So, you finished school. Maybe you moved in with your parents. Maybe it's your boyfriend, or maybe you have a roommate.
Regardless, you're officially an adult now. What better way to celebrate than by adopting?
You browse ads on adoption websites, the newspaper and Craigslist (or is that just me?) until you find the perfect little one. That nose, those eyes, that tail: You pick up the tiny fur ball, deem it your baby and home it goes.
You've officially crossed the threshold from child to adult. You are a parent.
1. You call yourself "mom" or "dad."
Do you talk to your cat like this? "Hewwo lil guy, give Mumma loves. Fluffypants, go see Daddy. Go see Daddy. Good boy."
Then, your cat is your child. You have gone full-on baby-talking, mushy love on it. There is no going back now.
Maybe your biological clock is ticking and telling you to nurture the hell out of something, or maybe you're just psychotic. Either way, this is your life now.
Embrace it. Own your parenthood.
2. You flood your social media with cat-related content.
Look back at your Instagram. If there are more than two cat posts visible on your profile page at once, you are a full-blown cat parent.
Or maybe your cat has an Instagram account of its own, where you post a million photos with captions, as if the cat itself is literally pawing away at your phone, typing out its very sophisticated thoughts.
The cat has more followers than you do. So there's that.
3. You use your cat as an excuse to get out of socializing.
Co-worker: “Hey, my friend just texted me. She's at a bar downtown, and Leonardo DiCaprio just walked in. Let's go.”
You: “Oh, tonight? Sorry, I can't. I haven't been home all day, and Fuzzy Bear hasn't been fed since 6 am. Can you imagine how hungry he is? Oh, my poor baby. I have to go home right now. Maybe some other time.”
You miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime and don't even care. Meanwhile, your co-worker is stunned into silence.
4. You don't even mind the dirty work of having a cat.
Scooping the litter box? It's really just part of your routine now. You don't even notice the cat smell.
What cat smell? Just the one that now permeates through your entire home, the one you carry out into the world on your clothes, skin and hair. But you don't even mind anymore. It's the price you pay for having the most perfect little furry angel at home.
5. You brag about your cat's accomplishments.
It's just like when your parents bragged about your first step, your wonderful significant other or what college you went to. Except when you do it, you're just bragging that your cat hasn't gotten poop in its fur in weeks, or that it finally figured out that the elusive red light comes from the laser pointer.
Tiny things that may seem unimpressive to your non-cat parent friends are epic victories to you. Queen Snowball finally responds to her name when she feels like it? Yes.
At the end of the day, you're gaining valuable experience that will put you miles ahead of your friends when it comes time to have human children. That is, if you can find someone who loves you despite your crazy cat-loving tendencies to actually have a human child with.
But you know what? Even if that never happens for you, you'll always have your cat baby. It can't even grow up and move out because you literally open all the doors for it and buy it food.
Together fur-ever, baby.