5 ways my cat is like your toddler and other ways to annoy a parent.

Occasionally I like to refer to my cats as my “fur babies,” and watch some parent’s head explode as they furiously explain that no, absolutely not, that is not a thing. They then proceed to lecture me on the differences between an actual child and my pet. Before you know it, I have a whole army of parents after me talking about their snot-nosed rugrat. I usually respond that my cat has snot too. Anyway, I get that my cat isn’t really a child, but maybe you’re the problem if you’re wasting your breath trying to explain to me what I already know. Turbo tax has a blog post entitled “Can I Claim My Pet As a Dependent?” so there must be some validity to the question. I think once people take their emotions out of the equation, they’ll see that pet owners and parents have more in common than they previously thought.

1. There is vomit everywhere.
I came home last Monday, which some would call the worst day of the week, to a mess of vomit on one side of our living room. It wasn’t a small, hairball-sized blob, like normal – some food someone didn’t agree with. No, it was projectile vomit on our hardwood floors, a chair leg, on the carpet, under the carpet. (Did you know cats can projectile vomit? Well, now you do.) I thought I was going to need a hazmat suit. I cleaned it but not before I took photos and video for Instagram, Snapchat, and to send to my husband, hey, see what I have to deal with?

2. They are the pickiest eaters alive.
I became a little too adventurous with their foods earlier this year. I ordered them trout with pasta and tomatoes, expensive tuna from various brands, shrimp, and rice. I ordered white meat chicken and vegetables. Each case I ordered went up in price and before you knew it, I’m spending thirty dollars on twelve 3-ounce cans and questioning my regrettable life choices.

I did this for two reasons. The first was because I work hard so my cats can have a good life and two, I want them to live forever. In a cryogenically frozen type of way, if possible. My mom has three cats, one who is now ten. I’ve been buying him fancier food too. I want to keep them healthy and if it means buying them more expensive cat food, I’ll do it.

Eventually I had to scale back to more manageable options like “plain” tuna, salmon, some chicken. Cases that cost twenty dollars or less for 24 cans. But I didn’t do it because I suddenly realized our AMEX bill was just cat related products. I did it because our cats (and my mom’s) are the pickiest eaters who have no appreciation for the finer things in life. Penny, one of my mom’s three cats, refuses to eat certain foods. My mom encourages the pickiness because she goes to the supermarket on the corner and buys four different cans for her to eat. She did the same thing with Bella, her youngest cat. Do you know the treatment Bob, her oldest cat gets? Our senior citizen of the house? Well, he just gets what he gets and that’s too bad.

Bob grew up eating Friskies cans for each and every meal. That’s what we did for all our cats, including Moose, who passed away, bless her heart. After seven years of eating the same flavor, Bella came in the picture and suddenly, his taste buds were privy to a whole new world of flavors. Why? Because Bella was getting them and he got her sloppy seconds.

My mom clearly favors girls.

3. There is poop everywhere.
On Friday, (the most blessed day of the week), I woke up to some good cuddles from my youngest cat, Jonesy. He’s also referred to as “J Bonesy” if you’re close. I stepped outside my bedroom to feed them and what greeted me but a poop on the floor? My suspects pool immediately narrowed to two. There’s Atlas, our Maine Coon cat. He keeps getting poop stuck to his butt when exiting the litter box, and it falls on the carpet. Our other suspect is Morgan, who always has a dopey look on her face but she is the sweetest of all four of my kids.

“No, really, it’s like there’s nothing behind those eyes,” my husband chimed in.
“But she’s so sweet and gooey! Like a melted chocolate bar,” I responded.
Anyway, we thought that we alleviated our problem by shaving Atlas back there last week but we didn’t fix the problem. We might have gotten the wrong cat. Is it Morgan? I don’t know.

We spent the weekend camping with some of my husband’s friends, one of whom also has a cat. She recounted a story about hanging out with a friend at her apartment. As they were talking, my friend spotted her cat dragging his butt across the floor to wipe off his poop. She tried SO hard not to break eye contact with her friend to keep from laughing. Hasn’t your kid ever embarrassed you like that?

4. You’re always breaking up fights.
This one is probably because I have multiples but there is too much kung-fu fighting in our house sometimes. Jonesy and Atlas don’t get along so when they’re fighting, Popeye does his best to intervene. Morgan just runs out of the room because she hates conflict. Nowadays, Popeye has been fighting with Atlas, which is so unlike Popeye. A fight will break out during feeding times. Sometimes a cat will be sleeping and another cat will walk up to him or her, and swat him on the nose. Our mornings are basically “Popeye and Morgan’s Exercise Hour,” where they’ll chase each other around the apartment, annoying me and our downstairs neighbor.

5. JFC, where is the privacy?
People that talk about cats as being these anti-social, independent loners are a bunch of liars. I can’t take a bath without Popeye trying to climb in. I can’t go to the bathroom without Morgan poking her head through the door. We can’t lock the door because she starts pawing at and yowling, like she just learned that there wasn’t any room for Jack on that damn door. This one time, okay multiple times, we’ve tried to have sex and I look over and one of them, usually Atlas, has made himself comfortable on the bed. He just stares at us, daring us to kick him off the bed. The only one who respects our space is Jonesy and that’s because he’s always sitting on a chair in the living room. He even takes his meals there.

I hope everyone takes the above with a grain of salt and laughs. Right now I’m busy arguing with Trump supporters, I don’t have the time or patience to start arguing about whether pets can be considered real children. Everyone knows that they basically are, anyway.