Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
It was an extremely eventful weekend, so I didn’t have a chance to write a post for yesterday or the day before. So, today, I hope to melt your hearts with the story of my mother.
Growing up, my parents always told us we couldn’t have pets. My dad had bad experiences with a dog he used to tease and my mom wasn’t the best at taking care of animals. For example, before I was born my mom had gotten a fish (or multiple fish, I don’t actually know), all I know is that they jumped out and died, and ever since my mom has said: “no pets in the house!” Although to me, that story isn’t quite traumatic (especially as the tank they had in the 80s didn’t actually have a lid and I’m guessing my mom didn’t realize that fish will jump out if the water levels are too high), I kept begging my mom for a pet!
Pets were always something to look at, not touch and I was told that they were always a financial burden on a family. Not only that, pets take a lot of work and we’d have a never-ending odour in the house that my mom would have to work to get rid of. So, there was no dog for me and no cat for my sister. (Although, our extended family members had dogs.)
Photo of Avery from Hey Kitty! Why you Hiding in the Closet?
When I was in college I had a lot of exposure to cats. Some included my best friend’s cat, Molly, my ex-boyfriend’s cat, Chairman Meow, my old roommate’s cat, Zeppelin, and the neighbourhood cats that I would try to interact with on my way to college. I didn’t actually think I was much of a cat person until I spent a lot of time with Zeppelin specifically. He was a cat who loves to play fetch and acted fairly dog-like (maybe I’ll talk more about him sometime!)
Shortly after college, my sister found and adopted her cat, Avery. Avery, right off the bat, was quiet and demure, leaving no room for anyone to hate him. I spent countless hours trying to cuddle him, sleep with him, play with him… to the point where I paid too much attention to him causing him to… well… “cat-dislike” me.
In 2014, I continuously begged my mother to get a kitten. I was 21 and although I was moved back in with my parents, after being freshly broken up and out of college, I knew I wouldn’t be in the house for too much longer. It also just so happened that my friend was fostering kittens and when ze invited me over to their house to meet the kittens,
However, in 2014, a good friend of mine told me that ze was fostering kittens and invited me over to meet them.
Photo from KittyClysm* of my mom’s cat Walker (when he was a kitten)
It’s there that I met Walker, who at the time was an adorable tiny kitten. Walker wasn’t a very social cat, he liked spending time on his own, but what really melted my heart was the fact that he fell asleep in my arms the first day I met him. You see, to me as long as an animal is cuddly, I love them. Chinchillas, Dogs, Cats, Hamsters, Rabbits, every pet.
When I got home from my friend’s house, I immediately asked my mom if we could adopt Walker. She, as always, kept telling me no, however, I knew that if I tried hard enough this time she would have to say yes. I told her I had a fairly steady income, I was home the majority of the time I wasn’t at work, I would be moving out in the foreseeable future, and I already had made a connection with the cat. She then told me we could get him as long as we returned him if things didn’t fit. (Ha! As if that was ever going to happen!)
Adopting Walker wasn’t the easiest. It took us a few months, especially because he ended up getting a lung infection. Walker was on meds for a while and my mom kept telling me, “well, why don’t you just adopt a healthy cat!” I had already fallen in love with the little brat and couldn’t give up on him that quickly!
Taking care of Walker was fairly easy… however… my mom was right. The week we were allowed to bring Walker home, I actually scored myself a full-time job. This meant I actually didn’t get a lot of time with Walker, and I wasn’t actually even there to welcome him into our new home. I just got to pick him up, and drop him off… sad! My mom started taking care of Walker as if he was her and didn’t hesitate one to remind me that “I abandoned my son.”
As the months passed, my mom started to bond with Walker. She would call him pet names in Arabic, she would talk to him frequently and she would chase him around the house to pick him up and pet him. Every time I was around she would pretend to hate him and tell me to take care of my son. Albeit, it took some time for my mom to become like this, but it was at a much faster pace than what I thought it was.
For Pete’s Sake, my mom has celebrated all of Walker’s birthdays. Every year she has gotten him/made him a cake and has made sure to invite all of us over to her place. She’s a true cat mother!
My mom has even shown a lot more affection to Walker than we ever thought she would. Although it may not be my story to tell, she contacted my sister once and let her know that she kisses/hugs Walker sometimes! Big steps mama! I know Beau loves his kisses, so while Walker may not want hugs or kisses from me… he definitely lets my mama!
When we found Beau my mama didn’t want to let me take him in. She reminded me how much I failed with Walker, and I didn’t actually have solid plans of when to move out. I may have bullied her into letting me bring him in, but we all have to agree, I’ve done a much better job parenting him. I even made it a point when I adopted him, by making sure to feed him, have a separate litter box, basically all of the care that I should have done for Walker. It’s been over 4 years that my mom has had Walker and I can’t tell you how much she’s changed because of him.
My mom literally cannot live without Walker. She constantly talks about him, gets my dad to text us pictures, and always asks me if she can bring him over for playdates. I can’t believe how much she loves him… we even joke that she loves him more than my sister and I. (It’s probably true ;))