A pet lover whose cats enjoy their own bedroom complete with a full-size double bed, crown-shaped cat beds and numerous toys has said she spends up to £100 a month on treats for her furry friends and admits her “cats own her”.
Hannah Whitmore, 24, a service adviser for a car dealership, loves cats, so when she moved in with her boyfriend, 25-year-old bricklayer Tommy Taylor, in Redditch, Worcestershire, the couple quickly adopted two felines – Simba, 10, and Nimbus, one.
The cats are now the couple’s top priorities, even over themselves, and live as if they are their children – with Tommy referring to himself as “dad” and regularly speaking to the cats before he talks to Hannah when he gets home.
The felines enjoy their own glamorous bedroom that cost over £300 to deck out, fitted with a double bed, crown cat beds, a scratching post and numerous toys – and Hannah even changes the cats’ bedsheets every week.
Spending up to £100 a month on treats, Amazon parcels and multiple toys, the couple ensure the furry duo never go without and it is clear the cats rule the roost – but Hannah would not have it any other way.
“I would say the cats own us rather than the other way around!” Hannah laughed.
“They are here for a short time, and they should be our priority. They very much come first in our house, but I think that’s the way it should be.
“I definitely spoil them in a materialistic way. But Tommy is very affectionate with them. When he gets home, he’ll talk to the cat before he talks to me!
“He even refers to himself as dad.”
A cat lover from a young age, Hannah always knew she wanted to adopt a pet – but her boyfriend of 10 years, Tommy, was not as easy to convince.
“Tommy originally hated cats,” explained Hannah.
“But over lockdown we had to move in with my grandparents for a short while and they had a cat, Ginge. He just completely won him over and he agreed to get one.”
So, when the couple moved into a three-storey townhouse in Redditch on May 23 2020 they didn’t hesitate to adopt Simba just five days later from Cats Protection, Birmingham.
“We actually adopted Simba on Tommy’s birthday,” she said.
“He had an awful skin condition, caused by over-licking.”
“We didn’t meet Simba until the day he moved in because of lockdown, but he was perfect.”
Over a year later, eight-week-old Nimbus joined the trio on October 23 2021.
“I’d always wanted a British shorthair,” said Hannah.
“Nimbus had been handed in to Cats Protection after being found in someone’s garden and I said I would have him. He was eight weeks old.”
Despite polar opposite personalities, the cats are a perfect pair.
“We think of them like brothers from another mother,” said Hannah.
“Simba is a bit of a grumpy old man and Nimbus is nuts. British shorthairs are meant to be very calm, but he is absolutely not!
“They are inseparable; they sleep together, they wash each other, and they just love each other.”
Settling into family life, the furry duo became Tommy and Hannah’s top priority and the couple started to think of them as their fur babies.
“They are literally our children,” said Hannah.
“We call them King Simba and Prince Nimbus. They literally have their own Amazon parcels delivered.
“They get new scratch pads every week and toys every month. I can’t tell you how many toys are in the house.”
“I make them a cake on their birthdays and they get seasonal gifts, like Christmas stockings and Easter eggs.”
Hannah spends up to £100 a month on toys, treats and specialist food for the pampered pets.
“When I do my weekly shop, I will always pick something up for them,” she said.
“Sometimes it’ll be a cat treat or a new bowl. I easily spend about £10 or £15 extra on them during the shop.
“Simba is on a specialist urinary diet so that is costly, and I give Nimbus British shorthair food, so they are fed the best.”
The furry friends quickly took over their own room, forcing the fur mum to switch the guest room into a cat bedroom, complete with crown beds, costing £50 each, an £80 scratching post, treats, toys and even extra bedding for their very own double bed.
“I change their bedsheets every single week for them,” she said.
“They just took it upon themselves to make it their room and then over time I added things to it for them.
“It’s just ridiculous. They’ve got food bowls and toys in there.”
“If we move in to a bigger house, like for when we have children, it’s going to have to be double the size for the cat bedroom.”
Alongside their luxurious lifestyle the cats are never left alone for long.
“If we go on holiday a family member will stay with them,” said Hannah.
“My grandparents have a key and if I’m at work for longer than expected and Tommy can’t get back they will visit them for half an hour.
“They also have a dedicated Instagram page each, where I post pictures of them. They were even chosen to feature in the Cats Protection 2023 calendar.”
Hannah says Simba and Nimbus are top priority in their house, and she isn’t alone, as a recent Tesco bank survey found 23% of people say they are more loyal to the relationship they have with their pets, compared to the one they have with their other loved ones.
“I wouldn’t leave Tommy for the cats or anything like that, but they definitely come first,” laughed Hannah.
“I’d always put them first, behind anything. Just like people do with children.
“During their little lives, we are their lives, we are all they know. So we have to make every day a good day.”
Ever thankful for Cats Protection, Hannah stresses the importance of “adopt don’t shop”.
“There are so many animals that need rehousing,” she said.
“Simba and Nimbus are so special to us, they really are like our children.”