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Why do you choose to have cats in your life?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A recent post here on the site made me start thinking about something that happened a few years ago. As a volunteer at a shelter, I worked with a woman in her 30s who was looking for her first cat. She was drawn to a feral that I'd been working with for months, and I explained to her in detail about the special issues this cat would have. She said she understood, and adopted her.

It was a disaster. The poor kitty hid under the bed all the time, and the woman kept forcing her out with a long vacuum-cleaner attachment! She surrendered the cat the following week.

"She's just not affectionate," the woman complained. "I want a cat that loves me. I want a cat that will comfort me when I'm depressed."

This woman expected the cat to give something to her. Despite her assurances to me, it's clear that she did not expect to have to give of herself to the cat.

Perhaps the greatest truth I've discovered in my life is that giving love is at least as therapeutic as receiving it. It's a principle that I think most of us on TCS understand very well.

My point is that there are all kinds of reasons, good and bad, for adopting kitties. So I wonder... what are your reasons for choosing to have cats in your life? Have they changed over the years? And have you been changed by the experience of having cats?
post #2 of 30
I love animals... all animals.

I've had fish, birds, dogs and cats, and even lived in a house with a ferret.

As a child my Mom had severe asthma and I couldn't have cats or dogs, so I had fish and birds, but brought home every stray dog and cat that I found, LOL

I promised myself that when I grew up and moved out on my own that I would have the pet of my choosing, and while I like dogs (little dogs), they require too much "work". Living alone, living in an apartment and working long hours (8 to 16 hours), is not conducive to keeping a dog. They require walks and exercise and tons of social interaction. So I have always adopted kitties.

Cats can get exercise from running around chasing toys inside, they don't need to be taken for walks/runs so that they can pee/poop, and so long as they have food, water and clean kitty litter, they are ok to be at home if I had to work 16 hours.

Cats just fit my lifestyle better than dogs do. If I lived in a house and had a husband to help out, that would be different. But as a single working person living in an apartment, dogs don't seem like the appropriate pet. And I have to have a pet. I can't imagine my home without one.
post #3 of 30
hmm, well i like animals, some would say better then people.
years ago i got a gf a cat for her birthday, however the cat hated her. I mean the whole hiss dont touch me thing. Well i ended up keeping her. the cat not the gf
I did not know much about cats then. well She stayed with me and my family for years and years.

Well, then every one gf i had since, had cats, well, when i came back to the states after a few years of no pets, accept fish, and now that i had a broken back, dogs where out of the question, i saw this little black furr ball hiding in her littler pan at petsmart with this no on loves me look, so i came home with fish food and cat. lol as for eazy well he just moved in without so much as a invite.

only change, is, i hang out at a catsite at night :P
post #4 of 30
to be honest, I originally was a dog lover, but we could not have a dog in our apartment, but cats were okay. I had never had a cat before and had been to people's houses that don't clean the litter enough and it smells awful!!

So, I logged onto the WWW and searched and searched and searched about cats to help me decide if it would be a good fit for me. I got Princess and the rest is history! I absolutely love her!! I am still a dog lover, but I've learned how amazing cats can be too!

I have a pet as a companion, someone to talk to and someone to care for. I don't have kids, so she helps fill a bit of a void in my life. I talk to her all the time and she doesn't talk back or tell me what I've done is stupid.. and she is so entertaining!! She is always doing something cute to watch.

I just love her!
post #5 of 30
hehe jenny you should try my cat heyu.- she yells at me all the time.
i swear i got a ear full the other day when i made the mistake, of kicking her off the bed when i was just waking up. for 15 min after she followed me around going YEOW !!! at me.
post #6 of 30
We have always had pets, and I have said since being young that I wanted a houseful of animals - it has certainly been that way at times!! There have been bad things about adopting cats, we never really bothered with vets wtih the family pets, so I didn't realise just how expensive they could be - but that is partly my own fault for taking on oldies, it took a while (and a bit of debt) to realise I seem to end up with cats with health issues!! I have definitely been changed - dont go on hols much, spend the majority of my time in the house with them, get less sleep cos of them, am poor at times cos of them - but it is all worth it!! I can't see myself stopping adopting oldies or stopping fostering for a long time to come.
post #7 of 30
when i was just a little kid my mother rescued a tuxedo tom that had been run over. she adopted him and named him Chance. i look back now and feel sorry for the poor thing. it was just me, my little sis, my mother, and occasionally my father in a duplex of old people. my sister were a little lonely and so we would play with Chance. our favorite game was "Circle of life" we loved lion king and would hold chance up like the monkey did simba. i think chance was a pet that had been prowling and got hit. my mother asked at the houses next to where he was hit but no avail. and ever since then there have been very few times that we didn't have a cat, and when we didn't it always seemed a little sadder and lonelier at home. i guess we just fell in love with having a cat, some one we could pay attention to and have them love us back. (i have father issues, he was really distant and he and my mother divorced when i was 8. he realized what he was missing out on too late.) as a whole i feel depressed, lonely, and out of sorts when i don't have a kitty. i don't think i will ever go without a pet, at least for a very long time.
post #8 of 30
lots of reasons really

