The 7 Stages of Owning a Cat

Woman with Her Cat

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Many of us here at Modern Filipina (and probably the large majority of the internet), are huge fans of cats. Our little feline companions are sweet, goofy, weird little creatures and we absolutely cannot get enough of them.

Their fickleness is well documented across the World Wide Web — indeed, their mercurial nature is endearing to most folks. Maybe that’s why cats are widely considered the unofficial mascot of the Internet.

Looking at all the adorable cat videos online, it kind of makes you want to go out and get a cat of your own (if you don’t already have one).

Owning a cat, however, is not as easy as it seems. It’s actually a roller coaster ride of feelings – sooo many feelings. I have two cats myself, and I know exactly what it feels like to invite one of these furry little animals into your heart.

1. The “I Want” Stage

Little Girl Throwing a Tantrum

GIF from Giphy.com

The first stage of owning a cat is when you decide that you actually want one. You start looking at pictures of cats, and spend hours researching exactly the kind of breed that you want. Do you want a Siamese? A Persian? A calico or a coat of pure white?

You may also scour the PAWS and CARA Welfare Facebook pages and consider the “adopt, don’t shop” route, looking for that perfect pusakal to give them their forever home.

At this stage, you will think about cats obsessively, day and night, taking Buzzfeed tests about what kind of cat you are and think please, please let me have a cat soon!

2. The “Look at My Beautiful Kitten Stage”

Cat Being Snuiggled

GIF from Giphy.com

Once you do pick out your cat, whether it is a beautiful stray that you picked up from the shelter or a fancy purebred with its own documented family tree, you will want to let everyone know that you have a cat (!!!).

Believe me, at this point, you will fill your friend’s newsfeeds with hundreds of pictures of your new fur baby, and every little thing they do will make your heart melt. You’ll also probably drive the people around you crazy by declaring how much you love your cat.

3. The “My Cat Won’t Love Me” Stage

Cat Ignoring Toy

GIF from Giphy.com

During the third stage, you will begin to start feeling some of that infamous feline aloofness. You quickly learn that your cat values having a space of her own and that she doesn’t always want to cuddle with you.

She will ignore your lavish gifts or turn up her nose on those special cat treats you spent hours baking for her.  If your cat is anything like mine, he probably wouldn’t even let you carry him or pet him, especially if he is sleeping.

4. The “Eww” Stage

Cat Making a Mess

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Once your cat is settled in, the dirty work begins. You will learn to clean out litter boxes and learn that you actually cannot flush that stuff down the toilet.

You can’t go anywhere without a lint roller because everything you own will be covered in cat hair – no exceptions.

Your cat may occasionally drag in a dead cockroach to leave in your sock drawer, or sometimes spray an area with pee. You will spend hours sniffing everything in the house until you realize that that horrible pee smell is coming from inside one of your shoes.

Your cat may even spit up a fur ball right on your pillow. Despite what you see in cartoons, hairballs are not dry little clumps of fur – they are wet and soupy and foul smelling. Totally gross.

5. The “My Cat is a Terror!” Stage

Annoyed Cat

GIF from Giphy.com

If you have a cat, they WILL break something – sometimes on purpose. Cats, agile and graceful as they are, actually knock over a lot of things. Along with the numerous mugs, bowls, and plates my cats have knocked over, one of them also shattered an expensive porcelain doll. It was irreplaceable.

There’s also the shredded furniture, the endless yowling at night, and the claws on your cheek while you are sleeping because he wants you to feed him.

Then there is the most dreaded thing of all: bath time. Although admittedly, bath time is terrifying for both the cat, and the one giving it a bath.

6. The “I Accept My Cat for Who She is” Stage

Cat Kisses

GIF from Giphy.com

After the initial shock and adjustment period, you begin to accept your cat for who she is. You learn to sleep through their caterwauling at night and gain the skill of scooping up all poo clumps in the litter box in five seconds flat.

You know exactly when your cat wants to play, and know when to leave them alone when they are in a sour mood — you are even rewarded with cuddles sometimes! Though he probably still hates it if you try to carry him.

7. The “My Cat is TEH BEST CAT EVAH” Stage

Cat and Owner Happy

GIF from Giphy.com

Once you accept your cat and survive that trial by fire, you go straight back to Stage 2. You post endless pictures of your cat on Instagram and tell everyone that you have the best cat ever. You shower your cat with gifts and accessories, and are willing to run to three different pet stores just to find the kibble variety that your cat prefers.

Your cat is the best, and you know it. And you are not just some biased fur parent – it’s the truth!

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