After I sold my condo three years ago and started packing-up all my stuff in preparation to move, I came across a journal from my high school days. One entry stated that I didn’t want kids, that I didn’t like kids much and that I didn’t want to be married. Well, that explains things! At the age of fifteen, I set an intention that stuck. I’ve never been married and never had children. In my late 30s the desire to have a baby finally kicked-in, but my boyfriend at the time who I eventually became engaged to did not want kids. It was either stay in the relationship or break it off with the hopes of finding the right match and someone who wanted kids. I loved this guy and my desire to be in a romantic partnership was stronger than my need to have a child. After four years it turned out that we weren’t very compatible and despite the engagement, he was very trepidatious about marriage, which at the time was something I wanted. Turns out my views on marriage had changed since that teenage journal entry.
When I purchased a condo in my mid-forties, I thought about adopting a child. I had the room to raise a kid and a well-paying paralegal job. But the job was demanding and my workdays long. Between work, taking care of two cats, and myself I knew that I would not be able to dedicate the time, and would not have the energy it took to properly raise a child on my own. Instead…I rescued another cat, Topper.
I loved having three kitties in the house. Lexington, Punkie and Topper. When Punkie passed away at the age of 20, I rescued another kitty, Bella. I wanted a kitten at the time, but at the age of eight, Bella had twice been relinquished to shelters. By the time I met her, she’d been with a rescue group for several months (older cats are often overlooked for adoption). Besides feeling an instant connection with Bella, my heart hurt for her. I wanted to give her the best home ever and all the love she deserved, and I succeeded. I witnessed Bella blossom from guarded and scared to loving and confident. Three years after I adopted Bella she died from lung cancer, which was devastating and took a long time to overcome. But then another cat, Bobcat sauntered into my life and once again I had another feline to love and care for.
Bobcat, Topper and Lexington have all passed, and now I have a new kitty, Samantha. Once again, my maternal instincts have resurfaced and are being put to good use. It didn’t occur to my fifteen-year-old self that I could have kids that didn’t involve human children, that I could adopt children of the feline sort.
I’ve been a proud cat mama for thirty-three years. And although I actually adore children unlike my younger self, I have no regrets for not having children of my own.
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers of humans, cats, dogs, bunnies, goats, horses or whatever your child happens to be.