Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Are You a Cat Person? -- FAQ

Before I adopted my boys in November, I would not have considered myself a "cat person." I was not a "dog person" or even a "pet person" before this. Growing up, I wasn't allowed to have pets (except goldfish) and, after a while, I stopped wanting to have an animal. Flash forward a couple of decades and I'm living with my fiancee here in New York City. Our building allows pets and we see people walking dogs in and out every day. After much consideration and pondering, we decide to adopt a pair.

Am I a cat person now? Yes, but let's use the term "cat parent." I think there are two types of people who share their lives with cats:

  1. Cat Owners -- Live with cats and consider them an "easy pet to care for." Cat owners care about their cats, but only to a point. They don't spend excessive money or time on their animals.

  2. Cat Parents -- Nuture their cats like children and put an enormous amount of time, energy, money, and emotional commitment into their feline family members.

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that somewhere along the way, I crossed the line and became a cat parent. How can you tell?

  • I often put my cats' needs above my own. My boys love my leather chair and I'll often give it up for them. In the evenings, Arthur likes to curl up on my chair while I sit next to him and give him a belly rub. I'll grab a diningroom chair for myself so the king can have his throne. My fiancee Liz calls me a pushover, but that's just my nature.
  • I don't normally refer to my cats as "my cats." I call them "the boys" or I talk about them by name. My fiancee Liz and I refer to them as "our sons." One of us will sometimes call the other one and say "do you know what your sons just did?"
  • I experiment with all kinds of shmancy cat food. Lately, I've been feeding the boys a lot of Merrick Cat Food. Merrick is the brand with flavors like California Roll, Cowboy Cookout, Surf and Turf, and New England Boil. I can't say they like it all, but I'm figuring out what flavors they enjoy. When I meet other cat people, we often talk about food and litter.
  • I can't stand to leave them alone. The longest the boys have ever been alone in the past has been 17 hours (on Christmas) and I wasn't happy about that. I'm going to get someone to catsit if Liz and I ever get to go away for a weekend. The boys aren't allowed in the bedroom so I often stay up watching them until late. I love to watch them sleep.
  • I'm very picky about cat products. A lot of cat toys and furniture are poorly and dangerously made. I'm obsessive about finding the safest things I can. Nothing's perfect, though.
  • I miss my boys. When I'm at work, I stare at the pictures of the boys I keep on my desk. I can't wait to get home and feed them their dinner.
  • I prefer cats to dogs. I've never had a dog so maybe this isn't fair to say, but there's just something about the feline form I really admire. Is it the graceful way they walk? Is it the all-too-human expression on their faces? Is it that "sense of cool" that I'd like to emulate in my own life? All of the above.


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes to all your comments. I thought I was an oddball because I treat mine like family members, even more so. I don't want to leave mine either & can't wait to get home. I don't think I can say that about any human members of my family- I even need breaks from my dear husband, but my cats are the joy of my life. Well said Avram!

Max said...

Sooner or later you will cross to the third side...you will become Cat Staff. This is a highly treasured position. At least my cat tells me so ;)

Avram said...

I call my boys "the kings" so I am just a serf here and loving it.

Anonymous said...

I adopted siblings, and I call them "the twins." Recently, I found a kitten on my doorstep, and the twins graciously accepted him in the family very quickly. He's now "little brother." It isn't that they don't all have names--but this is how I refer to them when I talk about them--it just comes naturally. When I go on vacation, I pine for them. I completly understand everything you've said. I can spend a long time just watching them being beautiful or cute (depending on mode). I can't undertsand why everyone isn't crazy about cats.