I married my cat to get around my landlord’s pet restrictions

It was an impossible opportunity to get.

Deborah Hodge recently married her cat, India, in a loophole scheme to avoid rental restrictions, which have prevented Hodge from bringing animals into the unit.

Fed up, the 49-year-old London woman came up with a plan to marry her cat after relocating three previous pets due to owners turning away pet owners from their properties. The single mother of two (humans) now hopes her show of commitment will show owners that India is more than just an animal.

“She is fundamentally the most important thing in my life after my children,” he told South West News Service.

“By marrying India, I need future owners to know that we come as a package and cannot be separated under any circumstances as she is just as important to me as the children,” the cat-wife explained.

Deborah Hodge with cat India
Deborah Hodge recently married her cat, India, in a loophole scheme to avoid rental restrictions, which have prevented her from bringing animals home.
James Linsell-Clark / SWNS
Deborah Hodge with cat Indi
The 49-year-old Londoner has previously relocated three other pets, two dogs and another cat, due to the owners’ zero-tolerance policies.
James Linsell-Clark / SWNS

The couple wore tuxedo-style suits – because India, a tuxedo cat, already had one – for the intimate ceremony held on April 19 in a park in southeast London. The 5-year-old cat was swathed in gold lamé and meowed during the vows as Hodge’s friends looked on, including one who legally ordered the civil union.

“I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I married my cat!” Hodge said. “I recited vows under the universe that no man shall ever separate me and India.”

“I refuse to part with her. I’d rather live on the streets than be without her,” he added.

In a previous rental, Hodge was forced to give up two huskies, Siri and Starshine, when a landlord threatened to evict him. Five years ago, he moved into his current unit, where Hodge’s former feline friend Jamal was also unplugged.

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Deborah Hodge with cat Indi
The mother of two (humans) adopted India in 2017 after pleading with the current owner.
James Linsell-Clark / SWNS
Deborah Hodge with cat Indi
The 5-year-old cat lost a leg in 2020 and now relies on her human more than ever.
James Linsell-Clark / SWNS

“It absolutely broke my heart,” she said of the splits. “Your pets become part of your family and it was absolutely devastating to say goodbye to them.”

Hodge later begged the owner to let him adopt another cat, to which they relented in 2017. That’s when India entered his life.

In 2020, the cat tragically lost a leg after being hit by a car and is now even more reliant on Hodge.

But the couple faces eviction once again, as Hodge struggles to pay rent since unexpectedly losing his job on March 17.

“I’m down to my last cents,” he said. “I am terrified of losing India. I can barely leave my house in anxiety about what the future holds and desperate not to lose my cat.”

Anticipating another move, the couple preemptively married in a bid to stay together regardless of new lease terms.

Deborah Hodge with cat Indi
Facing eviction again, this time due to financial problems, Deborah Hodge preemptively married India to prove that she is more than just an animal.
James Linsell-Clark / SWNS

“I don’t want to lose another beloved pet. I swore in sickness and in health, in death do us part, and I meant it,” she said.

Hodge has said that many of her two-legged loved ones think she is “crazy”, but felt it was the only way to show that she is “very serious” about keeping India. And her children were also unenthusiastic about her mother marrying a cat. “They just think mom has lost her way!”

No matter what happens, Hodge refuses to let go of the one thing he believes in: love. “I don’t believe in organized religion; however, I have faith,” he affirmed. “India always came back, even after losing a leg. I am hers, her universe, and that is why I married her.”

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