Tall Drink of Nerd: Crazy Cat Lady

 In *Archives, Amy Robinson

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A blogumn by Amy Robinson

Last time you heard from me, I shared the reasons I’m no mommy.  Today, I figured I’d share my story of kid replacements.  Here is where I am at my nerdiest.  I am a crazy cat lady.  Crazy, to me means that you own more than 2 of any kind of animal.  For two years we had 4 cats, but we lost our Weasel in May.  Currently, we are spoiling 3 cats very rotten.

Stinky Junior peruses Fierce and Nerdy

Stinky Junior peruses Fierce and Nerdy

Reading FaN posts about animals (felines and doggies) I know that many of the readers/contributors here love their animals too.  Where does that love come from?  My parents always had dogs and cats around our house. We had a mutt-wiener dog named Puddles who was 2 yrs old when I was born. There was no shortage of cats/kittens, because it was pre-neuter/spay campaigns and the cats were allowed to run loose in my rural town.  But those animals weren’t spoiled like the ones who control my house now.  I think my folks taught me to respect animals and treat them like living creatures.  But where did I get this desire to cater to their every whim?

How do we spoil them, let me count the ways: the only vet I trust is the vet who ONLY makes house-calls, not exactly a bargain, because I don’t want them to have respiratory problems I buy them “Worlds Best Cat Litter” which is made of corn (but priced like it’s diamonds and platinum), in order to get Munchy to take her Pepcid without trauma, (yup, we give the cat Pepcid for her nervous stomach issues) we’ve invested in Pill Pockets which are around $6 for a bag…of treats…they are so worth every penny.  I could go on, but now I’m feeling crazy enough.
Friends of mine who never had animals growing up fall into different camps.  I have one friend who doesn’t like animals and acts like they carry parasites or will attack her at a moments notice.  But I have another friend who never had a pet as a child and just took in 3 cats from the humane society.  (Like many of us, when she went in with her fiancé, planning on adopting 2, she ended up with a too-cute-to-let-die addition.)  Where do we get our affinity?  Is our compassion based on just how adorable they are?

There is the downside to being a crazy cat lady (or cat guy or dog lady or iguana couple), the time to let them go.  When Puddles passed away at the age of 14, my parents were devastated.  More recently, I lost my Weasel.  Our Weasel was 6 lbs of co-dependant madness.  I half joked that I should put her in a baby Bjorn so she could be close to me at all times (they are $40 @ Target, it seemed a little excessive) For 16 years she was with us.  She was the cat who would greet visitors, wait for your lap on movie night and tap you on the shoulder to wake you in the morning. She got sick last year and had lost 2 lbs by April.  On May 4th, we made the very difficult decision to let her go.  I cried so hard my head ached and my eyes dried up.  I still miss her, not all the time, but it surfaces unexpectedly now and then.  Seen said he didn’t ever want to take in another animal because her death broke his heart.  I both understood and regretted our decision.  The following month, the Humane Society published an article in its newsletter “All Animals”.  In a poll of pet-owners who have had to put their animal to sleep, 50% felt they did it too soon, 50% felt they didn’t do it soon enough and let their animal suffer.  That part of having a pet a bitch.  I’ve explained to the other cats that they have to live 20 years, all healthy and then pass away of a heart attack in their sleep.

Yep, that part sucks, but what pets give you while you have them, the entertainment, the overwhelming love even when you’re dorky, it completely outweighs and outshines the end.

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Photo Credit: Amy Robinson
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Showing 42 comments
  • Debra

    As a fellow crazy cat lady using her pets as kid replacements (though we view ours more as training wheels) — I know where you’re coming from. Both of my cats have had minor, but expensive, health problems that now require special (read: super pricey) prescription food. And at least one illness necessitated a trip to a feline ophthalmologist.

    Luckily, I haven’t yet had to part with a pet (I don’t count the goldfish we’d overfeed as kids and then toss into the marsh). Even my childhood dog, a little 4 pound miniature Yorkie, is still alive — she just turned 18 last month. My parents are now struggling with the decision to have her put down or not. She’s struggling with arthritis, blindness, deafness and some heart problems. Trouble is, she still seems so happy and not in any pain. It’s a tough decision.

