A lot of women think that they’ll never find love again after a relationship ends. But for 48-year-old Barbarella Buchner, looking for another man after her seven-year long relationship ended is far from her mind because she already found what she’s looking for—bliss, companionship, and contentment . . . with her cats.
It may sound strange, but Web designer Barbarella believes she has found her ideal partner in Spider and Lugosi, her two male feline. She adore them so much that she even arranged an online marriage ceremony 10 years ago.
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“They’re the loves of my life,” she claims. “I have no regrets and I don’t care what people say.”
Cat-crazy Barbarella has always been fond of animals. “As a child I was surrounded by cats,” she says. “Our family regularly owned at least one or two. They were my favorite animal.”
She was 34 when she finally got a chance to adopt her own pets.
“For me, it was like when you know you’re having a baby,” she says. “Before you have a baby or adopt a child, you look on the Internet to learn as much as possible and read lots of books. That’s what I did before I got my cats.”
Barbella took in two eight-month old tabby cats from an East London animal shelter in March 2000.
“It was love at first sight when I laid eyes on my boys, Lugosi and Spider,” she recalls. “I’ll never forget that day. They were rubbing against the cage and purring. I knew I wanted those cats. I could tell the feeling of love was mutual judging by their purrs and the way they were brushing their little faces against the bars. That was it; they were coming home with me!”
Though Barbarella has had few serious relationships, she doesn’t want to get married.
After her last relationship crumbled, her cats were her only comfort.
“After my boyfriend left, Spider and Lugosi were still there for me, helping me get through the separation anxiety and feelings of sadness. I have loved and lived with a couple of partners before but I realised that my love for my fur babies is so much deeper than anything I have felt for a human.”
In 2004, Barbarella came upon the Web site Marryyourpet.com and decided to marry her beloved cats. The Web site has few rules to follow for human marrying their pets such as “You are not allowed to mistreat your pet in any way.” Barbarella just had to pay about £20 before she could click “I do” to complete the quickie online ceremony.
“Marrying Lugosi and Spider was something I had to do, for myself,” she says. “Some people may call me a bigamist for marrying two cats or even call our marriage incest because they’re brothers. But I’ve never been one to care about what other people say or think, especially when it has anything to do with my cats and the unusual relationship I have with them.
“Obviously I don’t have sex with my cats. It’s just pure, spiritual, unconditional love on both sides, as simple as that.”
As a celebration for their third anniversary, Barbarella got herself a tattoo of her husbands on her right leg.
“I wanted something of Lugosi and Spider on my body. If they died, I would never marry another cat. They’re my first cats and no other cat in the future can change that.
“If a man ever approaches me, I just tell them straight off, ‘Sorry, I’m married to my cats.’ If they think it’s odd, I don’t care.”
She says that married life with her babies is easy. With her past boyfriends, she would come home to dirty clothes on the floor, and she’d have to clean after them. But with her cats, it’s different. She’s aware that her cats can’t take care of her, but Barbarella says it’s their company that she’s most thankful for.
No limit to her love
Barbarella’s feline spouses are very spoiled, and she acknowledged she’s willing to go bankrupt for them.
“My cats eat better than me. I want them to stay healthy so I’ve put them on a pricey, raw meat diet. Their food is far more expensive than mine.
“One cat’s meals cost £17 per week. I also mix vitamin powder into their food, which is £50 per bag. I would take out a loan to save my cats or borrow money if they needed an operation. There’s no limit to what I’d do.”
Barbarella also has spent thousands of pounds for the 364 cat-themed pieces displayed around her house.
Her collectibles include a “catified” toilet seat and wardrobes with cats images. She wants to let the world know that marrying Lugosi and Spider is a good thing.
She explains, “There is nothing perverse or disgusting about my union with my cats. Lugosi and Spider have been my constant companions for 16 years, the longest relationship I have ever had with anyone.”