When I was four, a stray cat (which my brother was secretly feeding) ran into my house and birthed three kittens. We weren’t a pet family at that time and my parents only had childhood experiences of raising dogs.
We became pet/cat people overnight.
Of that litter, one survived for 20 beautiful years. Chichi and I grew up together. Because of her, I’ve always been able to connect with cats — even ‘tough’ cats or strays. She wasn’t the only cat I raised; we came to own two other cats in her lifetime. The three cats couldn’t be more different, and yet, my relationship with each was special. Eventually, they all passed and I wasn’t sure I’d jump back into owning a cat because I was afraid I’d never find cats as great. I was so wrong.
Four years ago I adopted a 6 y.o. tuxedo cat with arthritis. He came from a hoarder home and was extremely skittish with people. I have never had to work so hard to ‘normalize’ a cat, but Figgy and I have made strides. Due to his arthritis, Fig is on a strict diet and is medicated daily. I intimately understand the importance of adhering to diets/medication routines because his comfort depends on it.
I’m very good at meeting cats where they are. Figaro has taught me that some cats really operate at their own pace and can’t always be bribed. I’m comfortable with keeping my distance from a cat who wants that and also giving a kitty all of the loving it demands of me. I work as a graphic designer in FiDi and live in Harlem. Happy to visit with any kitties along the 2/3 line :)