    Both my cats are young, so hopefully I still have a couple of decades before I find myself in the same situation.

    On a totally unrelated note, this is what my crazy cat lady dreams are made of: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3261+2053+19222&pcatid=19222

  • Debra

    As a fellow crazy cat lady using her pets as kid replacements (though we view ours more as training wheels) — I know where you’re coming from. Both of my cats have had minor, but expensive, health problems that now require special (read: super pricey) prescription food. And at least one illness necessitated a trip to a feline ophthalmologist.

    Luckily, I haven’t yet had to part with a pet (I don’t count the goldfish we’d overfeed as kids and then toss into the marsh). Even my childhood dog, a little 4 pound miniature Yorkie, is still alive — she just turned 18 last month. My parents are now struggling with the decision to have her put down or not. She’s struggling with arthritis, blindness, deafness and some heart problems. Trouble is, she still seems so happy and not in any pain. It’s a tough decision.

    Both my cats are young, so hopefully I still have a couple of decades before I find myself in the same situation.

    On a totally unrelated note, this is what my crazy cat lady dreams are made of: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3261+2053+19222&pcatid=19222

  • Debra

    As a fellow crazy cat lady using her pets as kid replacements (though we view ours more as training wheels) — I know where you’re coming from. Both of my cats have had minor, but expensive, health problems that now require special (read: super pricey) prescription food. And at least one illness necessitated a trip to a feline ophthalmologist.

    Luckily, I haven’t yet had to part with a pet (I don’t count the goldfish we’d overfeed as kids and then toss into the marsh). Even my childhood dog, a little 4 pound miniature Yorkie, is still alive — she just turned 18 last month. My parents are now struggling with the decision to have her put down or not. She’s struggling with arthritis, blindness, deafness and some heart problems. Trouble is, she still seems so happy and not in any pain. It’s a tough decision.

    Both my cats are young, so hopefully I still have a couple of decades before I find myself in the same situation.

    On a totally unrelated note, this is what my crazy cat lady dreams are made of: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3261+2053+19222&pcatid=19222

  • Debra

    As a fellow crazy cat lady using her pets as kid replacements (though we view ours more as training wheels) — I know where you’re coming from. Both of my cats have had minor, but expensive, health problems that now require special (read: super pricey) prescription food. And at least one illness necessitated a trip to a feline ophthalmologist.

    Luckily, I haven’t yet had to part with a pet (I don’t count the goldfish we’d overfeed as kids and then toss into the marsh). Even my childhood dog, a little 4 pound miniature Yorkie, is still alive — she just turned 18 last month. My parents are now struggling with the decision to have her put down or not. She’s struggling with arthritis, blindness, deafness and some heart problems. Trouble is, she still seems so happy and not in any pain. It’s a tough decision.

    Both my cats are young, so hopefully I still have a couple of decades before I find myself in the same situation.

    On a totally unrelated note, this is what my crazy cat lady dreams are made of: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3261+2053+19222&pcatid=19222

  • Amy QOTWF

    I wonder how opthamologists for cats get the cat to answer “which is better, one? or two?”

    I love the kitty stroller. It even has a safety brake, for your convenience!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I wonder how opthamologists for cats get the cat to answer “which is better, one? or two?”

    I love the kitty stroller. It even has a safety brake, for your convenience!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I wonder how opthamologists for cats get the cat to answer “which is better, one? or two?”

    I love the kitty stroller. It even has a safety brake, for your convenience!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I wonder how opthamologists for cats get the cat to answer “which is better, one? or two?”

    I love the kitty stroller. It even has a safety brake, for your convenience!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I wonder how opthamologists for cats get the cat to answer “which is better, one? or two?”

    I love the kitty stroller. It even has a safety brake, for your convenience!

