Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I really need your help. I’ve been asking my parents for a cat ever since I was in second grade (I’m in seventh grade now). My dad agreed that I could get one, but the problem is my mom. I tell her I can handle the responsibility and she says that it’s not about the responsibility and that animals are not allowed in our house, unless they’re fish or turtles, because they don’t make any noise.
After a long time she said I could get a cat, but only if I memorized 15 parts from the Quran (I am a Muslim) But my father said 15 parts was too much, so if I memorize three parts I will get what I want. I said I would do it and I am working on it now– but I haven’t memorized the first one yet. I want to find another way to get a cat, especially because this way will take so long, so I really need your help!
Siouxsie: Well, Rosie, this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but the best way to get your parents to let you have a cat is to do what they’ve asked of you.
Thomas: Mama says she understands that memorizing the Quran — or any other holy book, for that matter — can be hard.
Dahlia: But if you do memorize those parts of the Quran, you’ll show your parents that you want a cat badly enough to do something very difficult in order to get one.
Siouxsie: We’d encourage you to do some volunteer work with cat shelters, too, if there are any in your area. This will give you some lessons on what’s involved in taking care of a cat and teach you how to keep a cat healthy once you have one of your own.
Thomas: If you volunteer at a shelter and promise to work a couple of hours a week, maybe after school or on weekends, and you’re able to keep that promise, that could also help you show your parents how much you care about cats and that you’re willing to make the extra effort to learn how to take care of them.
Dahlia: We would never, ever tell somebody that they should go against their parents’ wishes when it comes to having a cat. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, where you live, or what kind of family you have — if you’re under 18, you must abide by your parents’ wishes when it comes to having a cat in your home.
Siouxsie: Once you’re an adult and you’re living on your own, then it becomes your choice. But if you bring a cat home when your parents have said “no cats,” you’re going to hurt the cat more than anyone else.
Thomas: Your parents might take the cat to the shelter or the pound, or they might return the cat to the people that gave it to you. And those kinds of stories often have very sad endings
Dahlia: It’s really important that you respect your parents’ or guardians’ wishes. If they won’t let you have a cat, volunteer with a cat rescue or animal shelter to get your purry “fix” and learn how to take care of cats properly.
Siouxsie: This goes for all kids and teenagers who want to get a cat even though their parents say no: if you really want a cat, do the cat a favor and wait until your parents say “yes” or until you have your own place.
Thomas: And back to you, Rosie: Even if you’re never able to memorize those parts of the Quran, the experience of volunteering to help cats will be a great way to start your life with feline friends once you’re old enough to move out of their home.
Dahlia: But we think you’re a pretty smart girl, and we bet you can memorize those three parts of the Quran, as long as you study diligently.
Siouxsie: Readers who are not familiar with Islamic traditions around cats might find interesting and helpful information in this article from The Muslim Observer and this article on cats in Islam from OurCats.com.
It sounds like you really love cats, and I can imagine how hard it must be to have to wait so long! I was lucky when I was a girl because my mother was an animal lover and always had cats in our family when I was growing up.
My only concern about your story is, if your mother objects to animals in the house because they make noise, then what will happen if you get a cat and it meows a lot? It’s your parents’ house, and if something comes into the house that upsets them I would worry for the cat. Perhaps if you are able to learn the parts of the Quran and get a cat as promised, you should take the time to choose one who is very quiet. (Don’t get a Siamese!) For example, the cat who lives with me right now has a tiny little delicate voice like a bell, and she hardly ever says anything. Well actually she has started talking more now that she’s getting a little older (over 10 years old), which is not uncommon in older cats. But if that happens by that time you’ll be old enough to live outside your parents’ home.
I think the idea of doing some volunteer work around cats is a great idea. When I was 15 years old I volunteered at a veterinary hospital for a while. It was a great learning experience and I got to be around the animals I loved. By getting some hands-on contact, you will be able to experience all the aspects of caring for a cat, not just the fun part of playing with them, and that’s important too. (But cats are really pretty easy to take care of as long as you feed them well and take them to a vet to keep them healthy.)
