal with them throwing up stuff that’s green and good for them, either. So right now we are plant-less. But the garden outside more than makes up for that (for me, anyway, not for the cats).
4. I cannot go more than two days without vacuuming the house
Several cats make a lot of hair, especially when one is a Ragdoll. Even though Zorro’s coat is in really good shape now, there are still dustballs of hair that accumulate. But I really love having no rugs — it makes getting the hair up much much easier. Fortunately, and strangely, I also love to vacuum.
5. I cannot leave anything toxic within reach of a cat
I’m really careful about keeping anything questionable out of reach of curious cats’ paws — human medications, bleach, and stuff like that. I just don’t want my kitties getting into stuff that would hurt them. This stuff gets put away into cupboards that the cats cannot open.
6. I cannot have fabric furniture
Well, we do, but it’s not so much a problem anymore. We once had a futon with upholstery that had just enough texture in it to attract the cats. Kali and others did a great job on one corner of the futon. My husband bought a cover for the futon because we wanted to lighten it up. As it turned out, the cats aren’t as interested in the cover, because it is smoother and more velvety. I have also tried to redirect their attention to their scratching post condo toy.
7. I cannot walk blindly
I have to watch where I am walking, otherwise I might inadvertently trip over the Velcro cat (Zorro) or step in a hairball. So I always watch where I am going. Sometimes I step on a squishy cat toy and it always catches me by surprise. You know what I mean.
8. I cannot feed the cats freely
Multiple cats means multiple cat needs. I could feed freely, but then certain cats would probably lose weight and other cats would get too big. So I go through a number of steps and complications to feed these cats.
What CAN I do because I have cats?
The things I can’t do don’t bother me. They’ve become second nature as I’ve modified my behavior to share space with cats. But what I can do?
1. I can gladly and repeatedly interrupt my work to pet and play with cats
Yes! And I do. Often, and probably to the detriment of my productivity. Oh well! Life is short; spend it with a cat.
2. I can make up boatloads of silly nicknames and laugh
This is great fun. I think the cats enjoy it just as much as I do. I can also, and do, sing and dance and play the piano — for the cats. Some like it better than others. I like to occasionally pick up a cat and dance. More strange fun that only a cat person might understand.
3. I can snuggle to my heart’s content
This is the best part of life with cats. Whether your cat’s a snuggler, or prefers his love from a distance, there’s something so great about sharing the bond with our cats.
What can or can’t you do because you have cats? Share your thoughts in the comments!
More by Catherine Holm:
- 6 Massive Life Lessons My Cats Taught Me without Trying
- Do You Have a Velcro Cat? Here are 7 Ways to Tell
- 8 Ways I’m EXACTLY Like My Cats
- We Applaud Feline And Friends’ TNR Efforts in Vermont
- Let’s Talk — Would You Join a Grief Support Group to Mourn a Cat?
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 Great Purr (cat fantasy novel out June 1), 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 two short story collections. 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.