  • Kelli

    Anyone who knows me (in fact, even those who don’t) know that my dog is pretty much my kid. My cat somewhat falls into that category, although she thinks she owns me AND the dog. While sometimes I too feel the guilt/shame/fear of bankruptcy for pet expenditures, I also know that I won’t need to send them to college, bail them out of jail or pay for a wedding. So in the meanwhile, Betty gets the wheat cat litter (I MUST try the corn! And why is this suddenly making me hungry? Ew.), the prescription food (yeah, me too Debra!) and Busy gets the bully sticks and daycare. I think kids would be much more expensive…especially because they would have an opinion abou it! Anyway, to prove there’s nothing crazy about us, here’s an article about why it’s healthy! http://www.fitsugar.com/2486260

  • Kelli

    Anyone who knows me (in fact, even those who don’t) know that my dog is pretty much my kid. My cat somewhat falls into that category, although she thinks she owns me AND the dog. While sometimes I too feel the guilt/shame/fear of bankruptcy for pet expenditures, I also know that I won’t need to send them to college, bail them out of jail or pay for a wedding. So in the meanwhile, Betty gets the wheat cat litter (I MUST try the corn! And why is this suddenly making me hungry? Ew.), the prescription food (yeah, me too Debra!) and Busy gets the bully sticks and daycare. I think kids would be much more expensive…especially because they would have an opinion abou it! Anyway, to prove there’s nothing crazy about us, here’s an article about why it’s healthy! http://www.fitsugar.com/2486260

  • Kelli

    Anyone who knows me (in fact, even those who don’t) know that my dog is pretty much my kid. My cat somewhat falls into that category, although she thinks she owns me AND the dog. While sometimes I too feel the guilt/shame/fear of bankruptcy for pet expenditures, I also know that I won’t need to send them to college, bail them out of jail or pay for a wedding. So in the meanwhile, Betty gets the wheat cat litter (I MUST try the corn! And why is this suddenly making me hungry? Ew.), the prescription food (yeah, me too Debra!) and Busy gets the bully sticks and daycare. I think kids would be much more expensive…especially because they would have an opinion abou it! Anyway, to prove there’s nothing crazy about us, here’s an article about why it’s healthy! http://www.fitsugar.com/2486260

  • Kelli

    Anyone who knows me (in fact, even those who don’t) know that my dog is pretty much my kid. My cat somewhat falls into that category, although she thinks she owns me AND the dog. While sometimes I too feel the guilt/shame/fear of bankruptcy for pet expenditures, I also know that I won’t need to send them to college, bail them out of jail or pay for a wedding. So in the meanwhile, Betty gets the wheat cat litter (I MUST try the corn! And why is this suddenly making me hungry? Ew.), the prescription food (yeah, me too Debra!) and Busy gets the bully sticks and daycare. I think kids would be much more expensive…especially because they would have an opinion abou it! Anyway, to prove there’s nothing crazy about us, here’s an article about why it’s healthy! http://www.fitsugar.com/2486260

  • Kelli

    Anyone who knows me (in fact, even those who don’t) know that my dog is pretty much my kid. My cat somewhat falls into that category, although she thinks she owns me AND the dog. While sometimes I too feel the guilt/shame/fear of bankruptcy for pet expenditures, I also know that I won’t need to send them to college, bail them out of jail or pay for a wedding. So in the meanwhile, Betty gets the wheat cat litter (I MUST try the corn! And why is this suddenly making me hungry? Ew.), the prescription food (yeah, me too Debra!) and Busy gets the bully sticks and daycare. I think kids would be much more expensive…especially because they would have an opinion abou it! Anyway, to prove there’s nothing crazy about us, here’s an article about why it’s healthy! http://www.fitsugar.com/2486260

  • Charles Cron

    For anyone who loves animals (but hates full-time pet responsibility) I advise becoming a house-sitter. I house-sit for several people and take care of their beloved animals whilst they’re away. It’s a sublime arrangement – you get pet privileges without ownsership hassles. Thankfully I’ve never had an animal die on me (though one came closer than I knew it) and you get to indulge your “pet fancy” without the constant necessity of buying food, changing litter/picking up poop, or (in the case of cats) wrestling them into the carrier for a traumatic car ride to the vet.

    So to those of you who say, “I couldn’t POSSIBLY leave poor Muffy behind in order to climb those Alps,” I say, “My card.”

  • Charles Cron

    For anyone who loves animals (but hates full-time pet responsibility) I advise becoming a house-sitter. I house-sit for several people and take care of their beloved animals whilst they’re away. It’s a sublime arrangement – you get pet privileges without ownsership hassles. Thankfully I’ve never had an animal die on me (though one came closer than I knew it) and you get to indulge your “pet fancy” without the constant necessity of buying food, changing litter/picking up poop, or (in the case of cats) wrestling them into the carrier for a traumatic car ride to the vet.

