I have been wanting to do this blog topic for a while. Mostly to help me process the inconsistency or find that maybe I am right where I need to be. I do strive to be more of a minimalist. I want to have less material possessions and focus more on experiences and the people and beings in my life that matter. I have pared down my wardrobe, my kitchen paraphernalia, my coats and jackets. I try to be a more conscious consumer and still I struggle, but I keep trying. That leads to my cats. I would say my cats are where minimalism goes to die in my house.
First we have 5 cats. Most people would not consider that minimal. For us this is the smallest number of cats we have ever had. The most was 7 cats that lived with us full-time and 1 foster mama and 4 kittens. The truth is if I ever won the lottery I would spend it creating a no-kill haven for kitties no one wanted. Difficult to win the lottery when you don’t play it. That is another story. Back to my feline minimalism quandary. If you walked into my house you might first ask, “how many cats do you have?” When my husband and I moved into our current home a couple of years ago the movers commented that the cats had more furniture than we did. My husband just calmly stated, “there are more of them and don’t break any of their stuff. ”
My cats have stuff. They have their own “bedroom” really it is a place to call their own. It houses their toys (when they have not carried them all over the house) the food bowls and the litter boxes that are upstairs. It also has a floor to ceiling post and a loveseat my husband brought home from work just for them. They have cat posts and cat jungle gyms in every significant room in the house, including our bedroom. Pablo and I share the downstairs as a meditation space and his cat man cave. He has a bean bag chair he took over from us, a litter box, window perch and cat tree. I still get my meditation chairs a sofa and the second TV so I can watch Hulu while hubby watches sports. The cats are fed a diet I make because they are obligate carnivores and they need meat and who is going to take more care with their diet me or a cat food conglomerate?
All that is to say the cats take space, they take money, they take time, they have stuff. With all of that, maybe, to many I am not a true minimalist. I had to ask myself that. Here is where I landed.
I like the concept that minimalism helps you clear the things that don’t matter so you can focus on what does matter. To me and my husband those cats matter. We say what we are grateful for before dinner every night and there is rarely a night where we don’t mention one or all of the cats as something we are grateful for. When I think about life without them, or minimizing them, I feel like I would be missing out. Not FOMO, I know for real what they bring into our lives. I feel like I am comfortable with where I am with our cats. I am grateful we have the means and shared will to help cats and give our cats, all of whom are rescues who were thrown away, a pretty spectacular life. I don’t see us without cats and as long as we have cats those cats will have everything they need to have a fulfilling life indoors. What is it that makes you question whether or not you have simplified enough?