Over the last few days, as I’ve read and heard “Happy Mother’s Day” sentiments, I think about how I missed that boat. I didn’t even think about wanting kids until I was in my late thirties. At that time, I had a boyfriend who didn’t want kids. Preferring a relationship to procreation, I accepted his no kids policy and never felt like I was missing out. Since the age of twenty-six, I’d been the caretaker or “mother” of cats, which must have satisfied the desire to mother children of the human kind.
But, when I was about forty-five, I felt a stronger yearning to have children—talk about being a late bloomer. I even entertained adopting…for about five minutes. That yearning dissipated quickly when I came to the conclusion that I had just enough energy to take care of three cats and myself.
I’ve been the mother of two or three cats for the past thirty years. Mothering cats (or dogs, goats, horses…whatever your furbaby) is much like mothering human kids. Not that I know from first-hand experience, but I do know that the same qualities in mothering human children apply to our animal children. We are here to protect, love and nurture these precious sentient beings. I’m a fierce protector of my kitties; I love them deeply, and apply discipline when needed (Boys—MY chair…for just five minutes…pawleeez).
I’ve mothered cats from kittenhood; nurtured their growth into old age and into their moment of passing—a responsibility and duty I take seriously.
Over the years, many people have expressed amazement when meeting my cats at their friendly and peaceful dispositions. All six cats have (or had) very different personalities and backgrounds. It’s how they’ve been raised, I say.
Happy Mother’s Day to All!