....I've always had pets of some sort

....I love how cats are independent

....all my cats are rescues and there was no way I could have left them

....I love to love em

....I couldn't imagine my life without a cat
post #9 of 30
We've always had cats. Since I was 6 years old, we've never been without a cat for longer than 2 months (when Grizzly disappeared and we eventually got Willow). We just HAVE to have a feline somewhere in the house. Cats don't do much (well, ours didn't, lol), but without that presence, the house was just too quiet and empty.

I love cats, though, and I have them simply for the companionship. I love getting their affection, but I also love, just as much, giving affection to them. It warms my heart to know I'm needed, when I'm trying to make myself a sandwich or their suppers, and everyone is lurking around in the kitchen (Buffy will be hopping up onto the counter to 'help' me, Molly will be sitting under the green chair or right in front of it, and Willow will be by the water bowl one minute, somewhere in the hallway the next, back by the dish, then in the living room, then back in the kitchen when the meal is ready). I love watching TV and having one of the cats jump up and start kneading my belly, and when they settle and start to doze off, I stroke their back or their chin and the purring motors up again.

I think, basically, I like how we communicate the most. We all understand how each other works and what each of us likes and doesn't like. Our relationship is a matter of give-and-take, I give Molly her breakfast, Molly gives me her devoted attention for the next couple of hours (she also helps me get up on time in the mornings when she's hungry for food, lol). I give Buffy "snoog'ums" and pettings and gentle comfort (I understand her quirky behaviour better than everybody else, who think Buffy's just a naughty hooligan), and she comes to me for affection more often than she goes to anyone else. I give Willow peace and quiet, and don't ask much from her, and she in turn gives me hints that she needs me and would I please stroke her or give her my lap to sleep in? (Willow's a standoffish cat, which is why I just leave her alone and let her make the decisions)

I'm fascinated by interspecies communication, like people connecting with horses or dogs or cats, or dogs connecting with cats or sheep, so I think this might be a big factor here. I love the fact that I understand what an "unemotional" cat is really saying, or that a "happy" dog is actually stressed out, and I love that because I understand what they're saying (and talk to them in their own language), they show me a whole new side to them that nobody else gets to see that often. My cats and my dog are basically my sisters and brother, or best friends.
post #10 of 30
I can't imagine what my life would be without my beloved furbabies. Same as i couldn't imagine life without Tristan or chocolate When i am sad, they are there to give me solace. Even if all they do is sit there and purr, and i do all the cuddling and scritching, it is very therapeutic. When i come home Charlie is there to welcome me (and have food lol). Having a cat pass away is like losing a human relative. When i'm in bed they come and cuddle up with me and we share our warmth. And when they just want some company they jump up on my desk for cuddles or stretch out to the windowsill and contemplate birdies.

These things are so simple, but it's amazing how you feel when you know you have that furry little ball of warmth there for you when you need them.
post #11 of 30
I have always been a dog lover myself.Growing up, we were never allowed to own cats..........my parents thought they were evil--don't ask.
So, when DH and I got together and were driving down the road and saw a little fluff of fur, he pulled over and I called to it.It was a little Calico girl...flea and tick infested and so starved, every bone in her body showed.We brought her home and had her for about 3 years until someone decided to poison her.
post #12 of 30
Originally Posted by crittermom View Post
I have always been a dog lover myself.Growing up, we were never allowed to own cats..........my parents thought they were evil--don't ask.
So, when DH and I got together and were driving down the road and saw a little fluff of fur, he pulled over and I called to it.It was a little Calico girl...flea and tick infested and so starved, every bone in her body showed.We brought her home and had her for about 3 years until someone decided to poison her.

Oh poor little thing, that's awful. But at least she got three years with a loving family who made her healthy again.
post #13 of 30
I just love 'um. Oh, and my mom wouldn't let me have one. I'm the youngest and the family had pets in the past, so while I got to hear about the old kitties, and see pictures of them, I never got to have one. She had just decided there wouldn't be any more furry pets (which turned out to be the best decision for her, but everyone else suffered). My dad loves cats and he tells lots of stories about the barn cats, the house cats, etc. My husband has been known to bring home strays. Now my parents love pictures and stories about the "grandkids".

