Every parent knows that guilty feeling when you've yelled at your kid instead of gently guiding them into proper behaviour, when you've ordered pizza or done the drive through thing at McDonalds instead of serving them a balanced and nutritious meal for dinner, when you've given in on a disciplinary matter because you just don't have the energy to argue with them anymore, when you've let your kid go to bed dirty because you just can't handle another bathtime. You know, the guilt that stays with you forever and makes you wish you could turn back the clock and do it over the right way. The guilt that you feel when you've made the wrong decision or choice and you worry over it even though the kid in question has forgotten all about it. That mother's guilt that you will carry with you your entire mothering career.
What you don't know is that when you become a parent of pets, you will still feel that guilt. The kids are grown and on to lives of their own, and despite all the guilty mistakes you made, they seem to be fairly normal and well adjusted and you don't see any signs that they are in therapy spilling all your dirty secrets. Your job seems to be done and you can finally let all those little things go, or at least try not to feel so guilty about them anymore. Then you fill up your empty nest with fur kids and the guilt starts all over again.
You didn't take them to the vet this year because money is so tight, and then when you finally do take them to the way overdue vet visit you feel guilty because poor kitty has gone without their shots and teeth cleaning for so long, and you feel guilty because you are not buying them the $20.00 bag of dry cat food but rather the $5.00 bag, and you aren't buying the certified organic free range chicken canned cat food at $1.50 a can but rather the 50c chicken feet and lips canned cat food. You aren't playing with them for 30 minutes a day to keep them from getting bored and you aren't brushing their fur on a daily basis or their teeth for that matter.
And then, you've got the one cat that you had to put out in the backyard because she went crazy and started attacking and terrorizing all of the other cats and you feel guilty because you know that living outdoors isn't as healthy and she'll get worms and fleas and have to sleep outside instead of in a cozy cat bed or on a comfy couch. And you feel even more guilty when this cat sits outside the back door looking in at you with THAT FACE and watching all the other cats sleeping on the cozy cat bed and comfy couch.
So, you go outside to pick her up and pet her and comfort her and all she does is whine that you picked her up. And struggle to be put back down. And then wander off because as long as her food bowl is full she really doesn't like you all that much.