The valuable lessons I’ve learned as a cat mom.

I know nothing about raising kids. I did not grow up with younger siblings, and I really only had two different types of pets: a rabbit and two Betta fishes. And just between us, my dad took care of my rabbit more than I did.

I’ve always wanted a cat, and one day I decided to take the plunge and adopt my pride and joy: Mochi. I was about three months into my job at a parenting magazine, and before this, I definitely felt the challenges of writing and pitching for this magazine because of my lack of parenting knowledge. I drew all of my experiences from my own childhood and knew that I needed more inspiration.

Once I adopted Mochi, my parenting instincts kicked in right away. I always made sure that she was fed at the right times, I cleaned everything in the apartment regularly to make sure that she did not eat anything that was not safe, and most importantly, I made sure that she felt loved.

As a cat parent, I now have more responsibilities than I had before, such as making sure she has enough food to get through the month, that she is taken care of when I go on trips, or—as gross as this sounds—monitoring her poop to make sure her diet is okay.

Raising a cat is nothing like raising a child for sure, but I do think that I can empathize more with parents. I can understand how worried parents feel when their kids are away, how parents put their kids before themselves, and how to love them unconditionally. I may get frustrated with Mochi when she throws up roaches or knocks dishes off of the counter, but I love her nonetheless. And I just have to assume that she loves me the same (and not just because I feed her).

I am definitely not interested in having kids any time soon, but I am extremely grateful and proud to be a cat mom.

Mochi and I are best friends fur-ever.

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