Once I moved out and we got our own place, I knew we would want to get a cat or two. Then we "cat sat" for a friend and I realized how much I enjoyed coming home to the little guy, having him snuggle up with me.

I love being able to bring them little presents and keep them warm and snuggly. I love it when that little face looks up at me waiting for the nod to come up on to my lap. I love it when they purr and chirp and knead their little paws. I love knowing that I can give two (of oh so many) a warm, safe place to live and a happy life.
post #14 of 30
My love of cats is a God given gift. I believe I am here on earth to care for these beautiful creatures in anyway I can. My mother wrote in my baby book how I loved cats. I am the reason many family members own cats today including my mother, my inlaws, and one of my aunts. I have had cats my entire life and will never ever not have one. I never turn a stray away. I have volunteered at a shelter and now I show cats. My adult life I have never had less then 4 cats.
post #15 of 30
I have always loved animals and have always wanted a cat. I was never able to whe I was young as my sister dislikes cats - she threw pennies at them (funny how she married a man with a cat, but that's another story). I love the way taking care of them makes me feel. My hubby is also a cat lover and has had cats in his life forever. Togther we decided to save a few kitties and somehow ended up with 5 (4 now RIP Sugie).
post #16 of 30
As so many of the others, I have always loved animals, but there is just a special soft spot in my heart for cats. A home without a cat is not a home - it's just a house.

My hubby and I were just saying the other night how wonderful the kitties are to come home to after work. They bring such joy, love and companionship to our lives. Dogs are wonderful too, but they require more work than I am willing to do, especially the early freezing winter morning walks before I go to work.
post #17 of 30
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post

Perhaps the greatest truth I've discovered in my life is that giving love is at least as therapeutic as receiving it. It's a principle that I think most of us on TCS understand very well.

My point is that there are all kinds of reasons, good and bad, for adopting kitties. So I wonder... what are your reasons for choosing to have cats in your life? Have they changed over the years? And have you been changed by the experience of having cats?
This is SO true. I got Ginger as "fur therapy" when my cockatiel Alex passed away after being my bird friend for 17 years. When she started to look down in the mouth about being an only cat, I got Ferris the semi-feral specifically for Ginger - and now I'm adopting Penny to be a playmate for Ferris!

Yes, I've adopted them for ME, from a purely selfish standpoint, but they are my little furbabies, and taking good care of THEM so that THEY are happy is what makes ME happy.

Seeing them happy and healthy and playful and loving is SO rewarding to me! And the funny thing is, I do NOT consider myself to be a nurturing sort of person.
post #18 of 30
When DH and I were making our first home together it felt empty. Something was missing. For a while I just thought it was my depression or that I was weird. Then we decided to adopt a kitty. When 8-Bit chose us it felt right. The first night he was home with us he curled up and slept in my lap. At that moment I realized we needed to be a family. That is what was missing.
post #19 of 30
I grew up with cats my whole life. I can remember having them since I was born. My mom was and is a cat person and my "father" was a dog person. But somehow they managed to have a coexistance between the two. Especially since my mom would purposly go out looking for strays to take in..At one point we had 6 cats in our house and LOVED every day!!! I still remember the first cat my mom let me have to take care of by myself. Fergie a gorgeous tourtie that was by baby doll...When I met Dave one of the main things we talked about when I moved in was that I needed to have a cat in a house. It was something I couldnt live without. I had post partum depression after both my girls so having cats was what helped me get over it and gave me someone to talk to have help deal with everything especially being a mom so young. David was anti cat. Didnt want them didnt like them thought they were dirty annoying and smelly. Until we found Bubba living under his car. Bubba changed this house and made us into a family. Now even Dave cant imagine living without a cat in the house. We tried to go down to one cat and only have Hercules butttt that just didnt work out. We have realized that its just normal for us to have 2-3 cats and our dipstick dog...(im a little angry at him right now) We have even decided that we will probably not have anymore kids just have the animals as our kids!!! I love my boys and I just couldnt imagine living without them!!!
post #20 of 30
I grew up with pets. A home isn't a home without the pitter patter of little furry feet!

My first cat, Snickers, chose ME. I didn't choose him! He wound up in our garage on a cold November night. He was around 6 months old, had a broken leg (it had healed into the broken position and had to be re-broken). He's 16 now and my 'firstborn' baby...

