Anyone who has followed my life for any length of time knows I’m a dog person through and through. The first thing my husband and I did after we got married was adopt a dog. We currently have an older shepherd/pit bull mix named Sadie and a lovely one-year-old miniature schnauzer Gabriella (Gabby) who has definitely earned her nickname with her “talking.” I love to mention my pets on social media and often show off pictures of my “babies.”
So, I think it came as a surprise to everyone, especially my extended family, when we recently adopted a bonded pair of teenage black and white (tuxedo) American shorthair kitties. I’ve had issues with allergies to cats in the past, so I was especially hoping and praying this would all work out for us.
Which it has. Kind of.
Our first issue is the brothers are practically identical twins and my husband especially has difficulty telling them apart. We tried breakaway collars in different colors, breakaway being the key word. Those lasted less than a week before the cats figured out how to take them off. After a while, I started to notice the subtle differences—Hype’s chin is pure white. Dab has a black spot on his tummy. Hype eats more often than Dab. Dab is way more vocally expressive than Hype. (I call him my Meow-Meow…he may think that’s his name.) My grandson Boo picks them up to figure it out. If it meows, it’s Granny’s cat Dab.
Two cats means double the trouble, quite literally. Dab and Hype (both named after Boo’s cool contemporary dance moves) have evidently decided they don’t like the way our house is decorated, so they’ve taken it upon themselves to redecorate at their leisure. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been woken in the middle of the night to a crash or a boom.
Nope, the cat didn’t like the plant on top of the kitchen cabinet. RIP spider plant. Although, to be fair, I have the worst black thumb ever so the plant didn’t look great to begin with. Then there was the tower of DVDs. And the feather duster–it looked as if a bird had been pulverized all over the house. And the free-for-all mess that covers (er…covered) the top of our bookcase. Okay, that last one really did need to be decluttered.
At one point, my husband asked, “Is nothing sacred?”
The very next evening, the cats answered that question by taking the pins out of the pictures of Jesus we had on our cork board, leaving the pictures to float down to the top of the bookcase.
So…evidently not. We’ve had to put all our calendars high on the walls and make sure there’s no way for the cats to jump up and bat at them with their claws. We keep doors closed in the evenings if we don’t want kitty escapades.
It’s also taken us a while to get used to being walking, talking cat towers. Let’s just saw we both have more than a few scratches. I keep reminding the boys, “Paws, not claws.”
At the end of the day, I discovered I was a cat person, too. There’s something truly special when a cat chooses you, when they decide it’s cuddle time and curl up under your chin with their motorized purr and kneading paws. And the dogs and cats get along. Gabby and Hype love to roll around together fake fighting.
It’s a win for us, and I am positive there will be more cats in my novels in the future (although my current series is about service dogs!)
So, what about you? Are you a dog or a cat person? Or, like me, are you a both/and instead of an either/or?
Hi Deb, how cute! I am definitely a dog person, but that does not mean I hate cats and cannot appreciate their cuteness. I’ve recently been blessed to interact with some toy poodle puppies- seriously cute and cuddly and huge stress relievers!
Lila Diller says
I like just about any mammal, but dogs & cats are my favorite. I like friendly kitties and love dogs. I grew up with one of each. But my husband has allergies, too, so no cats for us, to the very great disappointment of my youngest son who loves cats more than dogs. I don’t think I’ve written about any cats yet, but I have included a dog into my contemporary Christian romance series, named Copper after our current fur baby.
Hi Deb! Thanks for sharing your kitty adventure. My husband prefers dogs and I love kitties, so we have had both. Our cats were Smokey and his half sister Grabby Abby – she was extremely vocal and definitely let you know her preferences. Best wishes. Stay dry. Been a rainy week in SW Michigan.
Paula Marie says
Oh, I have no fur babies at the moment, but I am definitely a dog person!
Sally Bayless says
What a great post! Put my vote in the “I love both” category!
Sherri G says
I’m definitely a cat person but I enjoy dogs. We had 2 dogs when I was small. I loved both of them very much. When we were 19, my roommate got a German Shepard puppy. Buddy was a lot of fun and she later trained and used him for search and rescue. That was my last experience with living with a dog. I’ve had cats ever since. We currently have Mitten and Audrey. We got both at a no-kill shelter. Mitten has longish gray hair with some white. She has big, inquisitive eyes and a very sweet personality and loves being around and on us. Audrey is a brown tabby. She started out more independent but has gotten more affectionate as she ages. She still doesn’t lay on us though.
I’m so happy to hear that two more kitties were rescued! I think Tuxedos are the best! Ours is a big love bug and acts like a dog. Hopefully it won’t be long before yours settle down and become little love bugs, too. 😻
We can’t have cats or dogs. We tried, I ended up in the ER. So we had all manner of other critters. My favorites were the female rabbits and gerbils. I never knew rabbits can be litter box trained like cats. The females were very affectionate. I tripped over them more than once. We had a large white rabbit that was a favorite with the neighbors and daycare kids. She was sold to us as a dwarf male. She was neither male nor dwarf. She loved to get petted. She would come up to you and bat at your hand until you petted her. We also had a really affectionate black dwarf rabbit who was a rescue from the animal shelter.
