Gransnet forums


Why am I the cat's mother?

(58 Posts)
Katek Tue 15-Dec-15 19:16:55

I'm a lifelong cat owner, have had dogs in the past, rabbits, ponies and any number of small rodents when the children were young, but I am not -nor ever was - their mum! I find it so annoying when people talk about being their pet's mum or dad or even post FB posts of dogs with their 'baby brothers' (human infants). Do they refer to their pets as their son/daughter as well? I have loved all my animals and my heart is broken when one dies, but I am their owner - not a relation! Too much blurring of the lines.

shysal Fri 18-Dec-15 13:09:38

Absent, flowers

Tegan Fri 18-Dec-15 12:18:26

flowers absent. Thinking of you.

Alima Fri 18-Dec-15 12:01:03

Thinking of you absent. Leonora47 has voiced it beautifully.

Leonora47 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:55:45

Absent, I thinking of you today.
Any of us who have taken the same path, will know how you are grieving
for your dear friend.
You have given her your last loving service, by releasing
her from pain.
Mourn her, and give thanks for her long and happy life.
Virtual hugs.

Iam64 Fri 18-Dec-15 07:55:08

Tegan, I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I don't feel I 'own' my dogs any more than I own any of the people I love. Our dog club refers to us either as "trixie's handler" or "trixie's mum/dad" and I can happily live with either.
It's my experience that people who share their lives with small dogs seem to make much less effort to encourage good behaviour. If I allowed my huge dog to lunge and bark whenever she saw another dog, I expect I'd soon be admonished. How come that's allowed in the toy breeds then? It's sad that all to often these breeds are dressed up in clothes and their doting humans pick them up if they see another dog coming, thus perpetuating the behaviour. Poor creatures, they're dogs not dolls.

Tegan Thu 17-Dec-15 23:58:56

I agree. In some ways[imo] being a pet's mum or dad is preferable to being their 'owner'.I don't 'own' my dog...she's a much loved companion. I am, however, concerned about the popularity of these toy dogs that people are carrying about like accessories, because even toy dogs need to know that they are dogs. The problem can be when someone does actually have a dog as a baby substitute and then goes on to have a baby; I've known cases where the dog has had to be put down because of it's jealousy of the new baby; something that wouldn't have happened had it been treated as a dog.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Dec-15 23:51:58

I can't quite see the problem in referring to oneself as a cat or dog's Mummy or Daddy as long as you do not get completely unreal about it.

It's how you treat the pet that is the issue not what you call yourself.

I refer to myself as my budgies mummy.

absent Thu 17-Dec-15 23:22:50

Thank you everyone for such kind thoughts – and I apologise for hijacking the thread.

Iam64 Thu 17-Dec-15 22:12:06

Absent, I've just caught up with this thread and I'm sending love and positive thoughts for tomorrow. It's the last act of love and tenderness that you will give your Mchugh loved cat x

witchygran Thu 17-Dec-15 10:50:12

Absent, I am so sorry, I am thinking of you today. It is heartwrenching to lose a beloved companion but how well you have looked after her, for her to have lived to such a good age! Someone said (I think it was the Queen) that grief is the price we pay for love. A price worth the paying, I'm sure we all agree.

Indinana Thu 17-Dec-15 09:09:08

Oh absent, it's going to be such a tough day for you tomorrow. We know when we have these dear friends that the day will inevitably come, but the years of joy they bring us is worth all the pain isn't it?

I will be thinking of you. flowers

Katek Thu 17-Dec-15 08:21:38

Thinking of you today absent.

Casawan Thu 17-Dec-15 08:10:24

Oh ... Absent, I am so sorry. We all know that this is inevitable, but it is so difficult. I will think of you.

Casawan Thu 17-Dec-15 08:08:01

Personally I don't refer to myself as my elderly cat's mother - what other people do is surely their own business - but I allow my cat to do something that most people will object to - something my heart is not really in correcting at this late stage in her life. I don't like a warm bedroom, but my cat clearly objects to the night time chill as many mornings I wake up with a ball of furry warmth curled by my legs. She knows she not supposed to get under the quilt, but craftily waits until I am asleep and wriggles her way in. As soon as I move she shoots away and gets up onto her blanket on the ottoman, and pretends to be fast asleep there. I worry I will accidentally lie on her, but if I keep her out of the room by closing the door she howls and then tries to dig her way under the door, ruining the carpet. Still, she has given me so much pleasure and comfort for seventeen years that I really don't mind her grabbing that bit of extra comfort in cold weather.

