Married – With Cat (s)

Today’s post is brought to you guest blogger Keri Blair*

People have pondered, probed and just plain asked, “How are you married with three cats?”

I agree it’s quite a feat considering the stigma around cat ownership being on-staff for a cat. Funny enough, when I think back to how our happy family came to be there was a subconscious method to my feline-madness.

In adoption order: Brindle, Ginger and Erwin

My husband was raised by a family of dog LOVERS and I don’t think there was anytime in his childhood where his parents didn’t have at least one dog.  And to be honest, I absolutely adore dogs too. I grew up with dogs, cats, sheep and goats even a crow named Sammy, so I pretty much have all my bases covered in the pet department.  But if you could draw a line in the proverbial dog-versus-cat-people sand his family fall way over on the doggie side. When we first starting dating I only staffed a little sweet shy torbie named Brindle.

"How can anyone resist moi?"

Ryan and I dated long distance for the first two years of our relationship and Brindle looked as forward as I did to his monthly visits.  She would simply sit or lay in between us on the couch and push her rabbit feet into me giving me a look like “Um this is my man lady…move over.”  And slowly her coquettish charm won Ryan over.

Eventually we (me and Brindle) and Ryan moved together to Chicago and that was when the true love affair really began.  Brindle would lie on Ryan while he was watching TV, cuddle up next to him at night and sleep in with him on lazy mornings.  I was merely the staff…buying food, brushing her luxurious torbie coat and clipping her nails.

cats who love men

It must be because he watches more TV and doesn't kick in his sleep...right?

Obviously this wasn’t enough attention for me – from Brindle not Ryan to be clear.  I mean she was my cat, right? I started to get that craving….you know… the one for all that is small, cute and innocent…that silly lustful need for a baby…cat.

Well, one day while at PetSmart I “happen” to stop by the cat room…and there, calling me with an undeniable force was a crate containing a new litter of kittens dubbed “The Jackson Five +1”. In the corner of the cage was a smaller sweeter kitten in the mix of the 5 rambunctious boys. Janet Jackson was her moniker and she weighed .5 lbs.  So tiny and precious she fit into my hand and purred against my chest and well…it was already a done deal in my mind. I went home in a wild frenzy, talking a mile a minute about this new-found kitten and how I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and wouldn’t it be sweet to have a friend for Brindle? (After all we both traveled a lot and she had to stay home all by herself *tear*)

Janet Jackson

At this point I will have to inject a pop culture reference. There’s a great line delivered by Patrick Warburton’s character in the TV show The Rules of Engagement, “She wanted a cat, I didn’t want a cat so we compromised… and got a cat.”  Well that pretty much sums it up.  After a few weeks of playing with Ginger (aka Janet Jackson) at the PetSmart office, and rubbing blankets on her to take back to Brindle to get her used to the smell, we brought her home.

The relationship between the sisters was tense at first. Ginger was definitely an attention hog but as her mischievous kitten ways could be she had us wrapped around her long-ass prehensile tail [note from “editor” this means a tail that is adapted for grasping, like a monkey’s tail, we didn’t know either]. It was close to Thanksgiving so we went to visit my parents for about 5 days and when we came home those two girls were madly in love…I guess the need for love and attention brought them together!!

Sisterly love

Life was good for a few years…we got married and our two sweet girls were finally friends.  They loved each other and they loved us. But, Ryan was their human BFF.  Again, my plans foiled. We had tapped into a new-found profession for Ryan.  Cat Whisperer.  I couldn’t believe it…my sweet Brindle wooed by his charms and then Ginger too???

Maybe she just missed her 5 brothers and liked the masculinity.  Whatever it was (and still is) there isn’t a night that goes by where you wont find Brindle and Ginger curled up by his side. I tried to keep myself distracted with traveling and work and planning our wedding.  (Which was fabulous by the way) The crazy cat lady stigma was officially over once we tied the knot in front of our family and friends.  Married with two cats.  Seems reasonable and doable.  I mean two cats is kind of normal, ask any cat owner.

Et tu Brute?

Sadly around two months after our wedding, my Nana passed away and I was devastated.  As a child and through my college years she was one of my best friends and even though she had been sick for a while her death was one of the saddest moments of my life thus far.  I know in my heart she was waiting for me to get married and when she know I was well taken care of she was able to move onto the next phase of her journey.  Strangely enough around a week prior to her passing I started nosing around the Craigslist pet community checking out the cats and kittens that needed good homes.  I didn’t really have Ryan’s support on this notion…he was constantly shaking his head saying we didn’t NEED another cat…NEED? We don’t NEED anything…jeesh who did he think he was talking to? Did my new husband even KNOW Me!

While we were home with my parents during the time of the funeral I told Ryan that I really wanted a kitten to help me mourn the loss of my Nana and somehow in the mist of his sweet nature he relented and said OK. In retrospect I have a feeling that he was hoping I would move past this “want” after we got back home to our babies.  Fortunately or unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Once we got home I nose-dived into the cat ads on Craigslist.  The first posting that came up was from a guy who had found a stray sister and brother and was eager to get them adopted to a good home.  I emailed and got a picture…OMG…it was love at first sight.

