“Feline” The Love: My “Fur-midable” Experiences As A Cat Mom

Recently, Mark and I celebrated Finn and Bubs’ first Gotcha Day Anniversary – the day we brought those lovable little troublemakers home. As I “paw-ndered” my experiences with them this past year, it occurred to me that this is really the first time I’ve gotten to raise kittens. Max and Minerva had already reached adulthood by the time I met them, and I never really got the chance to watch Orla grow up. Finn and Bubs’ first year held a lot of firsts for me – and not just because it was during a pandemic.

Extremely rare image of all four cats together – only food has the power to unite everyone

In honour of Finn and Bubs’ Gotcha Day, I thought I’d share a few stories about my experiences with pet parenthood. Each cat has had a completely different reaction to my presence in their lives, and I have a different relationship to each and every one. But they all love me just the same, and the feeling is mutual. I’m so “fur-tunate” to have such wonderful fur babies. Okay, I’m done with the cat puns for now. (Or am I?)

Max and Finn will snuggle with just about any cat in the house, including each other, but it’s incredibly rare to catch Minerva and Bubs snuggling together

Max accepted me into his life almost right away. In fact, I’m pretty sure he and I started to form a connection before Mark and I even started dating. Whenever I visited Mark’s place for a game night or hangout back when we were just friends, five-year-old Max and I had an unspoken understanding that I would provide chin scratches. When Mark and I finally got together and I became a regular fixture in Max’s life, he realized that not only do I provide neck scratches, but I also provide a comfy lap for snuggles, and I provide food. Although Max loves to be loved, my involvement with mealtimes was clearly the most important part for him. Years later, this old man and I have a “purr-fect” relationship built on love and food. He even prefers my lap over Mark’s now!

Lap is life – Max May be happiest when eating, but lap snuggles come in at a close second

It took a lot longer for Minerva to accept me. Since Mark adopted her when she was a kitten, she has always been daddy’s little girl. In fact, I’m certain she saw me as competition for Mark’s affection when he and I started dating. She did not like me; she merely tolerated me. Mark and I had been dating for a few months before her attitude towards me changed. She saw me every weekend, but there was one weekend in particular that brought about a change in our relationship. I got really sick, out of the blue, and ended up sleeping for over 12 hours while I was staying at Mark’s place. Occasionally, I would get restless in my sleep and wake up for a moment, or I would wake when Mark came to check on me. Almost every time I woke up, I saw that Minerva was there at the foot of the bed, watching over me. After she spent the day acting as my guardian, she and I got close. Really close. From that moment on, she has become my bathroom companion. She’ll ask for attention and snuggles in other rooms of the house, but if I’m on the toilet, she’ll be there at my feet or on my lap. Why the bathroom is her “pre-furred” snuggle spot, I do not know.

Mommy and Daddy’s desks are perfect for snuggles and supervision

Anyone familiar with Orla’s story will know that one of the reasons I did not get to watch her grow up is because she passed away so young. But that’s only half the story. Around the time we adopted her, I started to work longer hours. I was working 12+ hour work days and spending about 2 to 3 hours commuting. Orla spent a lot more time with Mark because he worked from home, and she was on her way to becoming another daddy’s little girl. I didn’t get to spend as much time with her, but she and I still managed to develop a special bond. I went into full mama-mode when I was around her, and Orla certainly didn’t mind. I knew that she loved me just as much as I loved her. When I would pass out on the couch, “cat-atonic” and exhausted from my workday, she would almost always curl up against my chest and let me wrap my arms around her for a bit of snuggle time. Nothing’s better than snuggling up with a purring kitten.

Our Little Nugget always gave superior snuggles

Bubs has been Mark’s cat since before we even brought him home with us. When we went to visit the kittens’ foster home, it was Finn we were going to see. We did not expect that this little soon-to-be floof would steal our hearts as well. As we were on our way out the door, Bubs was the only kitten there who followed to say goodbye to us. He did so by pawing Mark’s legs and meowing at him. That was it. Game over. No matter how much discussion followed, that was the moment that sealed our fate – we were going to bring home two kittens instead of one. And although Bubs and I have our snuggle moments, and he paws at my legs from time to time (mostly when he wants food), he is undeniably Mark’s cat. I may give good neck scratches, but Bubs will ditch me in a heartbeat if it means getting neck scratches from his daddy instead. Honestly, I am okay if he sees me as “in-fur-ior”. They have such a strong bond that it is an absolute joy to watch how happy Bubs gets when he’s with Mark.

This little weirdo is 100% a daddy’s boy – the only thing he loves more than Mark is chewing on cardboard

Bubs may be Mark’s cat, but Finn is all mine. I fell madly in love with Finn from the moment I saw his picture, and after meeting him in person I knew he had to come home with us. And this mama’s boy has certainly never failed to reciprocate my feelings. He may snuggle Mark from time to time, but Finn gives me the superior snuggles. And then some! He sits on the edge of the tub when I shower, naps on my desk, supervises my morning workout, watches me cook dinner, wakes me in the morning, sits on my lap while I’m on the toilet if Minerva isn’t there, and cuddles up with me on the couch – he loves being around me. He is 100% a trouble maker, and is more than capable of driving me and Mark crazy, but I can’t imagine being without my little snuggle bug. He knows that no matter what kind of “cat-astrophe” he causes, snuggling his mommy will get him out of trouble in an instant. (I know parents aren’t supposed to have a favourite… But he’s my favourite.)

It’s hard to ignore his demands for attention – especially when he flings himself in the middle of my workout mat

Having Finn and Bubs in our lives this past year has been a wonderful experience for me. As I’ve told my therapist, I feel so bad that I couldn’t be around as much when Orla was with us. But, thanks to the pandemic, I was able to be home all the time to watch my baby boys grow up. It’s been such a blessing to be able to be a part of each and every single moment of their lives. Happy Gotcha Day Finn and Bubs. I will love you and your siblings “fur-ever”.

Double Trouble “Fur” Life

Okay, now I’m done with the cat puns.

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