So this post is a little different to what I usually share, however I am trying to make the blog a little more personal and bring in aspects of my life that are different to fashion or recipe posts. Just before Christmas last year, my boyfriend and I got a kitten together, however I live alone so he is living with me. There were quite a few different reasons for getting a pet, which obviously I want to go through, but I want to make this post very much an informational post about the commitment of a pet and how it can change the dynamic of things. Nelson is an adorable little boy, who is half Bombay, hence why he is so silky and jet black. Conforming to his breed, his eyes are also verging on orange, and giant making him a fluff ball of cuteness. He really is my little baby, and I can’t believe how in love I am with a bloody cat. If you are not at all interested in cats, or even a blog post about an animal, then this probably isn’t the read for you!
First things first, how things changed when Nelson arrived. I was in the lucky position when we first got him, that I wasn’t working because of my surgery and had a good six weeks before I was back properly. This meant that I had so much time to spend getting to know him, we built a really lovely little bond and I was able to get him into a proper routine. Writing all this down, it actually sounds like I am talking about a baby… woops! He was so small and needed so much attention in those first few weeks, so it was really nice to be there for him. This would be one of my first recommendations.
I’m not saying that you need to be off work for six weeks, but I definitely wouldn’t pick a kitten up and then be at work for 5 days straight all day. Just take a couple of days to get to know them and get them in a little routine.
Now that I am back at work, this is when I have noticed how much things have changed since having him. Every morning, I actually get a bit of time with him, and it also means that I am up earlier having a coffee and proper breakfast before work. So this is good. The more negative side of things is obviously because I am out of the house for work, and because he is an indoor cat, he can’t be left alone for hours on end. Nelson is extremely sociable and loves people, so I always try to make sure that he is never alone for too much time. Before having Nelson, I would go to work, then maybe the gym or out with family or friends, and I have noticed that I am subconsciously not doing this much now. After work, I have been out for too long to leave him any longer, so it is a bit limiting in the fact that I can’t necessarily do everything I want. I can’t just suddenly go and stay with my grandma or at my boyfriend’s house for the night, or even for a spontaneous evening out. Everything now is so much more planned, and he is just another thing to think about. For a lot of people, I can see why this would put them off having a pet, but luckily for me I enjoy having him more than I find the commitment annoying. This is definitely something that some people forget before buying a pet.
Something I did underestimate before having Nelson was going to be how much he would cost to look after. It isn’t too much that I’m stressed about not being able to afford it, but I had no idea that cats cost that much. His dry food is nearly £20 a bag! When it comes to pets I think people get so excited about just having a new friend and a little fluffy baby that the financial implications do often get shoved under the carpet. For Nelson, every month I have to pay for his vet fees and insurance, as well as the dry and wet food and of course litter. I reckon in total, I spend probably £60 to £70 just on that cat each month! Before buying a pet, I think it is really important to be aware of exactly what you will be paying per month, just to make sure it is going to be realistic.
Indoor Cat Vibes
So I live in a flat, which obviously means that Nelson is an indoor cat. So many people have criticised me for this, as I think the tradition of having a cat is very much that they spend all day outside and sometimes come in at night for warmth. However, a lot of the cats that I am aware of who belong to friends, or even ones that I see online, are actually now indoors. A big thing for me, and even if I lived somewhere with a garden, is that I wouldn’t want him to go out anyway as I have had so many cats be killed from cars. I would be absolutely distraught if something happened to him and I just wouldn’t want to take the risk. Obviously, as the vet reminded me, with him being black it would make the risk even higher. After spending hours of time researching online, asking everyone I know with cats and also talking to the vet, I realised that as long as Nelson was happy there was nothing at all wrong with him being inside. It is very obvious when cats are miserable inside, and Nelson isn’t showing any signs at all. Here is what the bulk of my research suggested for indoor cats…
Limited time alone – an indoor cat can’t be left alone for hours 24/7. They need social interaction.
They need a litter tray in a private and quiet place, that is cleaned regularly.
They need access to certain rooms.
They need as much attention as possible to stay stimulated.
Height – indoor cats need some sort of tower. My boyfriend proceeded to buy a 6ft tower, and Nelson loves it. Cats love being high up and he does use it every single day.
With being brought up with cats and dogs, since living without them, I have needed one since. I absolutely love having them around and am such a mother who needs something or someone to look after. Before having Nelson, it had been a few years since I had a cat, and my bunny Princess really doesn’t count. She is gorgeous, but she is the most unsociable animal ever. I was ready to have another pet in my life, for company and something to take care of. The seven months I have had with Nelson has shown me how much of an animal person I am and how much happier I am having him in my life. A huge thing I notice is that having cats really reduces my stress levels – I am so much more chilled out at home and he is always a great opportunity to step back from life for a moment and just enjoy playing with him and getting away from technology etc… So I wanted to share a few theories about cats and the health impacts they have on us!
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Reduce the Risk of Stroke
Lower Bloody Pressure
Decreases Risk of Heart Disease
Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
The aim of this post was obviously to introduce Nelson to everyone, as he is a big part of my life, however I also wanted to spread the word about committing to a pet and how it can never be just a quick decision. It took months for me to decide to bring Nelson into my life and luckily it isn’t something that I regret. You really do need to consider every impact of introducing a pet into your life, and if it really is the right decision for you personally.
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Nightie – Marks and Spencer
Images by Hana Dallimore Photography
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