I know that cats are highly regarded in the Islamic tradition so hopefully if you get a quiet cat, your mother won’t mind too much. Good luck!
p.s. Rosie, I thought of something else – if you are going to look for a cat that doesn’t talk much, may I suggest adopting an adult cat? Kittens are adorable and cute and everybody wants one, rightly so. However, you don’t always know what their personality is going to be when they are young. Cats all have individual personalities, and one thing a lot of people don’t realize is, there are lots of personality traits that don’t show up yet when the cat is a baby. I have seen this many, many times.
Also kittens run around like crazy at all hours of the day and night, climb up curtains, knock things over and generally do lots of things that might make someone’s mom get upset. If you want to find a cat that is going to be quiet and non-disruptive, giving a home to an older cat might be the perfect thing. You could always get a kitten to keep your adult cat company later, after you have your own place to live.
I adopted my cat (the one I told you about with the little bell voice) when she was 11 months old, so a young adult. She is wonderful, likes to play, is incredibly cute in everything she does, and likes to ride around on my shoulder. She is very petite and fluffy, with a poofy tail, and is lots of fun to be around. But she doesn’t break things and make noise the way a kitten does. I am sure she was a little terror when she was young! But by the time she came to live with me, she had developed some manners.
It’s just a thought – I want you to have a successful cat adoption experience so I was trying to be realistic and give you the best ideas I could from my lifetime of living with cats. Again, good luck to you!
Another good reason to get an adult cat is that it sounds like you’ll only be allowed one cat. So you should choose one who isn’t very fond of other cats; that way they won’t get lonely for the company of their own species. You usually can tell which cats are loners only after they’re a year and a half to two years old. At least in the US, cats who want to be the only one sometimes have a hard time finding homes, because cat loving people usually have several already.
I think this is great advice! It is so important for a human family to be on the same page where a kitty’s life is concerned. Paws up to you!
I second the idea of also volunteering at a kitty shelter for experience! I have a good friend who had to wait to get a kitty (Even though she was 24 and had her own apartment) and she volunteered at a shelter until she could. She ended up adopting one of the kitties she pet weekly when he came from a hoarding situation. Maybe volunteering, you’ll find the perfect kitty, and it will inspire you to do as your parents have asked. Really, remembering passages can help you, because you’ll need to remember to give your kitty daily care, too.
My advice is not to memorize Qur`an in order to get a cat. To me it looks like your mother said 15 juz of Qur`an in order to give you a task beyond your ability to do. You are stuck on your first juz of Qur`an and you are in 7th grade so you are about 13. Three juz of Qur`an is still a lot, 10% of Qur`an. If you want to study Qur`an, that’s good with me I like that. But memorizing Qur`an so you can have a cat? At least consider for yourself whether it’s something you can do. You will benefit from reading Qur`an no matter the reason so i can’t say don’t do it. But… my gut feeling is don’t spin your wheels on that issue–maybe there are other areas where you can focus your efforts more productively, like maybe your schoolwork or READING Qur`an (in Arabic better than in English) or other kinds of worship even, if you want–that’s good. Or preparing yourself for whatever kind of life you want to lead, whether work or school or marriage or whatever.
