Cat Man Monday: The $50,000 Cat

This story was submitted by IHC reader Rena about her Cat Man husband David.

When I met David in 1981 he was not a cat person.  He’d had a dog growing up – good old Laddie – but remained petless until an ex-girlfriend moved out and left her black cat, Baldrick, behind. David liked Baldrick well enough when the cat was not spraying his book collection, that is. It was a tenuous relationship.

But then he met me, born a cat lover never without one in my life. My cat at that time was Max, an amazing, “tall” black and brown tabby with a crooked tail, white feet and a black dot on his white muzzle that made him look like he was sneering at everything and everyone.

The truth, though, is that Max was the sweetest, funniest and most endearing boy. He loved to play fetch and was my constant companion when I was ill or sad. For the sake of getting to know me (a real honor, of course), David decided to tolerate Max.

David and Max (circa 1982)

One weekend, during a period when the flea population in San Francisco seemed to have gone mad, I decided it was time to give Max a flea bath. David helped me.  Poor Max was so unhappy and scared, a big wet cat shivering in the bathtub. Then suddenly, the water at is feet turned yellow with his urine. That was the moment when David’s heart melted.

Somehow, he related to being so scared and miserable that a guy might pee his pants. In Max’s case, of course, there were no pants, but the feelings were the same. David and Max became buddies after that and remained so until the day Max died in 1989 at the age of 17.

David with Audrey and Phoebe (circa 2011)


Since then here have been Tigger, Rosie, Molly, Ralph and the three who share our home now – Joey, Audrey and Phoebe. Early on, David worried a lot about the vet bills. As much as he loved Max, he told me that if the bill were more than $500 we would not save the cat (remember, this was in 1982 dollars). In my heart I knew he didn’t mean it, and of course we shelled out much more than that many times over the years.

Then along came Joey. Being a flame point, he has some of the quirks of the typical Asian cat: When he wants something instead of meowing to alert us, he shreds paper. If the shredding doesn’t get our attention, then he starts knocking things off shelves.

David and Joey


But he has one habit that David loves. Joey climbs on David’s back every morning (and sometimes again in the evening), lies down and starts purring up a storm. He’ll stay there indefinitely and David will walk around the house bent at the waist so that Joey can stay on him. Joey does this with no one else but David. I’ve tried to coax him onto my back, but he’ll have none of it.

The first thing Joey does when David returns from a trip (once he’s given him the cold shoulder for a while, that is) is to get on David’s back for some male bonding.  Which brings me to the title of this story.

Joey assumes the position


One day David said to me, after a walk through the house with Joey on his back, “Remember how I used to say that I didn’t want to pay more than a certain amount at the vet?” “I replied that I did. “Well,” he said, “I love Joey so much that if someone offered me $50,000 for him, I wouldn’t take it.” If that is not the statement of a confirmed “Cat Man,” then I don’t know what is.

I love being married to my Cat Man. It’s wonderful to have someone who shares in the joy that cats bring into our lives. And he’s not ashamed to show his love for cats, even stopping on the street to pet the cats he meets on his daily walk.

Audrey makes herself comfy on David’s back


ARE YOU A CAT MAN? DO YOU HAVE CAT MAN IN YOUR LIFE? You/he could be IHC’s next Monday Man Cat! Tell us how you/he came to love cats, how they’ve enriched your/his life, and share stories of your/his cats (past or present).  Email photos and a post for consideration to ihavecat (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  • Ana

    Great story 🙂 I wish I could find a cat man too, some day. My cat Sammy behaves like Joey and I have to walk as David does 😀

    • awwwww so sweet! yes, hope we can ALL find cat men or convert some!

  • Kathleen

    I have a cat man.  I’ll see if I can find an appropriate picture to send.  We have SO many pictures of our two cats, and previous ones, but mostly of just them since Roger is home all day and loves to take pictures of them! 🙂

  • Annameow

    Does David have any like minded single friends, late 50’s to early 70’s?  hehe jk Rock on David! you dah man…dah CAT man!!!

