Earlier this month, as I read and heard many “Happy Mother’s Day” sentiments, I thought about how I missed that boat. I didn’t even think about wanting kids until I was in my late thirties. At that time, I had a boyfriend who didn’t want kids. Preferring a relationship to procreation, I accepted his no kids policy and never felt like I was missing out. Since the age of twenty-six, I’d been the caretaker or “mother” of cats, which must have satisfied the desire to mother children of the human kind.

Punkie at about nine months

Baby Frankie

But when I was about forty-five, I felt a stronger yearning to have children—talk about being a late bloomer. I even entertained adopting…for about five minutes. That yearning fizzled out when I came to the conclusion that I had just enough energy to take care of three cats, my home and myself.

Punkie

Topper and Lex always into mischief together.

I’ve been the mother of two or three cats for the past thirty years. Mothering cats (or dogs, goats, horses…whatever your fur baby) is much like mothering human kids. Not that I know from first-hand experience, but I do know that the same qualities in mothering human children apply to our animal children. We are here to protect, love and nurture these precious sentient beings. I’m a fierce protector of my kitties; I love them deeply, and apply discipline when needed (Boys—MY chair…for just five minutes…pawleeez!).

I’ve mothered cats from kittenhood; nurtured their growth into old age and into their moment of passing—a responsibility and duty I take seriously

Topper always loved to “spoon”

Three cat night… From the top: Topper, Lexington and Bobcat.

Lexington and Cat Lady

Over the years, many people have expressed amazement when meeting my cats at their friendly and peaceful dispositions. All six cats have (or had) very different personalities and backgrounds. It’s how they’ve been raised, I say.

Miss Bella

Topper

Bobcat

I’m a proud cat mom with no regrets about not mothering human children.  And after all, aren’t cats just furry three-year-olds anyway?

Pamela’s essays and articles have been published in Los Angeles Times, Main Review, Laguna Beach Life Magazine, Laguna Beach Independent, Laguna News Post and Stu News Laguna.  Her affinity for felines is featured in her blog catladyinthecanyon.com.  She resides in Laguna Beach, California with her cats Bobcat and Lexington.