When I met my husband over eight years ago, we each had two cats – mine were female and his were male. We fell in love and, upon combining our households, became the feline version of the Brady Bunch – except I had slightly better hair than Carol Brady and our backyard wasn’t covered in astro turf. Like the Brady’s, our kitties bunked together, fought frequently over who got to use the clubhouse, and shared a single bathroom.
When we married five years later, we decided against breeding (kids, not cats) after weighing the pros and cons of Kids vs. Kitties. The Kitties won and here’s why:
1) Fur hides bruises better than makeup. (No, I don’t beat my cats. I find whisking makes them fluffier.)
2) Though socially unacceptable in the United States, it’s not illegal to kill and eat your felines if facing starvation. Do that with your kid and your nickname in prison will be Donner Daddy.
3) Annual cost to raise a child: Approximately $13,000. Annual cost to raise a cat: Approximately $700. You do the math. For the amount it takes to raise a kid, you could adopt well over a dozen kitties and gain yourself an official title: Ailurophilia. That’s Greek for “cat lover.” Of course, there’s the unofficial title that the neighbors will call you: Crazy Cat Lady. And if you go overboard, you’ll end up in a shit-filled hovel that serves as a giant litter box for your zillions of kitties and the star of the next episode of Hoarders. So stick with just a couple of felines and buy yourself a nifty sports car instead.
4) Annual day care expenses for infants and young children can range from $4000 to $10,000 per year. Cats, on the other hand, are self-sufficient. Their day care looks something like this:
5) If one of your cats mysteriously disappears, people will say this, “Awwww, so sorry Fluffy ran away. You must be so sad.” Not this: “M’am at the time of Fluffy’s disappearance, do you have an alibi for your whereabouts?” Or this: “Neighbors reported hearing you shout, ‘Bad kitty!’ several times the night before Fluffy disappeared. Were the two of you having relationship problems?”
6) When your cat is whiny and uncontrollable in the car, you can lock it up in a cage. Apparently, this practice is frowned upon in at least 47 states when children are involved. No matter what Boost Mobile says.
7) Cats are unable to verbalize their complaints about what all the other felines in the neighborhood are allowed to eat, watch, play with, or how late they’re permitted to stay out. Though they may attempt to do so by crying, “Meeeooow, meeeeowww, mow, mow,” all we hear is “Meeeoow, meeeeowww, mow, mow.” Sorry, don’t understand a single word. Not one.
8) Kids beg for expensive sneakers, video games, designer purses and cars. Cats beg for that little piece of gristle that you spit out onto your plate.
9) Pot is illegal. Catnip is not. Likewise, it is illegal to get your kid high in order to give them an “attitude adjustment.” Not so with felines. Adjust away.
10) If your teenage cat gets knocked up, you can just give the kittens away. No paperwork. No red tape. No DNA testing to determine which of her boyfriends is the father. No arguments from your cat that she’s a grown up and that she and the baby daddy are gonna raise little Moonbeam on their own – right after they score a little catnip.
11) Euthanasia. Is. Legal. For. Cats. Note to cats: Don’t be expensive. No cat is THAT cute.
12) If you pet your kid for a half hour straight, you’re a pedophile. If you pet your cat for a half hour straight, you’re just a person covered in cat hair who clearly loves and adores their kitty.
13) With children, there’s no way to really use and enjoy all the skin and hair they shed on a daily basis. Ed Begley, Jr. would call that a waste of natural resources. A cat’s fur, on the other hand can be culled, woven into yarn, then knitted into a lovely sweater that leaves a nearly invisible carbon
footprint paw print. Moreover, it only takes about 24 cat skins to make a coat, which means that Mr. Buttons can live forever…on your back.
14) Cats rarely cry, but when they do, it is for very specific reasons. They are either hungry, thirsty, in pain, locked in a closet or desiring attention. Unlike babies, however, once said need is met, they stop crying. They. Stop. Crying. This is HUGE.
15) Cats don’t attend college or technical school, nor do they take dance classes, gymnastics, or piano lessons. Cha-Ching! Likewise, they don’t play team sports. This means no after school car pools for you, nor will you be forced to spend your weekends watching little Jimmy miss the hoop again. And again. And again.
16) If you’re an ounce overweight, your teenager will be the first to let you know. “No, you can’t borrow my scarf. You’ll totally stretch it out.” The bigger your lap and belly, the happier your cat.
17) Unlike children, cats don’t hog the television. You will never have to listen to a purple dinosaur sing songs about loving everyone, nor will you learn what an Elmo is, why it talks so much and why you have to wait in a line outside of Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving to acquire one for your child. No Hannah Montana. No iCarly. No Suite Life on Deck. Family television is for suckas! Let’s watch Showtime!
18) Cats don’t watch porn, so keep yours lying around if you like. Your friends probably already know that you’re a perv.
19) Cats won’t steal your Vicodin and Valium, but make sure you don’t leave the lunch meat out on the counter. Honey-cured ham is like crack for kitties.
20) Because cats don’t attend school, you don’t have to help them with their homework. Of course, this means that you will forever be dumber than a fifth grader since you won’t be relearning all that stuff you studied in grammar school.
21) Can’t cook? That’s okay. Friskies has done all the work for you. You can open a can, right?
22) Kids have been known to steal money from their parents. It’s called an allowance. This is a foreign concept in the cat world. Kitties don’t wear pants and, therefore, they don’t have pockets. Thus, there is nowhere for them to hide money or carry it to a mall to make a purchase. A cat’s only currency consists of bouncy balls, mousies, toys involving a stick, a string and a collection of feathers, and a small stash of catnip. It is acceptable (meaning: preferred) for a cat be naked throughout the day. It is illegal for your child to run around in the buff once he or she is in grade school, so don’t try to avoid the whole allowance thing by refusing to buy your kid pants.
