What I Wish I’d Known Before Getting Cats
Lessons learned from being a full-time cat owner
The first thing you need to know before you get cats is that you’re not getting cats. The cats are getting you.
Prepare yourself for a new life as a second-class citizen — the top tier, of course, occupied by your new cats.
You will become a very popular host as your pet-free friends rush over to meet your precious fur-children. Your cats will pay more attention to your friends than you.
As Terry Pratchett once wrote, “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
Neither should you, as this will become the theme by which you live for the rest of your life.
You’ll be woken up at three in the morning by a hrawk-hrawrrrk noise as your cats divest themselves of a furball onto your freshly cleaned carpets. You’ll go back to sleep, forget about it, and step in it first thing when you wake up in the morning. This will happen more than once.
You’ll brush your cats 10 thousand times, only to still find more hair than could possibly be in all existence, somehow all of it on your black business attire.
You’ll spend more time than you ever thought you would debating pros and cons over cat food and treats. Is it better to go raw? Should you buy Whiskas or Felix? Do cats like chicken liver?
You’ll become a cat food expert, capable of spouting nutrition facts at the drop of a hat.
Nobody, other than you, will be interested in these facts.
Your work will be interrupted as your cats take offense at any object that takes more attention than it deserves (i.e., any amount of attention). Your book, laptop, art, essay—all will be stepped on in due course. You will not mind this.
You’ll research new ways to stop them from getting bored in the house. You’ll look up for signs that they love you. You’ll google how to set up a home camera so you can watch them snoozing all day.
You’ll buy them baskets, boxes, beds; you’ll make tents for them; you’ll craft blankets for them. You’ll photograph them in every single sleeping position.
Your whole heart will belong to these monsters. You’ll google “how to tell cats I love them” because you worry they don’t know.
You’ll fret over their every sneeze. You’ll pay overpriced vet bills for them. You’ll hold them as close as they’ll let you when they jump out a window without any broken bones.
And as you think about all the ways they’ve changed your life, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.