I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I became a cat daddy at age 5. My neighbor’s cat had just given birth to a litter and I somehow talked my parents into letting me adopt one. I picked the biggest tuxedo cat of the bunch and named him Sylvester (of course the most awesome B&W cat ever). He’s was the sweetest, grumpiest cat I have ever had and he lived a great life with me well into my Adulthood. When he passed, it was like losing part of my childhood.
While my family had Sylvester, we also somehow became a house that attracted strays. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly my fault much to the consternation of my parents. I would feed and spend time with the strays. This was a constant even on family vacations where I would temporarily adopt stray cats. When a stray cat I had befriended had a litter of 4 black and white cats under our house, they just stayed and adopted our family. I don’t remember too much pushback from my parents except the usual “you will need to take care of them speech”.
But then a funny thing happened, I saw my father feeding, petting, and caring for the kittens. And then one day he and I went to the lumber yard and bought a bunch of wood. He said we were going to build a doghouse. I’m not sure we needed a doghouse, but it was perfect for kittens to live in especially with all the rainy weather here in Florida. It was big and large enough that an 8-year-old boy could comfortably climb inside and spend time with a group of kittens as they slept, ate, played, or spent time keeping dry from the rain.
I’m not sure my dad would admit to having a soft spot for cats and kittens, but it sure seemed that way. Maybe it’s just that part of human beings seeing something small and vulnerable that needs a little bit of help and comfort in a world that can seem indifferent to its survival.
Here’s to all the reluctant cat dads and moms of the world. We 👏🏽 you!