Dusty, Jessie and Hammie were all adopted from shelters or the HS. I chose them simply cuz I was ready to adopt again and 1. Dusty was the quietest and the best match for Snickers; Jessie was a kitten among a zillion kittens that I chose; and Hammie was just a wild, crazy eyed little fella who I knew would take care of the mouse population at my house!

Zorro was given to me... by someone who didn't want him. K.C. was a stray like Snickers who, when she found me... I couldn't say 'no' and I kept her!

My other two cats, Skippy & Tiger, were my husband's and are now 'ours'. He wanted pets for his household (pre-me of course) and took them in from someone else.

And now, I choose to have cats in my life cuz I love them all so dearly. Sure they do really crazy things sometimes (nothing like walking down the stairs in the dark and stepping in a fresh puked-up hairball!) but they are all so different and loving and unique... I love to care for them.

I am not one of those people who have pets so I can get attention or have guaranteed love. Nope. Cats aren't like that, anyway. They like you if they like you, and don't like you if they don't like you... that simple.

Four out of eight of our cats are seniors (14, 14, 15 and 16 years)... and my hubs and I know that once they go to the Bridge, and our herd 'thins'... we won't adopt any more. The other 4 youngin's will be enough for us.

(we also have 2 kids & a doggie so we have a VERY full house)
post #21 of 30
Nobody else would want them.
The blind 7 year old with food allergies & several other chronic issues
The mentally retarted cat
The deaf one
The deaf aggressive semi feral
The one with bad back legs who *might* need surgery someday
The cat you cannot pet

Doesn't mean that they don't deserve a home. So, I might as well love them!
post #22 of 30
I didn't know it was a choice...?

Seriously, I've had cats my entire life (30+ years) and I just really can't imagine NOT having at least one.
post #23 of 30
Because my birth family sucks, and before I met my husband (and had our daughter), my kitties were my only family.
post #24 of 30
My ex-girlfriend's cat is what really drew me in. I fell in love with her almost instantly. Ever since then, the more I've learned about cats, the more I've grown to love them. Two of my three I got when they were kittens and it's an impossibility not to fall in love with new born kittens so that's another reason why.
post #25 of 30
Because THEY keep finding ME!!! (All of our crew of 9 are strays.)

I love all animals, but I just like cats best--don't know why. Perhaps it's their snooty, "Up yours!" cattitude, their independent natures, or their physical beauty. I defy anyone who says cats "Aren't affectionate". I've have dozens in my lifetime, and each and every one has been a love-bug. They do fit better into my lifestyle than a dog. They're cleaner, too, and I think their fur smells nicer (usually!).

Besides, they're the best free footwarmers out there!

post #26 of 30
My brother showed up with our first family cat when I was about 4 years old. There weren't many times in my life that I didn't live with them - a few years a as a teenager after my sister became allergic to them. I got my own apartment at age 18 and adopted a cat within a week of moving in. When he crossed, I adopted another within 2 weeks. I've not been cat free since that time.

These days I can say that I don't choose them, they have all chosen me. One by one they wandered into my life and I wasn't about to say no to them.

Animals bring a sense of humanity and humility to you that other people can't bring to your life. They make me a better person and I thank them all for it.
post #27 of 30
I have always loved cats, and they seem to love me. As a kid I would be walking down the road to school with my mum and want to stop to 'pet' every cat and never got scratched or hissed at etc by them, but my mum and sister are allergic to cats and so it was never an option (in my parent's minds at least) to have a cat.

When I met my BF he already had three of them (Scully came later), and I instantly fell in love with them (even before him ).

Scully I adopted because they were finding it really hard to home a cat with special needs, I had wanted a kitten but he kinda just happened. So I don't think I ever 'chose' to have them in my life... we could have said no to Scully but I couldn't see him go to a shelter the way he was and risk being PTS.

We want another when we move somewhere bigger, hopefully we will get my kitten this time, but again I can see myself coming home with the kitty that nobody else wanted that I had to rescue (I think I like a challenge)

But in general, I love how they know you inside and out and can sense when you are feeling down... the feel of their purr on you as they sleep beside you, the way they seem to listen when you talk to them, they are like having a furry cuddly diary!
post #28 of 30
I've always loved animals. Grew up with them, my mother couldnt' get over how all the neighbourhood cats always congregated at our house whenever I was outside playing - she said I was always surrounded by cats!

I always had pets for my kids - we've had cats, dogs, hamsters, chinchillas, rats, and then the usual collection of frogs, turtles and snakes coming to either visit or stay over the winter. I do particularly love cats - there's something very special about them and can't imagine not having at least one!
post #29 of 30
so I can work for them!!
post #30 of 30
There is nothing like a furry warm purring cat on my lap. Nothing like it.
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