23) Kids start out as babies and, during this time, expect to be fed every few hours – regardless of the time, the fact that The Walking Dead season finale is on, or that you’re just sick to death of letting them suck on your sore, shriveled tit. Cats are fed once or twice a day. You set the schedule. Your breasts should NEVER be involved.
24) Sick of hosting ALL the parties at your place? Feel like it’s time for someone else to shoulder the burden? Guess what? Up to 25% of people are ALLERGIC to cats. The next time you’re asked to host Superbowl Sunday, your response can be, “Wow! We’d love to, but we recently adopted Whiskers and Puffball – and I just heard that George and Larry are allergic to cats. Man, who knew?” Apparently, there are no known allergies to children; though kids are often irritating to adults, it’s apparently not sufficient enough to cause a rash, sneezing or watery eyes.
25) To date, no cat has ever murdered its entire family in a hate-fueled rage. I’m not saying that they don’t think about it, but the lack of opposable thumbs makes it impossible for them to wield a weapon. That said, if you die in your home and are not immediately discovered, a cat may dine on you instead of reporting your death to the proper authorities.
26) Unlike young children, cats bathe themselves. In fact, if you try to aide them in this activity – particularly using soap and water – they will become extremely agitated. In addition to being self-sufficient in this area, they are also exceptionally diligent – spending up to a third of their waking hours grooming themselves. Compare this to a child who spends approximately a third of a minute grooming himself.
27) Average cost for a funeral for a human: Approximately $7500. Average cost to bury a cat: Free. Unless you don’t own a shovel, in which case, the cost goes up to about $25.
28) Your teenager practically never wants to curl up in your lap, rub his face against your calf or nuzzle your cheek. If he does, he’s probably retarded. Sorry.
29) Purring has been known to induce sleep in insomniacs. Your teen’s favorite music vibrating through your bedroom wall has not.
30) The jury is out on whether or not having children increases your lifespan, but studies have proven that owning a cat can ensure that you spend another two or more years on this planet. Granted, they’ll probably be the most unpleasant of your life since you’ll be an old codger who’s sick, wrinkled and craps your pants – plus, your friends with cat allergies won’t visit you – but you’ll be here!
31) A cat will never beg you to buy it a puppy.
32) Cats won’t drink your vodka while you’re away and then fill the bottle up with water to hide their deception.
33) It’s often difficult to convince a child to go anywhere near a bug or lizard. Cats don’t have this fear. Not only will a cat capture any small creature that wanders into its territory, it will also toy with it, kill it and then leave it in a convenient place for you to find for disposal purposes. Granted, that convenient place might be your pillow, but at least you won’t be surprised by a cockroach running across your toes in the middle of the night.
34) Unlike kids – especially teenagers – cats don’t like clothes. Period. Or costumes. Or reindeer antlers. Or fancy, frilled collars made of colorful fabrics and bells. This will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. Unless you’re one of those cat owners. You know, the kind who insists that cats enjoy wearing silly outfits. The kind who thinks that cats want to walk on leashes. The kind who thinks your cat can read your mind. The kind who is hoarding canned food and weapons because he thinks the world is going to end on December 21rst.
35) You don’t have to carry a kitten around in your belly for nine months. Plus, if you wait until the kitten is weaned, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is teach it to use a litter box. No breast pumps. No nipple pads. No sagging. No pregnancy weight gain. No stretch marks. No morning sickness. No maternity clothes. No labor. No telling your husband, “I fucking hate your guts for doing this to me. There’s a goddamned alien inside of me that is ripping my vagina completely apart. I’m never letting you touch me ever again!”
36) If your cat overhears you and your partner having sex, it won’t scar them for life. Nor will they tell all their friends at school, your neighbors and your in-laws that Mommy likes to call Daddy her “Throbbing Horndog Stallion.”
37) You can leave your cats alone for the weekend without worrying that your lawnmower will be resting at the bottom of your pool when you return.
38) You can’t castrate your randy teenage boy – as much as you’d like to. This practice, however, is encouraged among cat owners. Here, kitty. Snip. Snip.
39) If your teenager is pissed at you, the retail therapy involved to keep her from moping, whining and complaining for the next week could be expensive. If Tabby is ticked off at you, you need merely to open a 99 cent can of tuna fish and the purring will commence.
40) There are two things every parent dreads: (1) having The Talk with their kid, and (2) teaching their kid how to drive the family car. These are moot issues for cat owners. First, there is no Talk. Sex is instinctive for cats. Breeding cats is easier than Ashton Kutcher garnering Twitter followers. Also easy: ensuring that your cats don’t breed. And no, condoms are not involved. Second, cats are too short to drive. Unlike teenagers who have stupid laws on their side that permit them to drive if they reach a certain age and pass a test, the smartest cat in the world is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. And with good reason. What? You’ve never seen Toonces the Driving Cat?
So there you go. Before you jump into the world of breeding miniature humans, consider adopting a couple of kitties. C’mon. Do you really want to give up your freedom for the next 20 – 30 years? Don’t you enjoy going on vacation to a place uninhabited by cartoon characters? Giving up the booze and the smokes for a whole nine months is a LONG time. Still, I sense you’re not quite sure. Here…let me help.
This post is dedicated to Mariah Carrington Lewis. We love you, miss you and think of you every day.