Cat in the Apt.

I’ve been a dog person my whole life. There’s just something about their personalities, the way they’re transparent and authentic. I love the way a dog’s soul completely oozes from every look on his face.

Years ago as a young child I had a cat I adored. If Flipper hadn’t run away and broken my heart, it’s possible I’d be cat person, too, but I’m not. They’re too self-contained and aloof, which puts me off. My insides don’t go all gooey when there’s a cat around, the way they do when there’s a dog in the room, simple as that.

And yet here I am a cat owner…

Kit Kat

She’s quite the lady, mm-hmm.
(author’s photo)

Six months ago my older daughter fell in love with a stray. The one now known as Kit Kat hung around not just our apartment complex, but right outside our very own door. Biggest woke each morning to rush and see if the cat had stayed through the night, and she spent every afternoon snuggling and loving the feline when she got home from school.

For days she begged me to let her come inside, to live with us. I held my resistance for a while, because it was an expense and responsibility I wasn’t sure we were ready for. Plus a neighbor guessed the cat was pregnant and, well, I certainly couldn’t have that.

But after much contemplation, recognizing that a pet would do us all well and liking the idea of a “rescue,” I agreed to at least take this stray to our vet, get her checked out if nothing else.

After Kit Kat got a clean bill of health, including that there were no babeh kittehs on the way, I wholly relented and we welcomed her to the family.

These days I’m still very much a dog person, but one who can mostly get along with a cat. My insides don’t go all gooey or anything, but my girls love her, and I know I made the right decision to take her in.

Although I do believe she chose us.

What pets are part of your family? Are any of them rescues?

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About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on February 27, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Janna, like you, I’m very much a dog person. Cats are just too finicky for me. Their take-me-or-leave attitude isn’t for me. That’s not to say I haven’t met some cats with abundant personalities who’s company I’ve enjoyed. I just haven’t wanted one for my own. Not to mention the fact that everyone in my house is allergic to cats. 🙂

    I have a twelve and a half year old Labrador retriever. She was kind of a rescue–she was the last puppy chosen from the breeder because she didn’t have that championship composition that the other pups did. (Her grandfather was a Westminster winner.) So, she was a steal. As we like to tell everyone, the other buyers didn’t know what they were passing up. She has been the perfect pet, an empathetic friend, a decent watchdog, and my trusted side-kick. It’s worth noting, though, that she does love cats. 🙂

    • I love that, Tracy! I’ve always had a soft spot for the “underdogs” too.

      There’s no denying it, there’s just something about a sweet ol’ pooch.

  2. Oh, Janna, don’t get me started! I was a cat person when I was a kid and yet my mother and father gave my kitty away I think (the story has never been validated that the kitty ran away) and ever since then I haven’t been that fond of cats. Probably some deep psychological thing goin’ on there! My parents selected all our dogs and they were all small, yappy things that I don’t remember being all that tied to. Not until I met my now-husband and we bought a Rhodesian Ridgeback did my love and passion for large animals come into being. Since then we have traded over to chocolate labs and I cannot imagine life without my pupsters. Rights now, as I’m writing this, Jack (my lovebug) who weighs 100 pounds is perched at my neck, lying across a big pillow, watching over me. Ahhh.. life is good.
    Patti

    • I’ve thought the same thing, Patti, that my general indifference is related to that one cat-astrophe. (Ha! I’m on a roll with these puns. :P)

      Your mammoth doggie sounds awesome.

  3. I am also a dog person, gooey and all! But I did rescue once two cats… Well, let me rephrase, one of the cats decided to move from my neighbor’s house to mine and the other was a stray kitty who seemed to be wearing socks…all black with white paws and beautiful lime green eyes… The moving gal was a lovely all white with yellow eyes sleek-and sly-as-nothing cat… Flaco (that’s skinny in spanish) suddenly left us, I guess he fell in love… And Güera (that’s blonde in spanish) got some kind of cat disease (had it been a pooch, I’d have known every single detail of the illness…) and passed away at the vet’s office… We felt a special love for them, it was kind of reciprocal…a kind of I-love-you-when-I-see-you-but-I-won’t-die-if-I-don’t kind of love… 🙂 Read you soon, Alexandra

    • I will be a dog owner again someday. My girls and I have agreed that once we’ve moved to a bigger place, we’ll visit a local shelter and pick a sweet dog to bring home. The trouble will be not falling for more than one (which each of us is likely to do). Well, and then bringing it home to Kit Kat. 🙂

      Alexandra, I like those creative names you chose for your cats! “Flaco” is very cool. Sometimes I’m stupefied by the names people choose for their pets, like a realy off-the-wall verb or an ill-fitted compound word. Pfft.

      • the weird/funny thing is that I would not give those names to my dogs…I don’t like adjectives as names but this was a more like an acquaintance than a true relationship like the ones we establish with our dogs… so adjective was good… i have just descriminated cats worldwide… forgive me cat lovers :/

        • Oh, but see, you saved the whole thing by using Spanish terms. That’s instant cool! 😉

          It’s just weird when an owner names their animal something like Burp or Groceries or Pulldrawer (none of which I’ve heard, but those’re similar to what I’ve seen). Now I’ve probably offended…

          When I was a girl, my family got a dog named Cash from his previous owner. He was a Brittany Spaniel, so it was an odd name I never understood. Apparently his full name was “Cashew” because he’d looked like one when he was born, but it never stuck with me. Still, I loved that dog!

  4. Tracy, I believe they all choose us both cats and dogs. Had both and now I don’t have anything living that requires my attention to keep on breathing … not even house plants 🙂 I loved having the the first dog, he was my son’s soul mate for years. The second dog became my daughter’s when I moved and she was a great friend and companion. Cats and more cats lived with me and my daughter until a few months ago.

    I would hope that whether a dog or cat that it’s a rescued animal and I trust all of you to keep up the good work as I have handed in my pet dishes, litter and leashes. BTW she’s a beaut !!

  5. Sorry to leave out your name, Janna. I was actually reacting to Tracy and Patti and plum left you out 🙂

    • No problem, Florence. 😀

      That’s common, don’t you think? My sister’s maltipoo went to live with our parents after a few years, and he became such a beloved little thing in our dad’s life.

      And thanks! This cat does have beautiful coloring.

  6. Oh, Janna. I feel your pain. We have always had dogs and my love for them cannot be expressed in words. We have two rescue mutts now who are the joy of our lives (husband and kids concur).

    My only foray into cat ownership came in college when my roommate and I couldn’t have dogs. We rescued two kittens. One died and the other lived to terrorize us and our guests. I did what all good daughters do and brought her home to live with my parents where she tortured their other cat (a gift from my sister) and dogs. She eventually escaped the house and lived in the woods nearby, never returning home.

    When my husband and I lived at our first house, I began feeding a stray cat. She promptly moved into our doghouse when we were out of town and had kittens. I’ll never turn away a rescue dog, but I’m never tempted to take in a cat.

    • Exactly, Christy. It’s hard to fully articulate what a dog can come to mean. That indescribable “thing” is why The Art of Racing in the Rain touched my spirit so much.

      It seems like cats are most common in my circle of meatspace friends, but we’re all agreed here: Dogs FTW!

  7. Janna, I’m a dog person, but unfortunately we don’t have any pets. I would love a puppy. 🙂

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