23 February 2016

Life | The Realities of Owning a Cat

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably know I have a cat, I mean I post enough pictures of him. His name is Fred, and he is a member of my family. I've grown up with cats, I don't remember a time when we never owned a cat, so when I moved out is wasn't a question of if we get one, but of when. Enter Fred.. And a whole lot of realities I wasn't quite ready for.

If you are thinking about getting a cat then definitely take a peek through this post. I've written this from the perspective of someone who has had cats their entire life and I still felt unprepared. I love my cat more than anything, and I'd do anything to protect him, but owning a cat brings with it its own realities that you should prepare yourself for.

The Cost
Yes, all pets cost money, and of course I knew that. However, I don't think I was quite prepared for how quickly those cats would mount up. When we first got Fred, we also got his brother as well. Unfortunately his brother passed away last year, however paying for two cats was more than anticipated. There's the costs you expect, like initial price of purchase, food, toys etc. But then there's the extras - vets fees, insurance, catteries and such. Now I have just the one cat, I pay one price every month to cover insurance, one price for the "Healthy Pet Club", which covers flee and worm treatment, his yearly booster jabs and gives discounts for other treatments. His food costs us around £4-£8 a week, and when we go on holiday his cattery costs up around £10 a day. It all adds up, and whilst I fully support it's worth it, don't get a cat expecting it to be a cheap way to own a pet. Compared to a dog, yes treatment and such is cheaper, but overall it's still pricey. 

The Anxiety
I've never been much of an anxious person, however since bringing my own cats into my life I've never know fear like this. I've had pets become ill, and inevitably die before, however they've been family pets - the love split around a multitude of people - and none of them have been "mine". Fred, on the other hand, is my baby. As was his brother. Letting them out for the first time was hell for me, and every time since it's still hard to let go - especially after George got run over. It never goes away. Fred's been ill recently, and it's been an incredibly hard time. He was at the vetinary hospital for 3 days, and each day the anxiety got worse and worse. Bringing him home was amazing, however I still worried - especially as I had to go to work all day every day. I love my cat, and I wouldn't give him up for the world. But personally I've never known a worry like this, and a helplessness. I would do anything to protect him, yet when he's ill I can't do anything. That worry, that anxiety, will eat at you every day. 

The Lifestyle
Your life does change when you get a cat, not as much as when you get a dog granted, but it does change. No longer can you pop away overnight without a thought, or spend the weekend away somewhere. You always have to think of the cat. Not only that, but your home... Candles? Yes you can still have them lit, just keep an eye on the cats tail. Anything dangly, say goodbye to it, and a good nights sleep without interruption? Oh no, not going to happen. Not only that, but you can no longer take a bath without a furry audience. 

The Joy
So far this post has seemed quite negative - so here is something else I didn't quite anticipate. The amount of joy they can provide, entertainment and love. Cats do get a bad rep, but most of those I've know have been loving and loyal. Fred is no different. He makes me smile all the time, laugh at least once a day, and cuddles me all the time. Snuggles in the morning on Saturday and Sunday are my favourite moments of the week. Cats give a lot of love, you just have to give it to them first. Everything else pales into insignificance when you compare it to what they bring into your life.

What have you learnt from owning a furry feline?
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