    So to those of you who say, “I couldn’t POSSIBLY leave poor Muffy behind in order to climb those Alps,” I say, “My card.”

  • Charles Cron

    For anyone who loves animals (but hates full-time pet responsibility) I advise becoming a house-sitter. I house-sit for several people and take care of their beloved animals whilst they’re away. It’s a sublime arrangement – you get pet privileges without ownsership hassles. Thankfully I’ve never had an animal die on me (though one came closer than I knew it) and you get to indulge your “pet fancy” without the constant necessity of buying food, changing litter/picking up poop, or (in the case of cats) wrestling them into the carrier for a traumatic car ride to the vet.

    So to those of you who say, “I couldn’t POSSIBLY leave poor Muffy behind in order to climb those Alps,” I say, “My card.”

  • Charles Cron

    For anyone who loves animals (but hates full-time pet responsibility) I advise becoming a house-sitter. I house-sit for several people and take care of their beloved animals whilst they’re away. It’s a sublime arrangement – you get pet privileges without ownsership hassles. Thankfully I’ve never had an animal die on me (though one came closer than I knew it) and you get to indulge your “pet fancy” without the constant necessity of buying food, changing litter/picking up poop, or (in the case of cats) wrestling them into the carrier for a traumatic car ride to the vet.

    So to those of you who say, “I couldn’t POSSIBLY leave poor Muffy behind in order to climb those Alps,” I say, “My card.”

  • Charles Cron

    For anyone who loves animals (but hates full-time pet responsibility) I advise becoming a house-sitter. I house-sit for several people and take care of their beloved animals whilst they’re away. It’s a sublime arrangement – you get pet privileges without ownsership hassles. Thankfully I’ve never had an animal die on me (though one came closer than I knew it) and you get to indulge your “pet fancy” without the constant necessity of buying food, changing litter/picking up poop, or (in the case of cats) wrestling them into the carrier for a traumatic car ride to the vet.

    So to those of you who say, “I couldn’t POSSIBLY leave poor Muffy behind in order to climb those Alps,” I say, “My card.”

  • Ernessa

    Debra, I also consider our cats to be gateway drugs to kids, and it makes me wonder if I would ever be able to deal with having three boys.

    Charles, I used to housesit for the exact same reason. I loved taking care of other people’s pets, then handing them back. Luckily CH is super-responsible.

    However, I don’t spoil our cats, like ever. I think I might have been a headmistress in a past life or something. I’ve always been loving but stern with people and animals.

  • Ernessa

    Debra, I also consider our cats to be gateway drugs to kids, and it makes me wonder if I would ever be able to deal with having three boys.

    Charles, I used to housesit for the exact same reason. I loved taking care of other people’s pets, then handing them back. Luckily CH is super-responsible.

    However, I don’t spoil our cats, like ever. I think I might have been a headmistress in a past life or something. I’ve always been loving but stern with people and animals.

  • Ernessa

    oh, and Amy, our first cat, Gibson was adopted old, and we were TERRIFIED that he would die in his sleep. we kept waking him up, every time he would go too still in a deep sleep. Super annoying for him. You don’t really want your cat to die this way. Really, you don’t want your cat to die. No matter how they go, it’s really, really upsetting. i still can’t think about Gibson too long without tearing up, and it’s been months now.

  • Ernessa

    oh, and Amy, our first cat, Gibson was adopted old, and we were TERRIFIED that he would die in his sleep. we kept waking him up, every time he would go too still in a deep sleep. Super annoying for him. You don’t really want your cat to die this way. Really, you don’t want your cat to die. No matter how they go, it’s really, really upsetting. i still can’t think about Gibson too long without tearing up, and it’s been months now.