TriciaF Thu 17-Dec-15 07:15:29

Very sad about your cat, Absent, she's been your friend for so long.
Our collie is 13 now and aging. I think of her as my best friend (apart from husband), but occasionally call her by daughter's name by mistake.

Jane10 Thu 17-Dec-15 06:57:02

Oh Absent I'm so sorry to hear about your sad day tomorrow. I suspect we've all 'been there'. Such pain and sadness. I think you're absolutely right. What does it matter what we call ourselves in relation to our precious pets -we love them and they love us. Its good for your poor old puss that you'll be there for her at the end and can see her on her way gently.

absent Thu 17-Dec-15 06:19:10

I don't really care if someone describes me as the cats' mother – I have been called a lot worse in my time. What I do know is that my cats – and dogs in the past – have brought me infinite joy and been part of the family. Tomorrow I shall be taking my nearly 19-year-old cat for her last visit to the vet and I shall say goodbye as she breathes her last and cry myself silly because I was there when she was born and she has been part of my life – and that of my daughter and husband – for all those years. Mum – owner – keeper – carer – feeder – whatever – she was special and part of our lives.

Leonora47 Thu 17-Dec-15 05:36:49

Pets can be a great emotional comfort and support for the people who own them. If it pleases their owners to call themselves Mummy or even Daddy who does it hurt?
We humans tend to play silly word games with those we love.
How many of us have daft, animal pet names for our partners? I, who pride myself on being down to earth, called my husband, in private of course, my, " wooly lamb,"
because, even at ninety, he had a mass of silver, curly hair.
OK, I know perfectly well that I am not a sheep, and I was definitely not his Mum. It was just a bit of fun!
Our animal companions are loved, and that's what's important.
Isn't that better than the abuse , neglect and terror that some sick humans inflict upon their ,"pets"?

whitewave Wed 16-Dec-15 20:55:49

Blimey not sure in the scheme of things it really matters. Our terrier is his own man and runs his household quite efficiently. Mum and Dad are useful for walks and meals and the odd treat. However he seems to understand that we are humans and he needs to accomodate our requirements as well. However there is no doubt that when out and about he is definitely a dog and he understands all the necessary behaviour according to dog law.
Mum and Dad are simply sounds to him which he well understands but the connotations of the words mean absolutely nothing to him whatsoever.

Ana Wed 16-Dec-15 20:46:17

Oh yuk, that's awful! He should be setting a good example...

Lillie Wed 16-Dec-15 20:44:53

Just watching the Supervet programme on tv and notice that that fantastic surgeon calls all his human customers "mum and dad" when explaining the operation he has to perform on their pets.

Marmark1 Wed 16-Dec-15 19:39:54

Thank you Katak,he's male,Reuben,
Yes he's spoilt,but not badly behaved,he's very good natured and we love him to bits.

witchygran Wed 16-Dec-15 18:29:48

GrandmaPaula1, I love the picture of your Sox, he is the image of our little Trinity (so-called because he has 3 legs, he was apparently run over as a kitten)!

granjura Wed 16-Dec-15 17:39:40

Any good dog trainer will tell you that treating a dog like a human baby is disastrous for the dog in the long run- will create anxieties, all sorts of problems and separation anxiety leading to bad behaviour and damage- and then the dog is 'given up'/abandonned/taken to RSPCA as he is too badly behaved. Tragic. So I'd say as responsible pet owners study the issues and understand them better.

They can be very much part of the family, and loved to bits- but too many dog owners do not take time to understand how a dog thinks and reacts. Cats are different of course, I agree.

Elegran Wed 16-Dec-15 17:36:32

We already infantilise our pets by providing them with food they haven't had to hunt for and a home they don't have to fight to win and to keep. We sterilise them so that they can't reproduce and we keep them in at night so that they can't socialise/compete with other animals. In short, we expect them to be what we want of them.

My opinion is that cats are cats, dogs are dogs and people are people. They are very good at adapting to the expectations of the boss/tinopener keeper, but a happy cat or dog is one that has a chance to be a cat or a dog and not just someone's baby.