"Am I adorable or what!"

We set up a time to meet and off we went.  Ryan was like a line in a Pink Floyd song “Your lips move but I can’t hear what your saying”…all I could hear and see was this sweet striped brown tabby. It was love at first sight – no hesitation just pure joy and excitement. I scooped him up, paid the $100 bucks to Eric (the guy who rescued him) and off we went…Ryan in tow…I think he was saying something like “what are you doing? We don’t need another cat!” but again all lip service. I was totally entranced by this little purr box that was now my very own.

Finally, a mama's boy!

I named him Erwin (aka @thesmerz) after my Poppy (Nana’s husband).  He is the sweetest baby with the highest need for attention.  And even though he does love his daddy he has an extra sweet spot for me.  FINALLY!

So here is my strategy for all you single ladies out there who are ready to be married – with cat(s).

  1. Gave a sweet cat that likes men
  2. Meet a man (without allergies) and have your feline sway them to the cat side
  3. Obtain second cat after the move-in or engagement
  4. Obtain 3rd cat after knot is tied!

WARNING: If your husband or SO (significant other) has Cat Whispering tendencies like mine – you may feel a bit left out or the need for that new kitten smell every few years, but rest assured your cats do actually love you – you might just move around too much when you sleep, or make too much noise when you walk around the apartment in your fancy boots.  But as any cat owner knows the biggest difference between cats and dogs…dogs love you no matter what cats need you to earn their respect and their love but once that happens they are yours for life!

* Keri Blair is a fellow Manhattanite – who writes about “Thoughts, questions, anecdotes…and other random sundries” in her blog Thanks for playing… As the title of this blogsuggests, she and her husband live with three cats – Brindle, Ginger, and Erwin (@thesmerz). Today she recounts the story of how she her cats, converted her dog-loving husband and gives singletons tips on how to get married – with cat(s).

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  • Loved reading this blog. I love my two boys Lester and Tiger. Oops, after reading this I am wondering if perhaps that is where I have gone wrong in finding my man? I skipped ahead to the two cats bit too soon…Oh well lets hope I can pull off a miracle. Enjoy your babies!

    • Ihavecat

      Kerry, i am in the same boat! we can always hide one in the bathroom or something until the guy falls in love with us right? LOL

  • hmm I haven’t had this problem yet in fact my current boyfriend is the one who introduced me to cats. My family is dog people so I never really got to know a cat, till now and I am hooked

  • jmuhj

    All of my family members on both sides, male and female, have always loved cats, as far as I know. As for significant others, I’d never, ever, be serious about a guy who didn’t love cats. (I won’t say what I feel about dogs — you keep a clean blog here)

    • Ihavecat

      Tehe! Thanks for visiting and commenting! You are lucky to have come from a family that appreciates the feilne!

  • Puddin

    Omg I love this story. Especially because I’m getting married and we’re going to have three kitties. My hubby converted me to cats and already has his baby Bootz. After I graduate I’m getting my two, but it would be just my luck that all three of them would love Hubby2Be more. *sigh* Yep…its so going to happen.
    Great story!!!! ^_^

    XOXOXOXO Puddin

    • Ihavecat

      Awwwww cute! I like that you have it all planned out! Also i LOVE that your hubby converted YOU to cats!
      Same for me (well an EX bfriend now!). Not sure if you already read that post but here it is in case you didn’t!

      HE HAD CAT(s)
      http://ihavecat.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/he-had-cat-s/

  • OldCatsRule

    Keri,

    What a funny, true-to-life post. A male Cat Whisperer is a treasure but Virginia Woof (cq) nailed it when she said, “A woman needs a cat of her own.”

    • Ihavecat

      Gina – GREAT quote, cannot believe I’d never heard that quote before!

      • Sara

        Well, the actual line is a ROOM of one’s own, but it’s totally true. 😀

  • Totally darling story and photos! Maybe I need a third kitty…

    • Ihavecat

      lol! well, are you married? teheheh! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! come back soon! sign up for email alerts! 🙂
      T

  • Jodi

    We, too, are a family of 2 plus 3 cats… I had Max when Eric and I started dating and when he brought home a kitten from his parent’s farm – that was it… Soon I was schlepping Max back and forth every weekend… THEN Eric decided to foster a small, black cat (Tyler) and we all know what happened – 2 cats became 3… Now, they live together, play together, and even sleep together – I wish I wasn’t the only female in the house but I have plans… muah ha ha ha… 😉

    • Ihavecat

      Awwww, when he brought that kitty home ya must have know he was the one! : )

  • Pingback: THANKSFORKITTEHS-MARRIED WITH CATS « Thanks for playing…()

  • xoreds

    thanks to everyone for their comments…our babies are really sweet…and so is my husband…guess thats why they love him so much!! 😉

  • What a great story – thanks for sharing. My DH hAd one kitty when I met him…and I had 3 and a woofie. We now have 4 kitties and 2 woofies. They all sleep on me at night, but Daddy time is special for them.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids (and Mom Sharon)

    • Ihavecat

      Awww so cute! Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to post a comment – Happy Valentines Day!

