Monday, June 2

10 Things to Know About Being A Cat Owner

1. Once you own your own cat, you will become completely and utterly obsessed. But how could you not?! LOOK AT THE LITTLE FEET. AND THE LITTLE NOSE. AND THE LITTLE SPOTS. OH MY GODDDD. You realize you don't own shit. That cat owns you, and you are 100% okay with that. Oh, your friends want to go out? Nope, not leaving the house. They can visit if they really want to see you. The day I got James, my parents made me go to see "Bridesmaids" with them. I was in agony for 2 1/2 hours waiting for the movie to get the hell over so I could go back home to see James.

2. You will look at perfectly decorated and trendy homes, and start ticking off everything you could never own, because your cat would knock everything over or hurt himself. Those cool magnetic knife racks? James would cut his face all up trying to investigate that. It's literally asking for him to slice himself open. Nope. Oh, that vase is really cute. It would be broken within 10 minutes. People talk about baby-proofing homes, but you have to cat-proof yours. And not just until they get a little older... We're talking about forever.

3. You will start referring to your cats as your babies and will start becoming crazy-protective of them. And that's totally cool. Sometimes I wonder if I could possibly love a human child more than I love my cats. It kind of scares me that I might... because I would probably kill for my cats, so how the hell am I going to act when I have real, human children?! Terrifying.

And when someone's talking about your cat and misstates something about them, you'll start fuming. "Oh yeah, James loooves it when you rub his belly!" No, bitch, he doesn't. Touch his belly again and the only wrath greater than his will be mine. I don't even want to think about my reaction if someone tried to hurt him.

4. You will have an intimate knowledge of your cat, and be super proud when they let you do things to them that they won't let anyone else do. I am the only person James lets touch his belly. He won't let J. Just me. Am I proud of that? WAY TOO MUCH. I know exactly where he likes his tail stump and legs rubbed. He trusts me. I take way too much pride in all of these things, but screw it. I'm not ashamed.

5. Your cat will be the nosiest, most curious little asshole in the history of time. Oh, the door is shut? I want in. I want out. I can't decide. I'm going to trying to open every single closed door in the loudest way possible even though I don't have opposable thumbs. Oh, you're making out with your boyfriend? I would like to investigate please. Oh, you're trying to get dressed? I'm going to open the door the entire way. What is in the cupboard? Nothing? I'm still going in. What's in this bag? I'm going to chew my way in to find out. WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME IN THIS ROOM ALONE? I will cry and scratch and cry louder until you come back.

Your cat will also have the worst timing. He will wake up at 5 am every morning, even if he's not hungry. That's just when cats wake up, apparently, because they spent 90% of the daylight hours sleeping. If you're not awake, you soon will be. Good luck trying to get back to sleep once he's up.

There will be times when you want to kill him. When he decides to scratch at the door for an hour at 5 am, this will be one of those times. You will want to shake sense into him and scream at him. There will be times when he decides to pee on your leather purse or on your favorite bra. There will be very bad times. Do not act. These times will pass.

6. And then you will forgive him because he is doing the cutest thing in the entire world. 5 minutes after he peed on everything you love and hold dear, he will rub against you and purr and nuzzle your face and all will be forgiven. Because even though you're mad, he's just so damn cute and sweet and he loves you sooo much, right? I can't believe he's doing that suuuper cute thing! This is the cutest thing in the entire world!

7. Just kidding, this NEXT thing he just did is the cutest thing in the world.

8. Cats get a bad rap for not giving unconditional love, but once you earn a cat's love, it really is unconditional from then on. Remember that video of the dog who attacked that little boy and the cat who attacked the dog and chased him off? UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. When my mom stayed with me in New Hampshire, she had a nightmare and punched the wall in the middle of the night. James jumped on the bed - from a place where he was totally safe and out of danger, mind you - onto the bed, hissing, and ready to attack my mom. He thought I was in danger. He jumped into danger, in attack mode, to save me from this danger. Once he realized she was awake and wasn't dangerous, he calmed down, sniffed her face, and decided she would live another day. If that's not unconditional love, I don't know what is.

Plus, cats and dogs aren't an "either-or" choice. While I love cats (and my cats in particular), I really do love dogs too. J and I talk all the time about the kinds of dogs we want when we get a house. Even though I won, "Most Likely to Be a Cat Lady" two years running in my sorority, I still love dogs. I can't wait to get a dog. Seeing James dominate dogs six times his size is a hoot. Plus dogs are good snugglers and give lots of kisses. Plenty of good reasons to have both!

9. Oh, that guy I like is allergic to cats? Guess I don't like him anymore. Oh, your friends are sick of all your cat pictures? They'd better get used to them, because the pics aren't stopping. Seriously, the pictures will never stop. I hope you like 10 pictures of my cat in slightly different poses, because that's what's going on Instagram as we speak. I regret nothing. I had to look at 20 pictures of your child in same pose or yet another picture of you and your husband looking exactly the same as the last picture you took, so I think you can deal with pictures of my cat. And honestly, I love seeing pictures of people's animals. My friend Macy has a Shiba Inu who I could literally look at for days. He's such a handsome dude. Bring on the pet pics, my friends.

10. Cats live a really long time. When I first got James at 6 weeks old, I realized that he could live into his mid-20's. That's a really long time for a pet. I realized that J and I would probably have kids and we'd still have James and Leif around. That's a really long commitment. If you're going to get a cat, you need to realize that it's a commitment for their lifetime, not just a cute kitten that you can give away when it stops being so cute (just kidding - it never stops being cute). But in all seriousness, getting any pet is a serious commitment, and if you're not ready to go through all the emotions, vet fees, litter, etc. of being a pet owner, please wait until you are ready.

Do you have any tips to add? Which are the most true? Do you disagree with any of them?

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