  • Amy QOTWF

    I’m with ya Charles. I get my puppy owner urges out by house sitting for a friend of ours with an OLD and creaky shepard mix and a standard poodle. That takes a whole lotta energy!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I’m with ya Charles. I get my puppy owner urges out by house sitting for a friend of ours with an OLD and creaky shepard mix and a standard poodle. That takes a whole lotta energy!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I’m with ya Charles. I get my puppy owner urges out by house sitting for a friend of ours with an OLD and creaky shepard mix and a standard poodle. That takes a whole lotta energy!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I’m with ya Charles. I get my puppy owner urges out by house sitting for a friend of ours with an OLD and creaky shepard mix and a standard poodle. That takes a whole lotta energy!

  • Amy QOTWF

    I’m with ya Charles. I get my puppy owner urges out by house sitting for a friend of ours with an OLD and creaky shepard mix and a standard poodle. That takes a whole lotta energy!

  • Debra

    Chuck, I had no idea you house sat. Nate and I may indeed be in touch. I’ve thought about hiring someone before, but it would be much nicer to hire someone we actually know and trust.

    Oh, the things you learn in the land of Fierce and Nerdy…

  • Debra

    Chuck, I had no idea you house sat. Nate and I may indeed be in touch. I’ve thought about hiring someone before, but it would be much nicer to hire someone we actually know and trust.

    Oh, the things you learn in the land of Fierce and Nerdy…

  • Debra

    Chuck, I had no idea you house sat. Nate and I may indeed be in touch. I’ve thought about hiring someone before, but it would be much nicer to hire someone we actually know and trust.

    Oh, the things you learn in the land of Fierce and Nerdy…

  • Debra

    Chuck, I had no idea you house sat. Nate and I may indeed be in touch. I’ve thought about hiring someone before, but it would be much nicer to hire someone we actually know and trust.

    Oh, the things you learn in the land of Fierce and Nerdy…

  • Debra

    Chuck, I had no idea you house sat. Nate and I may indeed be in touch. I’ve thought about hiring someone before, but it would be much nicer to hire someone we actually know and trust.

    Oh, the things you learn in the land of Fierce and Nerdy…

  • Amy QOTWF

    OMG Ernessa! That is the saddest funny story about an old cat I’ve heard. I’m sorry you lost him, but the idea of you waking him up whenever he was too quiet is an awesome visual.

  • Amy QOTWF

    OMG Ernessa! That is the saddest funny story about an old cat I’ve heard. I’m sorry you lost him, but the idea of you waking him up whenever he was too quiet is an awesome visual.

  • Amy QOTWF

    OMG Ernessa! That is the saddest funny story about an old cat I’ve heard. I’m sorry you lost him, but the idea of you waking him up whenever he was too quiet is an awesome visual.

  • Amy QOTWF

    OMG Ernessa! That is the saddest funny story about an old cat I’ve heard. I’m sorry you lost him, but the idea of you waking him up whenever he was too quiet is an awesome visual.

  • Charles Cron

    Sure Debra, I’m always happy to house-sit (provided I’m free & not under obligation to anyone, specifically my boss, who has been doing a lot of traveling lately.) Or if I can’t, I may know someone who can. The holidays are usually quite busy, so as I usually say to my dates, “Book early to avoid disappointment.” 😉

  • Charles Cron

    Sure Debra, I’m always happy to house-sit (provided I’m free & not under obligation to anyone, specifically my boss, who has been doing a lot of traveling lately.) Or if I can’t, I may know someone who can. The holidays are usually quite busy, so as I usually say to my dates, “Book early to avoid disappointment.” 😉

  • Charles Cron

    Sure Debra, I’m always happy to house-sit (provided I’m free & not under obligation to anyone, specifically my boss, who has been doing a lot of traveling lately.) Or if I can’t, I may know someone who can. The holidays are usually quite busy, so as I usually say to my dates, “Book early to avoid disappointment.” 😉

  • Charles Cron

    Sure Debra, I’m always happy to house-sit (provided I’m free & not under obligation to anyone, specifically my boss, who has been doing a lot of traveling lately.) Or if I can’t, I may know someone who can. The holidays are usually quite busy, so as I usually say to my dates, “Book early to avoid disappointment.” 😉

  • Charles Cron

    Sure Debra, I’m always happy to house-sit (provided I’m free & not under obligation to anyone, specifically my boss, who has been doing a lot of traveling lately.) Or if I can’t, I may know someone who can. The holidays are usually quite busy, so as I usually say to my dates, “Book early to avoid disappointment.” 😉

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