Day 18 of 30

I’d make a terrible parent. I know this because I just bought Riel a new cat tree.

I’ve been feeling guilty about neglecting Riel. Unless I’m sleeping or sitting, I don’t spend much time with him. He likes it when I sit on the floor or lay down, so he can bunt me in my face. When he curls up next to me while I’m sitting in my armchair, I usually get up soon after he’s decided to come join.

He just wants to spend some time together. I’m sure of it. We’ve been together long enough now that he doesn’t really need to say anything for me to understand how he’s feeling. Still, sometimes he does feel like he needs to make his feelings known, and when he does, I tell him to be quiet because I’ve had a long day, I’m hungover sick, or I’m just in a bad mood.

When we woke up from our nap this evening, Riel went over to his scratching post for a stretch. I noticed that he’s gone right through the carpet in spots and was gnawing at the wood post. I had some cash in my wallet so I decided to go get him a new cat tree.

I didn’t get him the best one that I could find. I didn’t want to spend that much money. Instead, I settled for something mid-range that I think he might enjoy. While at the store, I picked up a brush to comb him with and a ball made out of catnip for him to play with.

When I got home and started putting the cat tree together, I started to feel better. That he climbed into the little house before I could affix it to the posts, made me feel good. It didn’t take long after I had assembled the cat tree before Riel was sniffing it, scratching it, and jumping on it.

How am I teaching Riel to be content and satisfied with what he has? I’m creating a Generation Z-er who will constantly be searching for something exciting to entertain himself with. He’ll never be able to look at his old scratching post, see the spots that are still intact, and then make use of them.

Worse still, I bought it for him to make myself feel better. I’ve effectively avoided spending quality time with Riel by buying him something fancy. I’ll have to keep upping my game to keep him satisfied. I’ve set a standard that I might not be able to maintain, which will only lead to his disappointment and my dissatisfaction.

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