Cat Man Monday: He Was “Only” A Cat

Rick Horowitz is a prolific man who’s held many titles: Emmy award winning-commentator, adjunct professor, lawyer, writing coach and radio personality (just to name a few).  Cat Man was certainly not a title he’d ever envisioned holding.


“I’m way too old for this. Nobody gets his first pet in his sixth decade,” writes Rick. “I’d always known pretty much everything I needed to know about why I wasn’t remotely the pet type.”


“And then we got Dustin.”

In his recently published Huffington Post article “He Was Only A Cat,” Rick tells us how Dustin D. Cat, the cat that only his “marriage-mate”originally wanted, wiggled his way into this middle-aged pet-virgin’s heart.

“It was ridiculous. Cats value their independence. (Why does that sound familiar?) Cats don’t need human company. They certainly don’t enjoy human company. But nobody had told Dustin.”

Dustin (a.k.a. “Mr. D,” aka “Dust Man,”, aka “Dust Bunny,” aka “The Dustinator”)


Rick dispels what cat-lovers already know to be a myth, the idea that cats are not social creatures and tolerate humans merely for food and shelter.

“He hung out with us — and not just for the food and the treats…When repairmen arrived, he greeted them at the door, and then followed them to the basement to watch them work their magic…We talked about how convenient it would be to have a plumber’s apprentice living right on the premises.”

Dustin fixing the printer. “Everything looks good up here…lemme check under the hood.”

When we open our hearts to another being – human or animal –  we are changed. Relationships change the way we see, think about and interact with the world around us. They enrich our lives and bring us great joy and comfort, but by their very nature will also inevitably bring us pain.

The loss of a companion animal is something I’ve yet to experience. And until I had cats I never really understood what those who lost a pet were going through.

Rick writes about hearing that his beloved cat Dustin has been diagnosed with cancer.

“What seemed reasonable to the two of us? For the two of us and Dustin? Kitty chemo and kitty steroids seemed reasonable, and then kitty MRIs and kitty CAT scans (insert your own joke here) and — I’d become the people I’d always snickered at.  Suddenly I understood.”

I encourage you to read the entire article, “He Was Only A Cat” from which excerpts were quoted in this article.

The Man Behind The Cat


When I requested photos of Rick with Dustin he replied,  “there don’t seem to be any pictures of Dustin and me together – when we were playing together, I guess we were too busy playing to stop for pictures.  Likewise when we were relaxing together.”

While I would have loved to see them together, I found his response very touching. What a lucky cat Dustin was.

Rick can be reached by email at


Are you a Can Man or do you have a Cat Man in your life we need to know about? Send a 400-700 word post with photos to ihavecat(at)gmail(dot)com for consideration.


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  • superb post, thanks for sharing

    • Hi Caren, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this about a person I’ve read for years and feel I know!

    • That’s so wonderful Bernadette! Rick was super sweet and responsive when I reached out to him. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this about a person I’ve read for years and feel I know!

  • Debbie

    I’ve loved animals all my life, but have had friends and relatives who have gone through this transition of “learning what it is all about”.  Such a beautiful transition…

    • I must admit I did too. Not having grown up with animals I just couldn’t comprehend the relationship. the bond….and just how unique they each are! 

  • Aria

    Thanks so much for sharing this, what a beautiful article – it genuinely brought tears to my eyes. I’ve loved and lived with cats all my life up until two years ago and there is an excruciating emptiness inside – which is probably why I get even more emotional as soon as read happy / sad cat stories I can relate to 🙂 

  • Kat-Renee Kittel

    Thank you for sharing about Dustin… Glad Dustin worked his way into Rick’s heart and did what he was called to do… give love.