Becoming a parent for the first time can feel wonderful but overwhelming too. One man knows this all too well after unexpectedly becoming a cat parent overnight.
By, 13 Jan 2020
Paris Zarcilla, a filmmaker from East London, suddenly found himself taking on the role of pet parent when he least expected it.
But he's vowed to be the best cat dad he can possibly be.
New feline friends
Paris couldn't quite believe it when he discovered a cat he didn't know under his bed. But the cat wasn't alone. She had four newborn kittens with her cuddling up on his jumper.
Quite understandably, Paris was rather taken aback by his unusual discovery. He took to Twitter to share what had happened.
“So…I just found a cat that is not mine and it has had babies under my bed.”
So... I JUST FOUND A CAT THAT IS NOT MINE AND IT HAS HAD BABIES UNDER MY BED. pic.twitter.com/83ktBHGgT5— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 30, 2018
Journey into cat parenthood
Paris then took his Twitter followers with him on his journey into cat parenthood.
Just like any good parent, Paris realised he had to quickly change his priorities.
Cancelling all my plans. Crawling under the bed to spend the rest of the day with my four new children. #newdad— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 30, 2018
And like any proud Dad, he shared updates and photos of his babies.
Cuteness update: I'm dying. pic.twitter.com/fJWUVnlNKh— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 30, 2018
Paris tweeted that he doesn't have any idea where the cat came from or who she belongs to. But he planned to get the cat scanned at the vet to see if she has a microchip.
Mental health boost
While Paris is keen to do everything he can to help his new cat family, his new feline friends have also helped his mental health too.
This is too much. I'm approaching nirvana. I legitimately suffer from anxiety attacks and depression and my capacity to deal with it recently has been waning. The Cat Gods have smiled upon me with benevolence and turned the monsters under my bed into kittens.— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 30, 2018
This isn't that surprising given as it is well known that pets can help people living with a mental illness.
But Paris has had to prepare himself for the possibility that the cats may have an owner waiting for them.
I've been meditating on this wonderful but bizarre situation and I've arrived at a place where I'm ready to accept whatever the outcome is. I can only love and care for them now in this moment. I will give them everything they need until they need me no more. All will be good. pic.twitter.com/HlQuwdRSq2— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 31, 2018
Once the kittens were old enough to be separated from their mother, she was taken to the vet to be scanned. Paris was delighted to discover that the cat wasn't microchipped, so that would mean he could keep her and her kittens.
To ensure he can financially support his new feline family, Paris has set up a website, Accidental Cat Dad, selling cute calendars and cards all with pictures of his purrfect pets.