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Opinion: Being Childless Doesn’t Mean I Won’t Project Generational Trauma Onto My Cat

The concept of the family unit has changed drastically for millennials like me in that I cannot afford to start one of my own, which is why I’ve elected to dote on my beloved cat as if he were my progeny.

Though he may not be my biological son or even the same species, there’s nothing to stop me from projecting repressed generational trauma onto him as if he were my own flesh and blood.

I chose not to raise a child, in the same manner I was free to choose my cat out of that milk crate at the sketchy farmers market. And even though he’s completely aloof and not remotely interested in my life, he is still totally capable of learning to deal with his emotions by watching me slam nine beers and trash the garage after my hockey team loses.

Now you’re probably thinking I should rear my child with unconditional love, empathy, and those $500 cat condos. What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t, he eats my corpse after I die?

Unlike him I was awkward and weird as a kid, so I was regularly mocked by girls in my class. He’s not going to get any sympathy out of me when he’s being terrorized by my dogs! And if he wants to cry about it he can do it in the bathroom. That’s how I got through adolescence and I turned out fine-ish.

Listen, in my family we were taught not to bother adults with childish nonsense. I’m not going to coddle him because he’s terrified of aluminum foil and the sound of the furnace turning on. He can channel that fear into brutally killing mice in the basement like a man.

Part of me regrets getting him neutered, because how will he keep my legacy alive if he won’t have kittens of his own he’ll put up emotional barriers around, thus never allowing them to truly know him? Maybe he can become unlikely best friends with a turtle, I hear they’re pretty resilient.

I know I shouldn’t be so hard on him since he can’t understand anything I’m saying, but if I don’t try he’ll be unprepared for the harsh realities of adulthood. I know my parenting style is working the way he bites me every time whenever we’re in the same room. I know it’s just his little way of saying “fuck you, dad.”