On Being Childless: Redefining as a Cat Mom . . .

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a sleeping kitten wearing a white sweater on "On Being Childless: Redefining as a Cat Mom..." on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
Possible Triggers:  Discussion of redefining momhood as a childless fur mom, plus reminiscing about cats I had when I was a kid…

At the end of 2013, my hubby asked me to accept our life as it was—childless.  Though I agreed to accept that we would never have a biological or adopted child, I simply couldn’t agree to never being a mom.  We had adopted Maddie (our Pomeranian) just five months prior.  I had been a loving Dog Mom for years.  But realizing that my fur baby was to be the only “kid” I got to raise…  Well, though I wasn’t a “crazy cat mom,” I did become the crazy dog lady.  Or as I like to say, the over-zealous dog mom!  (You can read more about that here.)

Now, because my fur baby happens to be a puppy…  (By the way, Maddie will always be a puppy in my eyes.  Even when she is 20.  And yes, she will live to be at least 20-years-old.  We’ve already talked.)  So, because my fur baby happens to be a puppy, I talk a lot about being a Dog Mom.  Fabulous ones who are horse moms, bunny moms, cat moms, and more have spoken up, reminding me to celebrate ALL pet parents.

Childless Celebrations for the Cat Mom . . .

So, when I was researching Childless Celebrations, I looked specifically for days that various pet parents could celebrate.  And I learned that August 8 is International Cat Day.  (After doing a bit more research, I’ve also learned that National Cat Day is in October and Cat Lady Day is in April.)  Because this Saturday is International Cat Day, I decided it was the PURRfect time to focus on fur babies who are kitties as a way to celebrate the kindhearted cat mom. 🙂

Reminiscing about the kitties in my life…

As I’ve said, throughout my adult life, I’ve always been a Dog Mama.  When I was growing up, however, we had dogs and cats…


In fact, Stinky (a puppy that the neighbor gave my mom when she saw her getting ticks off the fur baby) and Chester (a kitty who walked into my parents’ house on Halloween and never left) were part of our family before I even arrived.


Smokey was my kitty.  He had been dumped near my aunt’s house in the country.  I had to convince my dad to let me keep him.  I won.


And Jake…  Our neighbor down the street got tired of this rambunctious orange tabby and stuck him outside.  So, he found us.  We brought him inside.  The neighbor lady told us it was fine.  We could have him.  (What a . . . )

Memories of Jake make me grin.  He really was an ornery kitty!  Jake never wanted attention until I was studying.  Then, he would jump up on my desk and lie on top of my textbooks.  He wouldn’t move until I gave him sufficient pets.  When my brother moved, he took Jake with him to his new house.  Jake did not like this arrangement.  And he let my brother know by peeing on him.  No, not kidding.  My little bro was asleep and Jake jumped on top of him and peed.  I still miss that handsome, difficult boy!  (I’m talking about Jake, not my brother. 😉 )

Why I’m not a cat mom . . .

Honestly, the reason that I’m not also a cat mom now is because our first puppy, Valentine, didn’t like cats.  And I don’t mean he chased them up trees.  I mean he was scared of them!  One of my aunt’s cats came around the corner and hissed at Valentine, which scared the pee right out of him.  Literally.  (My, I’m talking about bodily functions a lot today!)  Oh, I am laughing thinking about this memory!


When Dane and I discovered a kitten who had been dumped outside of an Italian restaurant, we brought the poor, little thing home.  We named him Pete.  But Valentine was not a fan.  So, we found Pete a good cat mom.  A lady my mom worked with who absolutely adored cats adopted him from us.  I knew it was best for everyone.  But I ugly cried when we took that little ball of fur to my mom so that she could take him to his new cat mama.

A few final thoughts…

And almost as if Maddie knows that I’m talking about other fur babies, she came and scratched at me, letting me know that she needs some love and attention.  I think Maddie might be even ornerier than Jake was!

Well, I know this post rambled a bit.  I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me, allowing me to remember my kitties…

And if you’re a fabulous Cat Mom, I hope you take a moment to celebrate this weekend.  🙂


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Sandra Beaty August 29, 2020 - 2:12 pm

I am an overzealous pet owner. We have had dogs and cats sometimes together sometimes separate. Right now I am a cat mama! Suede is my cat for sure! He snuggles me when I watchTV , read, or just sits d chill. Suede is on meds for his disposition shall we say. I have clicker trained Suede like a dog and take him out on a leash , he has turned into a great pet but it has been quite the journey and Suede wouldn’t tolerate a dog either .Thanks fii I r letting me know about all these special cat celebrations . As always I appreciate your thoughts and the inclusiveness of this special tribe 🐯

Brandi Lytle August 31, 2020 - 8:10 am

I am glad that Suede found a patient cat mama like you to help him live his best life! Hugs to you and your fur baby…

joanna August 24, 2020 - 4:29 am

Discovering your journey online is really timely for me right now and when I look into my furry’s eyes, I sometimes wonder if he knows since he snuggles up and grudgingly agrees to our wefies…am looking forward to reading your other posts. Thank you 🙏

Brandi Lytle August 24, 2020 - 3:45 pm

I am grateful that the right words reached you at the right time. And yes, I think our fur kids can sense that we need their special love… Sending you & your fur baby hugs!

Mali August 3, 2020 - 7:27 pm

I love cats. When I was going through infertility, my cats snuggled up with me and provided a lot of comfort. We haven’t had cats for the last ten years, because we intended to travel. Well, (apart for five months in Europe, and a few other overseas trips) that hasn’t worked out so well! Especially not now. Oh dear. I do hope to get a cat or cats again in my life. And I don’t like the “crazy cat lady” or “crazy dog lady” descriptions, unless their behaviour is actually crazy. Because having an animal, and loving it, is a very normal, human thing to do.

Brandi Lytle August 4, 2020 - 10:59 am

I don’t like crazy cat lady, crazy dog lady, or crazy aunt either when they are used maliciously or to poke fun. Personally, I am embracing crazy dog lady and crazy aunt, redefining them and making them my own. I make no apologies that I over-zealously love ALL my kiddos–both two & four-legged!

As always, THANK YOU for reading and giving your perspective, Mali. And I hope you get a cat again soon, too! 🙂


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