Dear Jessica; Lessons on Parenting from a Cat

Dear Jessica,

With each passing day, I am more certain than ever that I won’t really get to actually bring you forth into this life.  I know this sounds really selfish (I do not refute this fact about myself)  but I just cannot imagine  ME taking care of another human being. Impossible!

I was a Feline Parent to my (now former cat) Brendon for about 9 months. He had been found stuck in the engine of a plane (I wonder where he was headed to though) and the good lady who had played hero and rescued him was unable to keep him. She already had too many furry babies of her own; so I volunteered to  give him a forever home (which turned out to be not-so-forever after-all). He was about 2 months at the time; a cute, tiny baby with ginger fur and light tiger strips. 

Brendon Small of the house Feline 

During the first few days; he was terrified. He would hide under the bed, in the dark corners of the wardrobe and behind the bathroom door. I’d  call out and try to lure him with food but he wouldn’t barge. He would only come out of his hiding when he safely affirmed that I was in bed and the lights were off. I was half-scared-to-death myself  and didn’t really know what to do. I mean, what if he died from starvation  and dehydration? I had enough problems bugging my conscience already; being the cause of Cat’s death would be the last straw. I swear, I would have lost it!


But then , slowly, very slowly, he began warming up to me. I’d get home in the evening to find him waiting for me; nudging my feet as if to tell me to go refill his food bowl. The next couple of months were preoccupied with work and constantly thinking about how Brendon was all alone in the house  and what to feed him when I got back home in the evening. To be quite frank, it was the only thing I looked forward to . I was in a dark place pretty much that last quota of the year and I needed a distraction. Brendon gave me that. 

Look at him pretending to be shocked after tearing my duvet 😄

I would hold conversations with him; pour a tonne of complaints; and he’d look at me with those broody soulless eyes that only cats can muster. Him being there was enough therapy. I guess the crazies had caught up with me and  I did not even see it coming. 

Cute kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur

 Time flew by and work became so hectic; I’d leave the house at 6 and return way past midnight. (Very frustrating times those were). I’d find myself leaving double portions of food and water just incase I came home super late and  Brendon wouldn’t have to starve. My neighbour advised me to be leaving the window open so that he could go out and play when  I wasn’t around. Cats need exercise too, you know?

Cat selfie, maybe?

Well, that’s how my indoor darling cat turned into a sturdy garden tom cat. He’d play with my landlord’s mongrel pups outside and at some point I think he thought he was a pup himself.

The lets distract momma from working pose

Anyway, long story short. I felt guilty for not being there.  I believe pets need more than just feeding and having their litter cleaned and their bodies groomed. They need to be loved and petted. Something I wasn’t doing much with my new schedule.  He deserved so much better and my conscience wouldn’t let me deny  him that opportunity. So two weeks ago, we did a bit of hide and seek, chasing and running , finally managed to get him into a car and shipped him to his new home. I wonder if he hates me for  doing what I did. I wonder if he thinks about me as I do of him.  I wonder if he likes it at his new home. I sure hope he isn’t giving them a hard time.

I miss seeing him falling asleep like this the most 

Being with Brendon those 9 months has taught me just how hard  taking care of a baby is. You have to constantly take  care of and put their needs before yours; you have to always feed and handle their welfare. Your life becomes more about making sure that they are ok before you can even think of yourself and your needs. It can be (VERY) exhausting, I won’t lie.  Trying to imagine me having full responsibility over how another human being will turn out is quite frightening, to say the least. I just don’t think I have it in me.  

Respect to all mums out there.

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