parent opinion

'4 signs I (may possibly) love my cats more than my kids.'

For many families our fur children are our first (and sometimes only) children – cats, dogs, even the feathered or scaled variety- birds, fish. Whatever your pet preference they are often a source of love, companionship and friendship. They are a part of our family.

When my husband and I were dating we adopted our first fur baby, a ginger cat named Lego, soon after he had a fur friend, a black and white cat, Tonka. They curled up on our laps at night when we were watching TV, they would come and give us smooches when we were sad or sick, they even came on holidays with us (yes there is cat friendly accommodation).

A few years later when we welcomed our first human child, they embraced her like they had known her their entire lives. There was no jealousy, no resentment, they would lay next to her when she had tummy time, smooch her bald noggin’ when we held her and as she grew they would follow her around waiting for her to figure out how to pat them. They just showered her with love and acceptance.

Who’s smarter? Cats or dogs? Well, it turns out science has the answer.

Video by MMC

Really they are the purrfect (pun intended) siblings.

Flash forward to last weekend where I observed my two homo sapien children yelling at each other at a volume you could hear from space because the eldest had taken her younger sister’s Lego man. This resulted in the other storming out of the room, slamming the door behind her and then calling her sister a “poo, poo head.”

Out of the corner of my eye in stark contrast I saw my two cats, curled up in a ball, sleeping peacefully…and silently together on the couch.

It was at that moment that I had the thought… I think I may possibly love my cats more than my children.

love cat kids more
Just look at them... they're pretty cute. Image: Supplied.

And here are four reasons why:

1. Well, the above scenario.

My cats don't yell and scream, they don’t fight over a piece of Lego despite there being countless other Lego men to choose from. Insults like “Poo poo head” are never uttered (yes, this possibly has something to do with the fact they can’t speak).

The point is my two cats behave like civilised beings unlike, well unlike my children.

2. Stress levels.

In the evening when my cat is on my lap and I am enjoying some well earned Netflix time I feel calm, relaxed, like all my worries have just evaporated. My black and white feline will warm my lap with a quiet contented purr, appreciative of my mere existence (and occasional pat).

Then there are the school mornings where I have to herd my children around the house, repetitively asking “brush your teeth”, “get dressed”, “put your reader in your bag”, “why are your pants on your head?”, “no you cannot eat an icy pole at 7.30am”, “we are going to be late!” I feel my stress levels rapidly rising, my urge for a wine rapidly increasing and I wonder, why didn’t I stop after number number two.

3. The photos.

As any proud parent I carry photos around of my children in my purse, on my phone home screen and lock screen, on my desk at work and in frames around the house. For clarity, when I say “my children”, I mean my cats.

Before you judge me, it's okay, I also have photos of the humans too.

love cat kids more
It's called balance... right? Image: Supplied.

4. Money.

The Beatles were wise and I do agree with them when they say that “money can’t buy me love” but it sure can buy you holidays and holidays make me very happy.

With the average annual cost of $10k, per child, raising kids is pretty damn expensive. On the other hand (unexpected vet costs aside) raising one cat annually I would estimate would be less than $1k.

I am not a mathematician but I can confidently say that with only two cat children I would be holidaying a considerable amount more.

love cat kids more
Kids are expensive. Cats are comparatively... much cheaper. Image: Supplied.

But you know what? Before I am mum shamed for being the worst parent alive, I would like to state, VERY CLEARLY that I would not change my family for all the peace and quiet, all the money, for a less stressed morning or for all the photos of my husband and I travelling the globe (although this last one does really tempt me).

I can declare that I do not love the furry ones more than the human ones, they bring me joy, laughter, love and memories that make life so precious. But the best thing of all is when they snuggle up with our cats on the couch, a blend of little human hands and cat paws side by side, or when they run around playing together with a string that has a feather on the end, both with as much glee as the other, a family of fur and human children.

Can you relate to Shona's confession? Group therapy is open in the comments.

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