    • I’ll take the ones in their 40s and early 50s! LOL

  • Tricia Keegan

    Loved this story and wish Rena and David many years of happy times with their beautful cats, hopefully they’ll never cost what you both are willing to pay though lol!!  
    As to cat man David…priceless! 🙂

    • I know how lovely right?! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting Tricia! 

  • That is such a wonderful story and reminds me of my dad not wanting cats and then spending crazy money on my Rags when  he was diagnosed with cancer.  Now I am training my boyfriend, who says that once you live with a cat, that’s when you fall in love.  Thanks for sharing such a great story.

    • Awww it’s so true what your boyfriend says……I wasn’t an animal person…cats were my gateaway animal 🙂 Thanks for your continued support Jenny! 

    • Naturegirly

      That’s what my boyfriend says that once you really know cats you have to love them. 😉

  • Gerry Hoffman

    beautiful sitting here with tears in the library.

    • Awwwww, it is lovely isn’t it? 🙂 Love hearing these stories from IHC readers and it gives me hope!

  • Weasiec

    I loved this story so much.  I have never seen a cat who rides on your back.  Soooo cute!  Your cats are beautiful.  David, I am proud of you.  My husband loves our cat also.  He wasn’t a cat lover either.  In the end, they win you over.

    • I know right! So sweet, what a bond! You should submit your hubby’s story to I HAVE CAT!!! Thanks so much for posting. Glad you enjoyed it! 

  • Well, I have a converted cat man – but he’ll always love dogs best.  That’s okay with me as long as he’ll swing both ways.

    • LOL! love it – swing both ways! tehe!

  • Milo and Alfie

    Our dad is a cat man for sure!

    Milo and Alfie xx

    • YIPPEE! Submit him to CAT MAN MONDAY! 

  • Rena

    My husband grew up without any pets. I grew up with a zoo. It took him a bit of time to warm up, but he was open to having pets and I ran with it. He’s now been converted to a cat and dog and bird man (but not the Alcatraz type 🙂 ) Thanks so much for sharing your story. So sweet!

    • Love it! “A bird man but not the Alcatraz type” LOL! Perfect! Glad you enjoyed Rena and David’s story! Perhaps you should submit the story of your CAT MAN’s conversion (or he can submit it himself!). 

  • I’m married to a major catman. He’s crazier about cats than I am, and I’m pretty crazy.

    • Layla perhaps you need to submit your man to CAT MAN MONDAY! =^^=

  • Rena

    Thanks, everyone, for the nice comments and good wishes! There really is something about cats that changes people. They bring out the best in us. I look forward to reading about all your other cat men and seeing photos of your “babies.” As for Joey riding on David’s back: There’s a Facebook group for flame point Siamese cat lovers, and I’ve met a number of people whose flame points do the exact same thing. They’re an interesting breed!

  • Animal loving men are good people…. there are not that many out there… so hold on to him if you have one!

  • Love the photos of your man and your cats… past and present… David is like me, I never pass a cat (or dog for that matter) without interacting with them.   They are the best friends you could ever have!

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  • Tina Renee

    This just brought tears to my eyes. Now this is a real man! I wish I could find one like him!

  • Yes we have a cat man –  Richard – he loves a cuddle and a chase with Kizzie.  He missed his old puss who passed on in February, and was pleased to get Kizzie (as long as she doesn’t scratch the furniture – in which case he gets cross).

    • Awwww I LOVE hearing that! Perhaps Richard and Kizzie need to be the next CAT MAN MONDAY!!! 

  • Purringkinkygirl

    Hi There, oh gosh just found your blog and read this post and it brought tears to my eyes… so awesome 🙂 🙂 🙂 

  • Lunaann13

    This is so like my husband who said what is that cat doing here 16 years ago and now has her on his chest loving her every nigh. Not to mention the one he said come see about this cat it is back and its hurt. Now she sleeps next to him and he tells her move over sweetheart when he gets in the bed.

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