Joined in Meowtrimony: Woman Marries Her Cat to Prevent Eviction

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

There are almost no limits to what pet owners would do to prevent losing their pet – including marrying them. In an effort to prevent future landlord(s) from imposing no-pets-allowed lease conditions when renting, Deborah Hodge, aged 49 from Sidcup, United Kingdom, married her cat India in a civil ceremony run by a legally ordained friend. The ceremony was attended by a small circle of close friends and family, with Debora wearing a tuxedo-style outfit to keep it formal – and to match India, whose coat is spotted with black and white markings. The two said “I meow” and “I do” on April 19th, making their union official. 

While marrying a pet does sound unusual – to say the least – Deborah’s decision wasn’t made from whimsy but rather motivated by past traumatic events. After being threatened with eviction because of her pets, she’s doing everything in her power to make sure she’s never in that situation again. As a renter through the years, Deborah has been forced to rehome her two huskies, Siri and Starshine, and then, in her current home, her cat Jamal – so she’s decided that enough is enough. Not being able to bear giving up any more pets due to strict (and sometimes absurd) landlord rules, Deborah tied the knot with her cat, sending a message that yes, she is a part of the family, on paper and in their hearts. A single mother of two, Deborah says that her pets are as important to her as her children and that it broke her heart to have to rehome her previous animals. This way, she hopes, landlords will have to accept that India is a part of the package and that where Deborah goes, she goes. In the end, Deborah adds, she’d rather live on the streets than have to give up her cat, if her idea fails to have any effect on future landlords. 

Renting with pets as a part of the family can be tough, with strict lease conditions and a lack of understanding from landlords, but hopefully, Deborah’s and India’s wedding will not have been in vain. One can only hope that, regardless of the extreme measures she’s willing to take, Deborah won’t have to part with India to be able to rent an apartment for her and her children – and that landlords will be more open to the idea of having a pet on their property once they realize how devoted Deborah is to her cat. After all, it seems ludicrous that pet owners are forced to try and come up with things such as marrying their pets just to be able to have one while renting an apartment in the first place – so it might not be as ludicrous to believe that it will work.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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