"Our thoughts often evolve to women when we think of humans who treat cats as their "children." Almost everyone knows a woman who lives alone with her cat(s), and these relationships are always symbiotic in nature. One might wonder who benefits the most, human or cat. The cat thrives on the constant attention and pampering, and the "cat mom" glows with the knowledge that in this sometimes cold world there is at least one sentient creature who gives her unconditional love, who will be there for her day-in and day-out, regardless of what society as a whole throws at her."
Know one? LOL! I am one and, nope, I am not ashamed of it.
Of course, I don't really believe that my cats are "children" in little made-to-measure fur coats. But then again, in many senses, that is exactly what they are. They presumably see me as a parent figure, which isn't a light remark because it is something that's backed up by animal behaviourists. And, indeed, it is pretty difficult to feel otherwise, when with the three "kittens" especially, one has brought them up on the bottle from the age of around 2-3 weeks.
They hardly know any other "parent figures", beyond the dog and me, who between us, watched them, fed them, washed little hands, faces and bums after meals and, in the case of Balu, carried him round like a papoose all day because he screamed and cried - just like a real baby - if I tried to put him down.
Once snug, however, he'd snore away, oblivious, in his makeshift T-Shirt hammock under my clothes, while I worked, did chores, walked the dog ...
If I didn't, he'd just crawl up my legs using his little "grappling irons", onto my lap, up my chest, plant a paw either side of my neck and proceed to "kiss" me on the nose, all the while purring like the motor of a well-tuned Harley Davidson.
It would take a will of iron and an immense insensitivity - neither of which, thankfully, I possess - to refuse the little bugger.
And he's continued to do this every day, without fail, for almost five years.
Of course, you'll say that he's self-interested (show me a kid that isn't), but I doubt even if actually giving birth to this little fella could have made that bond any stronger. What does one call that relationship, if not parent / child?
(Though, if you want unconditional love, I suggest you get a dog.)