I remember it every year – the 4th November 2013 was the day we brought Tilly home and officially adopted her as part of our family. While I’ve already written a post about Tilly herself, I still wanted to mark the occasion of this little fluff ball arriving in our lives. So, I thought it would be fun to talk about a few things I’ve learned as a cat owner. Even though I’ve had cats for most of my life, Tilly is the first cat I’ve had as an adult, and it’s safe to say I’ve learned a few things about being a cat Mama in the process. Read on, and hopefully fellow cat owners will relate!
Eating Yoghurt is a Social Activity
Ever since she arrived, I can’t eat a yogurt in peace. I don’t know what it is, but I can open one in the quietest way possible (let’s face it, yogurt is a fairly quiet food anyway) and she will still appear instantly. She’ll sit next to me on the sofa while I eat it and stare at me intently, and she’ll meow if I get up to put it in the bin without giving her any. I’ve managed to train her to sit quietly until I’m finished and as a reward she gets to lick the carton.
Don’t worry, I’m well aware that cats can’t tolerate lactose all that well. It’s fine, I don’t eat yogurt very often, and when I do, it’s literally just the top of the lid or the carton she gets to lick. She’d shove her head in the pot if I let her though.
Cats Don’t Need Fancy Toys
I’m one of those fur-parents that spoils the shit out of their cat. I’ve bought Tilly endless toys, beds, teasers, and even a cat play mat once (don’t ask), but her favourite toy? The plastic egg you get in a Kinder Surprise. It was discovered by accident that she loves playing with them so much. I have no idea what it is she loves about them, but she will happily spend hours playing with that than she will any of her other toys.
Eating Peas is a Family Activity
Again, a similar thing to the yogurt scenario. Ever since she was a kitten, Tilly’s had this thing about peas. I have no idea why, or what it is about them she loves so much, but we always have to leave her a few. She’ll play with them for a bit before she eventually eats them. She’s now at the point where we can literally feed her individual peas and she doesn’t even give a crap about playing with them anymore.
Not All Cats Like Collars
I love all those pretty collars you can get for your kitty. Unfortunately, Tilly does not. We attempted to put a collar on her back when she was little, and she LOST HER SHIT. It was not fun to calm her down and I felt ridiculously guilty afterwards for putting her through something she hated so much. She’s an indoor cat, and she’s micro-chipped, so a collar isn’t necessary anyway, so we gave up on the idea fairly quickly after that.
Cat-Mum Pride is a Thing
The immense pride I feel with certain things Tilly does is insane. When she’s well behaved when I take her to the vets, or when she doesn’t hide in the bottom of my wardrobe when Liam hoovers, I feel like a proud Mummy. I should explain the wardrobe thing – she HATES the hoover. Ever since she was a baby she would run and hide herself away in the bottom of my wardrobe whenever it came out and she would stay in there for hours. No amount of Dreamies or coaxing would get her out of there. But now, while she still hides upstairs, she’s brave enough to sit on the bed or in the windowsill while the hoover’s out. #ThugLife.
My most recent case of Cat-Mum pride came from Tilly’s photo-shoot with my friend Cheryl. When Cheryl sent me through her photos, I genuinely felt a bit emotional at how gorgeous my little girl was. I mean…JUST LOOK AT HER.
The Three Second Rule Applies
Of course by three second rule, I’m referring to seats. If at any point you get up and leave your seat in my house, by the time you get back, a cat will be in it. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting up to top up your wine or to go to the loo, by the time you’re back she’ll be sat there an expression as if to say “what?”
The Guilt is Real
I’ve accidentally broken a few of Tilly’s toys before, and the guilt is insane. Before the Kinder eggs came along I accidentally stepped on ‘Fishy,’ her rattly fish toy, and I felt so guilty I went to Pets at Home and bought a selection of new toys for her. This then resulted in ‘Owl,’ who she won’t sleep without. She also used to have a scratching post with a little perch on top, which I fell on when I was drunk. I know, I’m a horrible human being. I felt so guilty I bought her a brand new bed (which she wouldn’t use) along with half the cat toy aisle of Pets at Home. Oh and Liam bought her a new scratching post, so it wasn’t even like she was without that either.
Of course, the main thing I’ve learned in the last six years is how much I love I have for my girl. People who don’t have pets won’t understand it, but the love I feel for that beautiful little tiger is insane. She makes me laugh, she makes me feel calm, and I just feel happy when I look at her. She’s cute, she’s sassy, and I feel so lucky to have her in my life.
What lessons have your fur-babies taught you? Let me know in the comments!