GATO AND I
Anyone who knows me knows I love cats. I don’t prefer cats over dogs, and I don’t really prefer any animal over another, but I keep seeing cats being labeled as something they’re not, also the owners of cats are labeled harshly too. Many cat owners are seen as a crazy cat lady if you have more than one, they also think cats are evil and are heartless. First of all, I love dogs just as much and even owned one before. Out of all 3 cats that I’ve taken care of, none attacked me other than when we would play fight. There are cats that do that, but there are also just as many dogs that do the same. This is just a post about why you should love cats more, how adopting and taking care of cats has changed me, and just my experience with being a cat owner and lover.
I never really cared about cats. I did think they were cute, but not as cute as tiny puppies. The first cat I ever had, I named Bart. She was just a small kitten that my brother had to take care of since his girlfriend at the time was allergic. Little did they know, I was the one that was going to take the most care of her. They also didn’t know I was allergic of Bart too. I got allergies just from keeping her in my room and on my bed all night long, but that didn’t stop me from loving her. She was the first cat I ever got close to without being scared. We didn’t last long because my brothers girlfriend decided to take medicine so she could keep her.
The picture on the right is of Bart in 2016 as a mom and on the right is her as a baby.
A few months passed and we moved houses and to another town. I eventually had to take care of a family friend’s cat but she ended up being my cat since I took care of her almost every day. One day we got Minino, a cute long haired cat who was really reserved but sweet and beautiful. She did was attack my cousins arm and she would sometimes do that to me too, it was really scary but it didn’t hurt that bad, I had a feeling she just liked arms, just like how some cats like to attack your feet or how puppies bite your knees. Around November, someone left the door open in the middle of the night and like any house pet, she wondered off and stayed out for too long. I could never find her after that. I made many flyers and made ads online. I wasn’t too sad about her leaving because I only had her for about six months. She was also a very distant cat. I felt that she didn’t like being an indoor cat other than me feeding her all the time and her sleeping and being lazy, she was a street cat anyway. I have no doubt in my mind that someone picked Minino up off the street Those past few days with her, she had on the biggest collar a cat could have. So I’m not afraid of her being dead or anything.
A few weeks passed after Minino left. I was really upset that someone had left the door open not thinking about her and how she liked to wander. I got over it eventually. I didn’t plan on getting another cat because I was going to college. I didn’t think I would have time to take good enough care of a cat while I was in my first stages of adulthood. A pet is a big responsibility, not only making sure they have food and litter and time for them, you have to have money to take them to the vet every once in a while. I never had a job so, I was worried in getting another cat myself, I didn’t even try going to a shelter.
One night, my mom and I went to visit my brother around the end of November. When I walked in, I noticed there was a cute kitten sitting, yes sitting, on his couch like a human. I thought she was the cutest cat ever. She was really sluggish and lazy looking just like me hehe. I thought she was a gift to my brothers girlfriend but she was actually mine. I was so happy, and nothing prepared me for the following years being with her. I named her Buttercup, like the PowerPuff girl, and nicknamed her Gati. We had the absolute best time together. She was my best friend. She slept with me even on the floor on cold winter nights with just a blanket, since I didn’t have much furniture yet. She slept right in my arms and it was the cutest thing seeing a cat come under the blankets with you when you lifted it up for her to scooch in. I could talk all day about Gati but maybe that isn’t appropriate for the internet, maybe anonymously, I’m not sure. Anyway, I made Instagram accounts for her and all my other cats because I just love taking pictures and videos of them. You really can’t replace the memories you have with pets and taking pictures for me was just something that made me happy. I didn’t really have many friends to go out with or talk to so naturally, having a cat was just what made me into the gal I am today. Having a cat really helped me with loneliness or any sadness I was dealing with at the time during high school and my first months of college.
Gati was adopted from a shelter and growing up with her, I was shocked to know cats like her exist and are living in bad conditions, waiting days to months for someone to adopt them. At the time, the shelter she was from was a kill shelter and I’m just super thankful she was able to come into my life. She’s the reason I want to help other cats and own a 2 room apartment so that I could be a foster mommy for cats or help them in some way. Gati was loved by so many people and by other cats. She was very playful and wanted attention from big groups of people. She knew how to hide and pop out to scare you. She would chase her tail like a dog and run around a lot, catching toys in the air. The one ugly thing she would do was kneed a blanket and rub her butt on it and she would fart too and it was the worst fart I ever smelled from human and animal. I loved to put her in time out by wrapping her in a blanket and she would make this funny sound because she hated it so much.
I will miss Gati forever, just like every pet owner who lost their loved one. She was probably too angelic to live in this world, and that’s why I think she left. I needed to snap back to reality and start doing something better with my life. She left a great impact on me and now I hope to give back to more cats by adopting them and eventually making a cat cafe like they have in Japan. I want to bring more awareness to cats in shelters and in the streets who need help.
When Gati passed away, I could not stop crying and I think I went through depression for a little while. I didn’t want to do basic things like go out, be happy, cook, or clean my apartment the first few weeks. I went to see the cats at my local shelter, just to look…or so I told myself. I eventually adopted Chibi. At first, I was really trying to go to California to adopt a cat named Zipper who looked as sweet as Gati. I wasn’t trying to find a cat that looks just like her but seeing her name and her cute picture, I really had a feeling of wanted to go save her. Chibi was the first cat I saw in my shelter and the only one their that made me want to adopt. I was contemplating just because of how much she meowed and didn’t seem too interested in me all that much. Fast forward to now. I’m in another country on vacation with Chibi. She’s the cutest gray cat anyone could ask for. She likes to play with her ball toys and bring them up onto my bed until I throw it far so she can go back to get it. She likes when you chase after her and rub her chin. Her paws look so huge but it’s really just all her fur. I adopted Chibi myself, and it was my first time doing so. The process was very simple and easy. I fell in love with her in the shelter, but when she came home, she was purring very loud and kneading the air which I’ve only seen on the internet. I’m excited to adopt more cats and make a career out of bringing awareness to strays and how we as a community need to look out for them. They weren’t just brought her magically, even if they were, we need to help those that can’t help themselves. Humans and animals alike, of course humans first, but it’s also nice to remember the strays need help too.
If you looked at cats with a side eye before, please try to give them a chance like I did. You will fall in love instantly, you just have to find the right one. Shelters have really beautiful dogs and cats who are looking for only love and care! Don’t forget them.
If you have any cat pics, please share them with me!