…”furbabies.” Ever. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s way too cute. I love my cats. They are part of the family. But babies? No. There is no way they could serve as a replacement or substitute for what I really want.
I say this as someone who works with babies every day. Who knows all the tiny milestones that add up to the development from newborn to infant to toddler. To a walking, talking little person.
I could make a list a mile long of all the things I love about my cats. Like how Audrey squishes herself in between me and Hubby on the couch, curling up into his armpit. How she runs laps in the bathtub. Or how Cat knows the second Hubby gets something to eat and immediately starts begging for crumbs. How you can hear her purring from across the room.
Audrey is elegant. Beautiful. She is the quintessential cat. Slightly snobbish, graceful, preferring to look down on the world from her perch, whether it’s the top of the refrigerator or balanced on the top edge of an open door. According to Hubby, Audrey is the “smart” one. Really? Then why hasn’t she figured out that she will never catch the tiny red laser dot?
Cat, on the other hand…poor Cat. She is clumsy, loud, not at all sure of herself. I’ve called her my cat-in-training for the last 11 years. She wants to be where we are. She comes when she’s called. She follows me into the bathroom. Every once in a while she gets brave enough to start a fight with Audrey by batting at her as she prances by. But not two seconds into it, she changes her mind and runs off in the opposite direction.
I got Audrey when I moved to my first roommate-less apartment in grad school, so I wouldn’t be alone. I got Cat as a companion for Audrey because I was so busy with grad school, I was afraid she would get lonely. I always joked that Audrey was my cat and Cat was hers.
When I moved in with Hubby, he’d never had a pet of any kind. He was fascinated. It would sometimes hit him suddenly: “We have animals…in the house.”
Yes, we do. They are companions, entertainers, cuddlers. But they are not children. Because they will never be more than what they are now. What they are is enough for a pet. But Hubby and I want so much more.