Single mother-of-two Deborah Hodge, 49, hopes that her lifelong commitment to five-year-old India will demonstrate to landlords just how important her bond with her cat is. Ms Hodge, from Sidcup, south east London, said she had “nothing to lose and everything to gain” by wedding her pet, claiming she had previously been forced to re-home three animals by landlords refusing to allow pets in their properties.
The event was officiated by a legally ordained friend, and was followed by a celebratory picnic in the sunshine.
Ms Hodge said: “I had nothing to lose and everything to gain so I married my cat! I recited vows under the universe that no man will ever tear myself and India apart.
“I set out my intention that I would never be separated from the animal I adore. I can’t be without India.
“She is truly a sensation, she is so friendly and amazing. She is fundamentally the most important thing in my life after my children.
“By marrying India, I need any future landlords to know that we come as a package and we cannot be separated under any circumstances as she is as important to me as the children.
“I refuse to be parted with her. I’d rather live on the streets than be without her.”
Ms Hodge said that in a previous property she had to part with her two huskies, Siri and Starshine, after her landlord threatened her with eviction if she kept them.
Five years ago, when she moved into her current home, she was also left with no choice but to pass on her cat, Jamal.
Losing the three pets, Ms Hodge said, “absolutely broke my heart. Your pets become part of your family and it was just absolutely devastating having to say goodbye to them.”
But in 2017, she convinced her landlord to let her get another cat – her black and white moggy spouse, India.
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“I’m terrified of losing India. I can barely leave my house with anxiety over what the future holds and I’m just desperate not to lose my cat.”
She added: “Although some might think it a stupid idea, I wanted to be able to show physically, by holding the ceremony in front of my friends even though they thought I was bonkers, that I am very serious.
“I had a group of friends there for the ceremony – they all think I’ve gone batsh*t crazy but we all had a lovely day. My kids weren’t there on the day, they just think that mummy has lost the plot!
“I recited vows under the universe that no man will ever tear myself and India apart. I set out my intention that I would never be separated from the animal I adore.”