Thursday, September 21, 2023

On Being a New Cat Meowmy

I grew up with dogs all my life. A few years back, I never would have imagined I’d adopt and take care of a cat. And guess what, now I have two and it changed my life.

(short for Box Facing Burpee Box Jump Over) is a tortoiseshell domestic shorthair cat I saved when her mom got run over by a car and died. The universal cat distribution system did its thing and had Burpeeta approach me. I was initially planning on just fostering her, because I wasn’t prepared to adopt a cat. But my friends said that I was chosen to take care of her and, eventually, I slowly fell in love with her.

(short for Sumo Deadlift Highpull) is a calico domestic shorthair cat, which was given to me by my CrossFit coach. My vet said that Burpeeta would need a cat companion to socialize with, so when Coach Chris offered Sumi, I immediately said yes.

How did these two angels change my life for the better, you ask?

They helped me become more responsible. A year or two ago, as much as I was already a strong, independent, and thriving young woman, I spent most of my freetime partying and drinking. To be honest, if you can afford it, there’s really nothing wrong with it. However, it kind of went to the point when it intervened with my training and workout schedule. Having two cats forced me to stay at home most of the time, so that I can take care of them and attend to their needs.

They helped me manage my ADHD better. Since cats are routine creatures, I needed to develop a routine that I should follow to avoid stressing them out. Strictly abiding by the routine to help my cats feel better, also helped me manage my lack of organization skills due to my ADHD. I have a specific time for working, playing with them, cooking, doing laundry, showering… Name it, it’s on my to-do list. Before them, I would also have a to-do list, which I was not very obliged to follow and can sometimes lead to me missing out on important things or having my work and tasks so piled up that I end up stressing over it too much.

They keep me company, especially during those times when I feel lonely. And while living on my own had been a childhood dream, it’s definitely not easy. Having these two angels around me makes living on my own way better. I talk to them, I play with them, they watch movies with me, and in all fairness, they’re very cuddly and clingy with me.

They taught me how to love unconditionally. Unlike dogs, cats will never aim to please their fur parents. There are times when they want to just be left alone and they won’t always be excited to be around you. You can’t pet them for too long too, because they can  get overstimulated. So, no, they’re not the kind that you can take care of and just cuddle with 24/7. You need to show them that they can trust you and just let them approach you. They will be cuddly when they want to be and when they feel safe, and not when you want them to be.

In general, these two girls just make me happy. Laugh all you want, but there would really be times when I’d talk to them teary-eyed and tell them how much I love them and that they saved my life. I know they can’t be with me for the rest of my life, but I promise to be there for them and take care of them for the rest of their lives.

I hope more people will learn to love and adopt strays who need a home too. Sometimes I’d think about what could have happened to Burpeeta if I just left her on the streets. She could have already been sick, not eating, drenched wet during thunderstorms, and my heart just breaks with the thought of that. To be honest, if I have all the money in the world, I’d love to have the opportunity to take in and foster as many strays as I can. They didn’t do anything wrong to be ignored and left to get sick on the streets. And I am happy to have saved and have been saved by a stray who I can call my sweet little angel.

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