Minimalism with pets

I found minimalism in June, about eight months ago.  In eight months, I have gotten rid of over half my belongings and I really don’t miss any of them.  I even have a tower of more things to go just hanging out in my living room waiting for a new home.  I still feel like I have too many things.

I am infatuated with the idea of being nomadic, just moving from place to place with a laptop and a week’s worth of clothing, working from wherever I am, traveling, and living a simple life.

However:

zoeI am in a committed long-term relationship with this cat, and cats are not conducive to a nomadic lifestyle.  Zoe is my rescue kitty.  I adopted her in June 2009, and I have never loved a pet the way I love her.  She loves me unconditionally, and she keeps me sane.  Being responsible for another living being is a really important thing sometimes.  Life can get pretty overwhelming, and knowing that this little kitty relies on me has pulled me out of many dark places. Look at that face.

Zoe is one reason I will never be a 100-things minimalist.  Cats require stuff, like a litter box, litter scoop, litter, food, dishes, toys, carrier, etc.  I have a cat and I have cat stuff.  That is not likely to change soon, especially since boyfriend has three cats that would become our cats in the event we ever lived together.

But not being a 100-things minimalist is totally okay, because this is my life and I get to define it for myself.  I still want all my possessions to fit in my car, though.  I’m a work in progress.

24 thoughts on “Minimalism with pets

  1. dhw85 says:

    Zoe is gorgeous! A trip to the States and some catnapping is in order me thinks…LOL. We have two young cats, a 6 year old Bull Mastiff, 6 fish and 2 rabbits so I TOTALLY understand what you mean about pets and everything that has to go with them. I think that even though they require space, things, your time to look after them and can be quite expensive sometimes (remembering back to when we had the two kitties AND one of our rabbits all spayed/neutered around the same time, ouch..) as well as leaving the house covered in fur (thank God for wooden flooring) what they give back to our lives makes everything worthwhile. I couldn’t imagine being without them, they are as much part of our family as our parents and siblings etc. Like you have said, just look at their faces and your problems and worries can just melt away, plus we all know stroking your pets lowers blood pressure and they make me laugh all the time with their silly antics/the way they talk to us – laughter is the best medicine.. so there – that’s my excuse, benefical to our health! Enjoy and love your beautiful kittie and cherish every minimal moment with her! I’m sure both myself and my husband, and you and your boyfriend (as well as any other animal loving minimalists out there who are reading this) are still a hell of a lot more minimal than most of the UK / USA, and a lot happier🙂 xxx

    • Caitlin says:

      Thanks for your thoughts and kind words!! I truly love this little kitty to pieces🙂 even though she leaves fur all over the place (I also worship the hardwood floors!)

      I would love a Mastiff — I’m a big dog kinda girl. I’m also thinking Pit Bull, because so many people don’t understand them and I know I would be a good Pittie mommy. I’m just a crazy animal lady🙂

  2. Eimear says:

    She is such a beautiful little thing! I read a blog of a guy who lives in an RV and had his loyal companion, another beautiful cat, alongside him until she passed a couple of months ago. (www(dot)tosimplify(dot)net). Another woman I’ve heard of brings her doggy travelling with her. Can’t remember her blog name though. It’s possible alright, you just have to get creative!🙂

    • Caitlin says:

      If it was me and a dog, I’d not feel bad about traveling, but the cat is a little more grounding. If I had an RV though… the possibilities would be endless! I’ll have to check out that website. Thanks for your comments!🙂

  3. Jody says:

    I really commend your attitude to not “get rid of” the cat so you can pick up and go. Too many people think of pets as disposable items and when they don’t fit in, don’t think twice about not keeping them. Sounds like you’ve made the lifetime commitment to care for Zoe and she’s very lucky. I am happy to know there are still a few good people out there, looking after our four-legged little ones. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of an animal.

    • Caitlin says:

      I agree completely. Anyone who gets an animal without expecting a lifetime commitment shouldn’t be getting that animal, in my opinion. Pets are forever!

      My parents once took my dog to the pound when I was a little kid, and they told me they took him to a farm where he had room to run and be free… they took him because he would dig under the fence and get out. I am still appalled!

      • Brandi says:

        I am confused. Where did your parents send your dog- the pound or the farm? How traumatizing either way, but a farm is a nicer thought at least.

      • Caitlin says:

        They told me the farm so I wouldn’t be sad, but he was too much hassle so they took him to the shelter. Traumatizing for a child, but I know it was hard for them to deal with the misbehaving dog on top of having four kids running around. I get it, but it’s disappointing. In that instance, I would rather have never had the dog, you know? But as a kid, I just wanted a puppy, and so they got me a puppy. Pets are tough sometimes when you’re not in a place to fully comprehend the commitment.

      • Brandi says:

        Ahhh now I see it, I guess I was asleep earlier when I read it. That’s really rough. I understand your parents pov, but how awful to find out later the real story when you were older!

      • bemusedfox says:

        True. I am also appalled at people giving animals up like they are not part of the family. However, as much as we love them, sometimes it is not in their best interest to stay with the family. When my parents divorced, my mom and I got my dog, but I had to make the decision to put her in a better home as she would not have survived appartment living and my dad was no good for her (by the Tim’s I got her back she was quite obese). So I decided to give her back to the family whomwe got her from. It was a spacious ranch type home, her sibling was there and she would be loved. I am happy to report that when I visited, she was thin happy and healthy. So I did the right thing even though I cried for days over it.

      • Caitlin says:

        I agree that sometimes it’s in their best interest to go to a new home. Zoe has had a hard time adjusting to three new cats when we moved into our new home and I worried for a while that she was just too sad/anxious/upset to be happy here. I considered taking her to live with my mom, where she lived with me after the divorce, but thankfully she seems to have improved greatly and, while still a grouchy old lady, is in a better mood.

  4. Nicola B says:

    I’ll never own 100 things either, because of the three cats..budgies…rabbit…chickens…oh, and the fish! I’ve never not loved with a cat/cats, except whilst at uni..so I’d never want to be without them.

    I do try and keep the stuff I have for them to a minimum, though.

    PS Zoe is a very pretty girl!

  5. livingsimplyfree says:

    I will never own 100 things. I have family host family get-togethers, grand children who need things to play with and my hobbies, and I am totally okay with that as I never began my big purge with the intention of owning a certain number of things. On traveling with a pet, I think your cat would be fine if you had an RV. I knew a family who had a 14 ft RV for their family of 5 (3 children), two dogs, hamster, cat, and sugar gliders. The animals all did well as long as the Dalmatian was taken for a run every day, oh an so did the children.

  6. brosselit says:

    For what it’s worth, we have always sailed with a kitty. It takes some creativity, but we’ve enjoyed it. Yeah, it would be hard to backpack across Europe with a cat, but living in a motohome would be no problem. 🙂

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