Deb Kastner says
I’ve heard rabbits are wonderful pets! We had one once but I didn’t realize you could let them roam. I loved that you could put them on their back and they’d totally mellow out.
Merrillee Whren says
Deb, thanks for sharing your cat tails. Over the years we’ve had both dogs and cats, but I have to say I’m partial to cats. Currently we have no pets because we travel too much and don’t want to have to worry about them while we are gone.
Jackie Smith says
I am a dog person…love that story about your Gabby! We had one for 12 years that was VERY talkative. lol.
I enjoy cat stories; daughter loves cats and has 2.
I am reading your book The Cowboy’s Yuletide Reunion (in the double book)…gotta read those Christmas stories ….’tis the Season.
Blessings on your family and your writing!
Valerie Comer says
Cat person all the way! And hubby’s a dog person, so, yes, we have a crowded little house with an 11yo black Lab cross and two tortoiseshell littermates who are 9. Yes, two kittens were twice the trouble LOL.
A few of my stories have a dog or a cat or both in them, but most don’t have them as a major character. Not sure why. Maybe because I have enough trouble keeping track of all the human characters without adding animals to the mix…
Margaret Nelson says
I was born loving cats. When I was 3, I told my parents I wanted a cat for Christmas. The stuffed cat in my stocking did NOT meet that wish :-) Thankfully, my husband is a cat lover too. Most of our married life we’ve had 2 cats. Right now we have a 1-1/2 year old and a 9 year old, both adopted from a shelter this year a few months apart (when our two previous cats went to kitty heaven). I really enjoyed reading about your cat adventures.
Hi Deb, I saw on Facebook where you guys had adopted these two cats. I love tuxedos, though I have to say the one tuxedo male we had was much too wild and never really calmed down, even after we got him fixed. So we ended up giving him away to a good family.
I would have to say I’m more of a cat person & my husband is more of a dog person. Though anytime we’ve had pets, we’ve had one of each that we adopted from a shelter. We don’t have pets currently because about 4 years ago we had to put down our cat due to cancer & then less than year later our dog because she was 18 and her health and quality of life was declining fast. So for me, it’s much too hard to want to add another furbaby to the family.
I have so many great memories of all the animals we’ve had over our 22 years of marriage! The first cat we adopted shortly before we got married, made a cat person of my husband. This was when we were still dating, I was living in my own apartment and one of our neighbors cat had kittens so she was looking for good homes for them. When we went over there to look at them, this little black & white fluffy furball came right up to my husband (boyfriend at the time) when he started talking to them. She immediately settled down in his arms, started purring and fell asleep curled up in the crook of his elbow. Well, that was it for my husband, we knew we’d take her home! :-) He took her to live with him at his house since he had much more room & shortly after that we got married. She was one of the best cats ever and lived to be 12 when she passed away.
Good memories indeed! Enjoy your new buddies, they sound like little stinkers but oh so lovable :-)
Deb Kastner says
What a lovely story! I so love how our pets choose us. That’s how it was with my Gabby. She let us know she belonged to us and that was that.
Susan Johnson says
I can relate to adopting “identical ” kitties. We had a car and I decided she needed a companion. I went to the humane society looking for an adult cat, but there were two 5 month old sisters that I fell in love with. So guess what I came home with. We have since adopted another cat so our tally is up to 4. I think my husband has reached his limit.
Jessica B. says
I am definitely a both/and person, although it has been a number of years since I have had a dog. I currently have a 7 month old kitten named Wrigley and I totally hear you about the cat escapades. He is a hoot and keeps us on our toes.
Hi Deb, Love the stories of Hype and Dab. I am a cat person. I got two rescue cats around 18 months – 2 years (they are not really sure the actual age). Night one an expensive vase was broken. (This after babysitting 2 cats for 8 months and them not breaking anything). Curtains torn (why go round the side of the curtains when you can go through them. Henry is my cuddle bunny on his terms. He doesn’t sit on my lap but does let me cuddle at times and shows me he loves me. Libby is half his size and a pocket rocket. She is also a nipper. she also uses me as a trampoline when I am in bed. She likes to be on the bed but then takes over most of it. Henry is a big boy (not fat just a big cat) but he eats so daintily and libby is half his size and she eats so fast. I feed them both a pouch of food and libby is finished while henry isn’t even half way through it. He likes to graze but doesn’t get a chance as what he doesn’t eat Libby eats.
They have a small box with an attached lid I put toys in and they put their head under the lid area and run round and round with it. Oh and the feather duster. Well these cats go outside and I recently had a bath and Henry kept telling me Libby was being bad (well didn’t know it at the time). She had caught a bird and I got up to feathers from one end of the house to the other. I know its partly their nature and partly due to them (her mainly) being abandoned and having to fend for herself when she had kittens. We think the previous owner abandoned her when they found out she was having kittens because she was found with a collar and bell.
I’m definitely a cat person, though I like dogs, too. I’d just prefer cats. I’ve made friends with dogs that others couldn’t/wouldn’t, though at this season of life I can’t have pets of my own. Funny that you posted this today, as today was my last day to care for my neighbors cats while they were away for a few days. When I need a “fix” I can go see the cats on one side or the dogs on the other!!
Mary Preston says
I have to say both. How could I choose?