Actually, there’s only one reason. And that reason?
I’m a terrible mother. But there are 3 reasons why I’m a terrible mother.
Now, before you freak out, (mother,) I do not have an actual child. I do, however, have two cats, which equal out to about a half a child. And apparently, I’ve already figured out how to mess up a quarter of a kid.
So, we adopted our kitties from Furkids, a local cage-free, no-kill cat shelter. It was a wonderful experience, and I was moved by how much the volunteers cared about both us and the cats. They worked very hard to ensure that not only were we taking home the best cats for our situation, but that the cats were going into the best possible home. I was so inspired by our experience that I decided to become a volunteer myself. It would be a chance to not only give back to an organization that gave so much to us, but to meet people and play with cats on a regular basis. All good things, all and all.
So last Saturday, I went down to the shelter for orientation. After listening to the volunteer manager talk for a bit, we were encouraged to socialize and play with the cats. I almost immediately found my lap full of cats, all thrilled at the attention. (Including a black long-hair that literally shed another cat onto my clothing; I went through 26 lint roller sheets in the car on the way to the zoo.) It was lovely, and I really started to look forward to my work with the shelter.
All was delightful until Kyle and I prepared for bed. And discovered the large pool of cat piss in the middle of the bed. Nothing destroys a cuddly, fuzzy, warm-milk-and-feety-pajamas mood like a giant pool of cat piss in your bed. What was especially unpleasant is the fact that we’ve never had trouble with accidents, even when we switched their litter on them.
Well, that’s not totally true. They’ve done it once before…the same day that I stopped by the shelter down the street to play with the cats. This truth hit us at about 3am, when we were trying to sleep on the air mattress that we’d (luckily) been too lazy to tear down after the in-laws’ visit last weekend. We think that the cats smelled the shelter cats on me, and were trying to protect their territory from these unseen cats. Either that, or they were just reeeally pissed at us. (Pissed…get it?)
Reason 1: My hobbies are emotionally traumatizing my kitties.
I felt guilty about upsetting my kitties. But nowhere near as guilty as I would feel today. I noticed yesterday that Mila, our aggressively affectionate tortie, was sneezing. At first it was cute. (I guess technically there’s 4 reasons why I’m a bad mother.) But then I noticed it happening a lot. Next thing I know she’s sneezing up a storm, her nose is runny, and her eyes are running. One google search later and I’m pretty sure my Mila’s got the cat flu. Now, this is by no means fatal. She’ll be fine. But I could not figure out how she got it, as she and Allyse are strictly indoor cats. And then I remembered that I’d been at the shelter. Around lots of cats crawling with who knows what. And that’s when the guilt set in.
Reason 2: I am personally responsible for making my little kitty sick.
As I’m sure any real parent will tell you, one of the biggest dilemmas that you can experience is when to take your child to the doctor. How long can you wait-and-see before you’re just a terrible and negligent parent? Well, that’s what I struggled with. All afternoon. Do I take her to the vet, or do I just wait and see if she gets better? If I take her to the vet and she doesn’t need it, I’m a paranoid and overly possessively. If I don’t take her and it escalates into kitty cancer, I’m a terrible, terrible person. And have a dead cat.
When Kyle got home, he found me sitting on the floor, cradling Mila and singing to her…as she tried desperately to get away.
Reason 3: I am going to be the type of mother who freaks out and drags her child to the ER for a scraped knee.
But, if the cat currently sitting on my feet and licking herself is any proof, even I am incapable of messing up a Mila.