The ‘M’ word

Back at the vet on Monday for the three-monthly blood tests and quick panic over a weird lump on the cat's back. I can't watch them take the blood any more, it's too damn traumatic with the struggling and the rowling, so I turn away while they pin him down and stick a needle in his neck. Then, when it's all over, the vet nurse hands El Mog back to me with the words "there you are, go back to your mummy".

Ah. The 'M' word. Being completely ambivalent to children of the human kind, my cat is not a baby substitute (though I suppose it might be possible to construct a convincing argument that it's a boyfriend substitute, but that would simply earn you a punch in the face). Flatmate, fuzzinator, lap-warmer, arse-pain and terrifyer, yes. But I don't think any of these earn me the moniker 'mummy'.

I avoid using 'mummy' at all costs. In conversations with my cat (because that's what happens when you live on your own, you start talking to your cat) I use 'you' and 'me'; when I'm forced to refer to myself in the third person (say, because I've got a hangover and have stayed in bed much longer than I should've and am late for an injection) it's along the lines of "yes, I'm a terrible cat owner" (and before anyone says anything, I'm aware that 'cat owner' is an oxymoron. Did I mention I'm usually hungover when such things slip out of my mouth?).

I have a real, knee-jerk aversion to being called 'mummy'. It's probably deeply Freudian but I don't give much of a shit (Freud again, hello). Just wanted to you know this. Thanks for listening. It's appreciated.

(Where did this 'mummy' stuff, in relation to pets, come from anyway? Does everyone do the mummy/daddy thing? And if you do, don't you find it just a bit, you know, weird?)

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5 responses to “The ‘M’ word

  1. Nick May 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I find it weird being “Dada” to a cat but both Kate and my ex refer to to me as such and I have gradually drawn a truce to it.
    To be honest I even struggle with the cat having a name. I still say “Oi cat” or call her by saying “cat, cat!”. There’s no love lost there I just see no reason to call something somthing by name when it responds far more to tone than eanything else. Hell I call it “fat bastard” and it and still comes and purrs at me.

  2. Amy May 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Kids are basically just complicated pets. 🙂

  3. Kate May 8, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Don’t believe a word of it … he LOVES being dada to a cat.

  4. Persephone May 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    As an honest-to-god Mummy, I really have issues with people who refer to their pets as their “furry children”. Just to delineate the distinction: 1. I don’t leave food and water in bowls on the kitchen floor for my children twice day; 2.I don’t leave my children shut up in the house on their own for hours (as much as they’d like me to); 3. I don’t plan on putting my children down should they get chronically or fatally ill; 4. My children will eventually vote. Children are not pets; pets are not children. (If my cat wants to think I’m her mum, fine, but I won’t be licking her clean any time soon…)

  5. Amy June 3, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Apparently 83% of pet owners use the ‘m’ or ‘d’ word, a stat I stumbled across today. Madness.

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