  • Fin

    What a great story. Dad was a dog man until he saw me, I reward him by being a Daddy’s Girl.

    • Ihavecat

      Awwww so sweet Fin…I am not surprised you have that power 🙂

  • Aryana

    Absolutely loved reading this blog but in my case I am way past the 3 cat mark! Try 6 but alas no man…yet! I’m a love me love my cats kind of person. Of course no need to hide my shy kids the only one that would show herself to a stranger, any stranger is Simone, but the killer dust bunnies and mutant hairballs rolling around the house on any given day kind of gives it away that there is more than one silver grey tabby in the house.

    • Ihavecat

      Aryana! Cute! True the dust bunnies might give it away but you could say your cat sheds execessively (and in different colors? LOL)
      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment! Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you come back and read more posts!
      And don’t forget to sign up for email alerts when a new post goes up!
      T

  • I or rather we are also married to our five cats, because Mr.G. big love is not me anymore but the cats, lol !
    Nice to meet you ! Why don’t you join Cats on Tuesday ? It’s a group of people who once a week write about their cats. The rules you find on my blog. We always have a lot of fun.

    • Ihavecat

      Too cute! I will check out Cats on Tuesdays thanks for letting me know about it! Hope you sign up for the email alerts so you know when a new IHC post is uP!
      T

  • Sara

    I’m married with FOUR cats, and my strategy is to have a husband who loves cats, and who can’t say no.

    But yes, we are FANATICAL crazy cat people, and the only real problem is dealing with carpet in our house. 🙂 Can’t wait for the hardwood to go in!

    • Sara

      We knew how bad we could be with animals and so to keep us from becoming hoarders we put a limit – Three Cats and two dogs (we love all animals, really) or four cats. I don’t know why with dogs we could have more…..

      anyway, we ‘accidentally’ got the fourth, a naughty little girl cat about a year before we got married when we were bored and went to the animal shelter.

      • Ihavecat

        i LOVE that you “accidentally” got a 4th! May you keep getting bored and visiting the shelter!
        please be sure to add photos of your kitties on our facebook page if you haven’t already! Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment!
        http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/I-HAVE-CAT/180201582565

    • Ihavecat

      your strategy is or WAS to have a husband who loves cats?! sounds like you found him?! I have been very lucky and have never had cats who pee outside the litter box (they say that can be a sign of another problem maybe?!)

  • Natalie

    When I met my boyfriend I used to think I was the cat lover but now he has THREE kitties to my one! Lol

    • Ihavecat

      LOVE this story Natalie! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to post a comment!

  • Tamara

    OMG you are like my twin in another universe or something. I have a husband and I have 3 cats and they are all daddy’s babies. I came into our relationship with 1 cat, Patches. And then once we had been dating for a few months my husband (boyfriend at the time) decided he wanted to have a kitten to share his apartment with so he picked out Eddie from a litter of my girlfriends cat. Well we ended up moving in together so we now had 2 cats. Well we were both happy for years with just the 2 cats. But then around the end of 2007 I started to get a maternal craving for a new kitten. Hubby was dead set against it, but finally he relented and went to PetsMart and got our baby Jadzia.

    The funny thing is when we first got he told me that if I didn’t like her he could just take her back. Well that lasted for about a week. Once she started taking naps in his lap and following him around the house he was hooked. I remember my grandmother came over for Thanksgiving and inquired about possibly taking Jadzia home and my husband was like “No way she’s not going anywhere”. So needless to say he has completely bonded with her over these past 3 years, in fact as I am typing this she is curled up sleep between her daddy’s legs.

    She’s daddy’s little baby princess, his words not mine.

    • Ihavecat

      GREAT story! I’ll make sure Keri reads your comment! That’s such a cute story! Gooo your hubby! woot woot! We like men like that!

      • Tamara

        Sometimes I think he feels as if he gave birth to her… He hates when I say that but that’s how he acts sometimes. I keep telling him thats why she always makes “biscuits” for him.

  • Joey’s Meow-ma

    Not sure I’ll ever find the right guy. Can’t complain…just as long as the right cats keep coming along, that’s fine with me!

    • Ihavecat

      I hear you on the guy! We gotta keep the faith while still doing the things we love to do (like chilling with the kitties!)

  • Lia Foster

    Love it!  I actually have 3 of my own and my BF has 2—so we are CAT people, but I still crave another one… 

    • Loved it the first time i heard that expression “cats are like potato chips, you can’t just have one!” so true! Thanks for your readership and for taking the time to comment Lia! =^^= Be sure to check out I HAVE CAT on FB if you don’t already – you can post photos of your babies there!