You will be out of your parents’ house in a few years–why not just wait til then? In the meantime you can learn about cats so that you know what kind of cat you want, or you can visit with friends who have cats… You can work at a cat shelter or vet hospital if you want i guess. You could call a vet and ask how much it costs to take care of a cat. You could shop for good prices. You could ask your friends’ parents how much it cost them to take care of their cats. Or you can try to show your parents that Islamically cats are okay. Try to be obedient and good and make your parents happy, but if they are asking you to memorize 10% of Qur`an in order to have a cat, that’s not a game I would play (unless I wanted to memorize Qur`an for other reasons). If you make your parents happy they might relent and let you have a cat. Keep in mind that cats (though cleaner than dogs) are still a little messy and they are a big responsibility–you have to get anti-flea and tick collars or medicine, you probably have to spay or neuter them, you have to give them immunizations–as a minimum you will have to put a few hundred dollars into a cat, and if you don’t then you might have kittens or some bizarre disease or worm situation in your house (i could tell you stories). Maybe your parents don’t want this responsibility. At some point your cat will likely throw up somewhere or poop somewhere in the house or some such–and maybe your mom is a little prejudiced against cats–not every nation has cats and dogs kept in the house like family members and that might be a foreign concept to your mom. If you have a mouse problem in your house (which you probably don’t) then cats would help and that might offset the investment in the cats. Also if you put a bunch of money into your cat then you will be scared every time he/she goes outside. My advice, save your money, plan for the cat, be obedient and nice to your parents, and wait for your opportunity. Learn Qur`an if you want to for religious reasons. Anyway that’s just my advice and i don’t know if it’s right–but i do have cats and I am a praying Muslim and I am a parent myself of kids about your age.
:) meow !)
I wanted a cat from the moment I first met one as a child. My parents did not want a cat. They said they didn’t have the money or time, but I think, closer to the truth was the fact that they are just not “pet people.” I checked out books about cats from the library. I played with my friends’ cats. When I got old enough, I began volunteering at animal shelters to get my cat fix, before I had a living situation where I could have a cat of my own. I moved around the country a lot, and it wasn’t fair for me to get a cat until I had the time and money and living situation to keep one. I moved in with roommates who had cats, so I could have cuddly friends without the expenses and responsibilities. I volunteered at shelters some more. Finally, I had my own apartment where cats were allowed, and I adopted a pair of wonderful cats. When I had to move again, I had to make sure to find an apartment that would allow them. A lot of them don’t, and a lot of them have extra fees. They can be expensive, and a lot more work that a houseplant.
But wait! What will I do with those cats when I need to travel? I need to find a friend to feed and clean up after them, or take the cats traveling with me (to my parents’ house!). They do not understand my cats and consider them a pain in the butt. When my cats come to visit, we have to move all the houseplants out of a room. They absolutely do not understand why I put myself through so much hassle for my cats. One of them ate a sewing needle and I needed financial help to pay for her surgery, which was more than I expected when I committed to doing it. My parents were angry for weeks and even cancelled my trip to come see them.
Although I wanted a cat when I was a kid, I am happy that I waited until I was on my own. People who do not really want the pets are not always the best pet owners. You may feel ready to adopt a cat and care for it forever, but your parents may be the sort who will get rid of the cat if it has behavior or health problems, or if it inconveniences them in any way. My dad would have certainly had my cat put to sleep when she ate that needle, although the surgery was simple and she was otherwise completely healthy, just because she cost him too much. Cats can do some annoying things sometimes, and if everybody in the house isn’t willing to put up with the cat’s eccentricities, you may end up having to say goodbye sooner than you wanted. By waiting, I learned to be a good pet owner on my own, and I met a number of cats before I got to adopt, meaning that I knew exactly what I wanted when it was time. Volunteer at a shelter (you’ll probably have a school project soon that requires some sort of volunteerism anyway!), learn about cats yourself, and wait until you’ve got your own place before you get a cat of your very own. It will be better for the cats, and better for your family.
i was jst wondering in islam is it in anyway forbidden to keep a cat, is it an unclean animal? i love cats realy want two. but i can only get one when im 18 (im 13 years old) :( but cant wait to get my dream cat. ive wanted a cat since i can remember, so finally i can actually get one whoop!
Nope,cats were highly praised I think,correct me if I’m wrong. And Rasulullah (Muhammad ) loved cats. I’m Muslim BTW.
You are lucky! My parents won’t get me one until I behave for YEARS. I’m one of those kids who listens at school, but not at home. And believe me, I can’t listen at all. Good luck with memorizing the Quaren!