He Had Cat (s)

It was a chilly Saturday night in Chicago and I was snuggled up on my new beau’s sofa watching SNL when an alarmingly high-pitched “meeeeew!” called our attention from the awkward jig Ashley Simpson had broken into after having been exposed lip-syncing on live TV (perhaps in an effort to distract the audience?).

I turn to Ed quizzically.

“Um, sometime he gets lost,” he says, shaking his head.

In a one-bedroom apartment? I thought to myself.

“Meeeeeew, meeeeew, meeew, meew!” the cries became sharper and shorter while increasing in proximity and urgency.

“Ian, it’s okay buddy, we’re over here,” Ed said gently and encouragingly, not moving from the sofa.

Ian

Ian

 

A smallish black head popped out from behind the wall, eyes wide with amazement. Turning the corner his impressive girth was revealed – all 22 pounds – complete with undercarriage cleaning the floor as he lumbered into the room. Not exactly the  physique one would have associated with the frightened high-pitched cries of moments ago. He’d been in the hallway barely 10 feet away.

The Cat Factor

I’d fallen for a guy with cats.  I know not all women would agree, but his having cats only made him more attractive to me. At 6’3” he was all man, but cat ownership added a different dimension to his appeal – sensitive, caring, responsible.

He’d had Ian and Shelley since they were little kittens. Shelley was daddy’s little girl and had a slightly disturbing habit of sitting in Ed’s pants when he was using the facilities. I’ll never forget the day she led me – rather seductively – to the bathroom, jumped into the tub and stared at me intently.

“She wants you to pet her,” Ed shouted instructions from the next room, “It’s her safe place, it means she trusts you.”

I was “in”.

Shelleyface

Shelley

I Got Cat

Between weekends together we spent evenings talking on the phone recounting our days. Me: lonely and missing him. Him: recounting the “cutest” and “funniest” Shelley and Ian escapades. I was alone and he had these little characters keeping him company, entertaining him, showering him affection (okay, maybe they just wanted to be fed). I wanted what he had.

One trip to Petco and  “Kip”, a very objectively handsome 3 year-old gray tabby, entered my life.

He tricked me actually. The cat not the guy.

Kip presented as a docile sweet lap cat sitting like a lump on my lap when forcibly removed from his cage.  I envisioned us together on the chaise, Kip curled-up in my lap as I read or watched TV. Then I got him home.

From the moment the carrier door opened, Kip proceeded to run around the apartment non-stop for what seemed like days.  Up-and-down the stairs, behind and under every piece of furniture, and crouching behind the ottoman expectantly waiting for me to throw the toy mouse for him to chase.

I had no idea what i was doing when i got a cat

He was probably wishing he was back in a cage about now!

As for holding him? Ha! He would straighten his joints pressing his paws against my chest leaning his head back to get as much distance between us possible. If I persisted, he would stare past me into the distance eyes glazed over and go to his “happy place.” I swear I could hear his cat-mantra “mind over body, mind over body” until I finally released him out of guilt.

My boyfriend told me I’d lucked-out. That most cats would have mauled me by now. This is not what I signed up for. I had been duped.

Single with Cat

After Ed and I broke up my Mother not all together jokingly asked me if he would take Kip. Since it was his influence that had resulted in my getting this cat that in her eyes “tied me down” and precluded my ever having nice furniture.

While Ed’s  having cats made him more attractive in my eyes, would the same be true for me? Or had I been forever burdened forever? (my mother had called horrified after having seen a segment on the local news about a cat who was 38 years old).

And so it began.

Consulting with girlfriends to determine the most optimal time to admit cat ownership to men.  Some friends suggested I say nothing. Ever.  But wouldn’t it be awkward to have a man show-up  only to have Kip rush him at the door? What if he had allergies? Decidedly online dating profiles could not mention the cat or show evidence of his existence – though in the spirit of full disclosure I did check off the “cat” box under animal ownership. Of course to balance things out, “dog” had to be checked under the  “animals I like” section.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.04.47 PM

One of the first photographs taken of Kip with a Blackberry (remember when?!)

No cat wallpaper on the Blackberry, and photos of Kip could only be revealed if having a bad date (the plan was to stick the Blackberry in his face asking him to “Say ‘hi’ to my Kippie-Cat!”).

I don’t think he had an adverse impact on my dating life. But how could I truly ever know. Perhaps there had been men who saw errant cat hairs on my coat, or who noticed “cat owner” in the profile and who I never met because of Kip.   I guess ignorance is bliss.

And little did I know things would get more complicated once I had cat (s).

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  • Hi Kippieeeee,
    Boy can I relate to the disparate cage-to-home behavior.
    Although she is squirmy I remain stronger than Pumpernickel so I go get a face-to-face forced cuddle session in my arms almost daily. As long as I buy the food, this is my right.
    <3 to M&M and Petey too.

  • Why is it that having a dog is adorable…having a cat (or two!) makes you the crazy cat lady?! I’ve never heard of the crazy dog lady! My fiance loves the cats as much as I do and he takes care of them too but no one refers to him as the crazy cat dude! 😉

    • tamcalinyc

      I know exactly what you mean! Stay tuned for postings on this very topic!

  • After a string of bad relationships, my first cat Nicki sadly passed away. Nicki was with me through all the crazy boyfriends. The shoe fetish real estate guy, the furniture shopping stalker guy, the foreign accented old guy and the over-possessive gun toting Harley guy. By the time I met the charming and sexy voice-over actor guy I was catless. And he was a dog person, albeit without a dog. Even though he professed his dislike of all cats, we eventually married. On our second anniversary he brought home a furry black & white present for me. My cat Katie. Now that’s true love.

    Loved your post.
    Glogirly

    • tamcalinyc

      I LOVE that story, so sweet (also sounds like you could write a book on your ex boyfriend!). It’s funny, I start taking Voice-Over classes this monday….maybe i will meet a hot VO guy! haha! I will have an upcoming blog on how fab i think men who love cats are!
      T

  • Fin

    Hubby was not a cat lover till we got Fin. Now he is a convert. Fin also cries when she can’t find us. I have to yell out “I’m still here!!”

    Meg the Mom

  • Our human staff both love cats, but our tom human probably loves them more. Shelley sounds like Caitie, who takes him to the bathroom when she wants to be brushed and petted.

  • Hey! Some guys would see it as a BIG PLUS if you were into cats!

    *some* guys even help their cats write their own blogs! 🙂

    • tamcalinyc

      I am jealous! I hope to find *some* such guy some day!

  • Christina Schmid

    I will never forget when we were roommates. I was waiting for my mattress delivery, when Kippie jumped up on my lap and went to sleep. I was so happy to tell you about it b/c I thought you would be relieved to hear that your baby liked your new roommate. Oops. I didn’t realize that Kippie had been playing hard-to-get with you from Day 1. 🙂

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  • jmuhj

    Loved this — now, if you don’t want that guy any longer, is he free? 😉

    • Ihavecat

      ha! he lives in Chicago…haven’t been in touch since sadly – sorry! 🙂 Did you read my post “Wanted: A Man Who Loves Pussy (cats)”? I am a BIG believer that men who love cats are the most secure!
      T

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  • Lu Anne

    all my past bfs liked cats, but didn’t LOVE cats, which to me, meant they really didn’t GET cats.  that’s the challenge.  a man who truly understands and LOVES cats.

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  • Martin Alberter

    I love kitties, I tell people I meet probably before anything else. As you can see all my profile pics are of kitties, I would never be able to hide my love of kitties to be viewed differently by women, it’s too important to my life. Kitties will always be more important than someone that doesn’t like them.