Thinking of getting a new cat this year? Struggling to convince others in the household that it’s an excellent idea? Here are some of the reasons why it was one of the best decisions we ever made!
They brighten my day
I always feel very excited driving home from work. Normally both cats sit impatiently by the front door waiting for me. When I walk inside, a symphony of purring begins. While I am well aware they are just excited for their dinner (I often refer to myself as the meals on wheels lady), I know this is the time to take advantage of the cupboard love displayed to me. I get as many cuddles as possible plus a few licks from Socks and head bumps from Charlie. Eventually this leads to Charlie pointedly sitting next to his food bowl licking his lips, wondering when his human will finally learn a quicker front-door-to-cat-bowl routine.
They don’t expect too much in return for their presence in your life
Once fed, my cats are quite self-sufficient. Even Charlie gets more independent as time goes by. They need a few things to get started but after that the main expenses are food, cat litter, vets bills and pet insurance. They don’t demand a lot of my time (there are exceptions where some cats need someone around most of the day, but rescue centres should let you know if this is the case). They just need a few minutes of attention a few times a day for playing, grooming and feeding. They don’t appear to miss you when they are finished with you so it’s easy to go to the gym or meet up with friends in the evenings without feeling bad. We can also leave them for at least a night on their own at home as long as the neighbours are around to feed them. If we’re off on holiday, they do go to a rather luxurious cattery but there are definitely cheaper options (e.g. some people are happy to ask neighbours to look after cats).
They are rewarding animals to look after
We have both developed strong bonds with the cats and still get excited when they are randomly affectionate; making you realise that they do care about you. I often get followed around the house and the cats will settle near me if I sit down. Socks will also have a conversation with me if she hasn’t seen me for a couple of hours and spots me coming towards her. It doesn’t matter how unhappy I am, if I enter a room with one of the cats I feel an instant positive lift in my mood. I relax much more quickly after a day at work and the house feels a lot fuller (probably because of all the toys I have bought!). As I once announced embarrassingly at work, they really are my best friends. They are also very caring animals. When I am sad, Socks will come and sit on my lap, while Charlie will sit near me and do that bloke thing of staring perplexedly not knowing what to do.
They are so interesting!
I love watching the cats and learning about them. I wonder why they show certain behaviours and how their biology enables them to do what they do. Sometimes I catch Charlie staring back at me and wonder what he is thinking? Is he thinking, ‘what is she thinking’? Of course not! He’s just sat there living. I also notice that when he has finished taking a deep breath in, he forces a deep breath out straight away, not like us humans who hold our breath every so often. I wonder if that’s why he’s so calm, like a zen master – a great example to follow. It’s also fascinating how different their personalities are; Socks is so independent and curious while Charlie is a real people person who would much rather enjoy the comfort of his bed than make new discoveries.
They help you meet and get to know people
I have been introduced to four of my neighbours through Charlie! They have been charmed by his visits around the street begging for food. Even though Charlie fought with one of my neighbours’ cats, I now have gained a lovely friend who looks out for him during the day and we go out regularly for lunch and girly cinema trips (seeing the new Cats film recently, relieving my boyfriend of that unwanted duty)! I am also now equipped with endless entertaining stories about the cats, meaning that I instantly speak on friendly terms with other cat lovers. Some of Charlie’s antics have my family and friends in hysterics and normally me too, after the event, of course! I know some people HATE cats (poor misguided souls) but I generally find most people enjoy a good story about a cat causing havoc. It’s an excellent ice breaker. I absolutely love my new hobby of swapping entertaining cat stories with other people.
Adopting Charlie and Socks was a fantastic decision for us. I wouldn’t swap them for anything. There are so many rescue cats in cat shelters that require good homes. The majority of them would make excellent pets. So if you are considering adopting one, go for it! Make sure you let me know how it goes!
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