I'm not a mom. I have no desire to be a mom anytime soon and I don't claim to know what it's like to have a responsibilities at that level, including keeping another human being alive. But I do know what it's like to be selfless for another living being, even when it requires I get my shit together and stop crying long enough to hear what the doctor is telling me.
I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cat mom. I adopted Max exactly two months after moving to Washington DC, in an effort to give him a better life and bring some joy into mine. I'm dead serious when I tell you that for months Max was my only friend in the city. I worked two jobs to keep us both fed and healthy, mostly him really. Through moves, boyfriends and stressful situations, Max has been the only consistent thing in my life, so I get a little crazy when he so much as sneezes.
You might also like: Why I Don't Introduce Everyone I Date to My Pet
Last week I had the flu, which basically knocked me on my ass for a full seven days. On day five of the flu I noticed Max was walking around, like a lot. And no, walking isn't out of the ordinary for pets, but it was starting to feel like he was circling me or something. And that's when I noticed why he was moving so much, he kept going to the litter box. One Google search later and small breakdown, I realized my rock most likely had a bladder infection, which is a super big deal with male cats. So I did all I knew how to do, I broke down.
When you get older you start to realize that things you once thought were mandatory aren't actually. Responsible things like taking yourself to the doctor and filling your prescriptions on time are totally mandatory, and most of the time you will bail on yourself. Growing up our parents were just trying to keep us alive, and we do much a much worse job about it. I didn't take myself to a doctor because 1) I'm lazy and 2) I didn't want to pay that bill. The moment Max got sick though? I UberX'ed us to the nearest vet, not even blinking at the bill I knew I was going to receive.
Pets are a major responsibility, and I 100% knew that when I adopted Max. I'm a firm believer that individuals should not own pets unless they are willing and able to care for them as well as they would a human life, which is why I may let myself be sick for a month but never my cat. One trip to the vet turned into two, which led to my tax return being soaked up by vet exams and medications.
You might also like: 10 Amazing Ways Getting a Pet Changes Your Life
Yes, it sucks and yes, I needed that money, but that's the sacrifice I made when I visited the shelter on that rainy October weekend. If you're considering adopting a pet my advice is to always have an emergency fund for any unplanned pet needs. Based on my few years of owning a pet, the magic number seems to always be $300. Three hundred dollars is always the amount I need to pay the vet bills, cover the medicine, cab us to the clinic and pay for all the wet food and toys I spoil him with throughout recovery.
Today Max is doing a bit better, we're still waiting on his follow up exam to fully clear him. Until then he's milking this whole being sick thing, currently licking the stick of my Magnum ice cream with the excuse of calories not counting when you're sick. And who am I to argue, I'm eating ice cream at 11am?
Are you a pet mom? Do you hate the term pet parent? Let me know in the comments below!