Being over 40, childless, and living with three cats classifies me as a crazy lady. Being married doesn't save me from ridicule or judgment. I could argue that having three cats is not in any way related to being childfree, but I'm not sure I completely buy into my own argument.
Delilah is so exquisite. She knows how beautiful she is, and therefore can be as bitchy as she likes. She wants to be the queen of the house but is confused by Tigger's failure to bow down to her. Delilah sleeps all day but you would never call her lazy. It's beauty sleep.
Macy is the sweetest cat ever, but so quiet and shy and keeps only to herself (and her box). She absolutely believes that her box is surrounded by a force field and she is impervious to pain or harm while in this magic box. She hates being touched and she dictates the terms upon which you will approach her or be in her presence. I wish she felt more confident and comfortable, but until then, she has her box.
I keep these guys in my heart every day.
Facts are facts, and I'm not having kids. So all of my emotion and love and maternal feelings are channeled into my cats. I am not their "mother". They are not my "children". I am always aware that they are cats.
However, I love these guys. They are every bit my family as are my parents, my brother, my husband, my friends. Delilah, Macy and Tigger live with me and I am responsible for keeping them healthy, fed and sheltered. When I think about them in pain or unhappy, it hurts. I want them to be happy and, in turn, I feel happiness through them. All of these things define "family" to me. As I watch Mr. Grumpbump watching the basketball game, and Miss Macy jump up on the couch to settle in next to him, I feel joy and love in my heart because I'm looking at my family.
I am passionate about my cats and love to talk about them. I try to contain myself with people who aren't as understanding or enthusiastic about hearing about my cats. I don't show them the almost 200 pictures of cats on my cell phone, although I am polite enough to oooh and aaah over the many photographs of their children no matter what.
And, then there are the truly special friends who share the same passion for their pets as me; the ones who get excited over a new brand of cat litter or with whom you can share stories of how amazingly serene your cat looks while sleeping. It is a pleasure to be in their company.
My cats are unique and so different between themselves as a group.
Tigger is so friendly and gregarious. He enjoys being in our presence and will follow us around the house, to lie down wherever we are. As the only male (and declawed cat) in the house, he's got to deal with the female bitchiness and takes it in stride. He never seems to get mad. Tigger is also a skilled hunter and is very clever at catching the geckos and lizards that live on our patio.