Pet Ownership | Anecdote
7 Things I Changed When I Became A Cat Mom
I’ve always loved cats. When my elementary school held a hobby show, I displayed my cat collection. I had stuffed animals, ceramic cat statues, and cat books. Whatever I had at home that had a cat on it, in it or about it, I brought to the hobby show. I’m sure I even attempted to bring our family cat, Dusty but was shot down for logistical reasons and common sense. When I moved out on my own, it wasn’t hard to believe I would adopt a cat of my own.
What I didn’t expect to happen were the changes I made once I became a cat mom — the things you do for love.
1. Buying flowers
Before I became a cat mom, I would occasionally buy myself flowers from the florist section at the nearby grocery store. I continued to do this when I adopted my first cats. They had a great time knocking over the flowers and playing in the carnage they created. As I’ve gotten to know more about my feline friends, I learned that some plants are in fact quite toxic to them. It was with that knowledge that I backed away almost entirely from buying flowers.
The few times I’ve purchased flowers since I’ve adopted my cats, I’ve focused on florals my cats could tolerate. PetMd lists flowers such as roses, Gerber daisies, sunflowers, freesia, and orchids as being safe for cats.
I miss the smell of flowers in my apartment, but I love my cats more than I love the scent of freshly cut florals. And I’ve found some great candles that smell almost as good.
2. Decorating at Christmas
My Christmas decorating has never really been stellar — usually just some garland on the fireplace. Some years, I’d purchase a little Christmas tree. Occasionally, I’d add a poinsettia for good measure. When I became a cat mom, I became aware of the many obstacles associated with Christmas decorations. Poinsettias are quite toxic to cats and things like tinsel and ornament hooks present other challenges. And more than one cat has toppled a Christmas tree.
When my cats came into the picture, I decided to change my decorating style completely. I replaced the poinsettia with pine-scented candles — kept far away from curious paws, whiskers, and tails. I’ve replaced the live Christmas tree with a small wood one and added cute winter bird ornaments throughout my home. While some of the more traditional decorations may be gone, my Christmas spirit remains strong.
3. Perusing for cat costumes
I never really paid much attention to pet costumes until I became a cat mom. Now, I have a cute little bee costume with antennae that light up and what I refer to as a tabby shark costume. The fun doesn’t end there, I’ve also purchased bunny ears, little Santa hats, winter hats and scarves, and reindeer horns. I still can’t get my cats to wear any of these things long enough to snap a picture that isn’t blurry from them running away, but each holiday, I do still try.
4. Hanging out with my cats
I enjoyed my twenties quite a bit and that meant going out with friends on the weekends, sometimes even during the week. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I enjoy a quieter Friday night in the company of my cats. I’ve even been known to say I had plans when someone inquires about weekend plans, knowing full well those plans involved me, my cat, and Netflix. I don’t regret any of it.
5. Taking pictures of my cats
Before I kept cats, I never thought much about taking pictures to mark events. Then, I adopted Nicky, my first cat. I couldn’t take enough pictures of her and her cute antics. When I adopted her brother, Murphy, my photo obsession only grew. I couldn’t take enough photos of them together or apart, it didn’t matter. They were my favorite subjects to photograph and that’s only increased with every cat I’ve adopted since. Some of them like it more than others, but they’re all very photogenic if I do say so myself.
6. Buying cat stuff
By buying cat stuff, I don’t mean cat supplies. That’s a necessity every cat owner must indulge in. No, I mean cat-themed merchandise for me. I never really thought about purchasing cat-themed merchandise since I’ve been old enough to drive. Maybe the leopard and tiger prints weren’t as popular back then.
Now that I’m a cat mom, I seem to be drawn to cat merchandise. It’s bad. My friends know about my obsession and even send me ads of cute merchandise. I have several sweaters with cats on them, I have leopard print scarves and sweaters, and more than a few t-shirts that are cat-themed. My favorite t-shirt is the one that says: I work hard so my cat can have a better life. I think it sums up my point of view purrfectly.
7. Embracing the crazy cat lady moniker
The longer I’ve been a cat mom, the more I’ve embraced the crazy cat lady label. I do love my cats. During the pandemic, when I’ve been isolated in my condo, my cats have been a godsend. Their antics have been a great source of laughter and comfort during this difficult time. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
As I write this, my blind cat, Scout is holding my hand and purring. That’s just one of the reasons why I’ve embraced the crazy cat lady label.
Being a cat mom has meant I’ve been able to share my life with some of the sweetest, cutest and mischievous felines around. While bringing them into my life has meant changing some things, having them by my side has made it all worthwhile.