There is a saying that one does not adopt a cat, the cat adopts you. This is not a Soviet Russia joke. For me, it's a reality.
A few years ago, I hated cats. I never envisioned that I would be a pet parent. I also believed that I was not capable of taking care of a pet of any kind. However, I learned that I was better equipped when suddenly I became a pet parent.
I suddenly had this strange bundle of fur and learned how to take care of another living being. This cat is highly unusual. But everyone thinks that of their feline friends. He likes to follow me around the house even if I am annoying him. He gets along better with dogs than other cats, and he is much larger than the average cat. Also, he tries to eat cheese even though he is allergic to it.
I have learned how to look after this cute, cuddly kitty. I have changed my schedule so that I ensure that his basic needs are met. Feeding him every morning and checking his water bowl sounds like common sense, but even on my darkest days, this required autonomy helps keep me sane. This cat has helped me relieve stress to the point where he is a service animal to me in all but name.
I want to clarify that I do not intend to make him a service animal because he is a cat. He cannot be trained. Slapping that service pet vest on him is an insult to those who have true service animals helping them.
With that out of the way, I'll continue praising the cat that I take care of. He can, like most cats, come off as mean-spirited and loves to remind me when he does not want to be petted. However, the cat can also tell when I am distressed. He is much more willing to put up with my antics when I am feeling down. He's almost like any other friend. The difference is, of course, that communication between us is difficult.
Being a pet parent is helping me in a stage of my life that I fear I'll never reach. For a while now, I have wanted to raise a family. However, two things have always stood between me and that. One is that I have not had a girlfriend in over 10 years. It will be quite difficult to have a child as a single male for obvious reasons. The second is my finances. I did not think I was ready for the cat, remember? I certainly cannot financially afford a family right now.
Thanks to the cat though, I have a companion who loves me even when I annoy him. I know that even when everything around me is going to hell, that this little guy will come and greet me when I come in the house. As long as I feed him, he won't pester me too much, and when he does, it's because the cat wants to spend time bonding with me. I can't really ask more of him. I love this little obnoxious furball.