Happy Father’s Day to Fur Daddies Everywhere!

 

In the past on Father’s Day I’ve written about my Dad (“Father of the Cat Ladies“). This year I thought it would be fun to hear from Father’s of children of the furry variety.  I hope you enjoy these stories from three very different cat men (one of whom has even published a book about the human relationship with cats and dogs). 

Max, my parent's neighbor's cat

Max, my parent’s neighbor’s cat

 

But of course I still have to give a shout out to the main man in my life. My Daddy, who I’m convinced is slowly but surely turning into a cat man himself thanks to one neighborhood cat by the name of Max. He’ll try and deny it (though he can’t do it with a straight face), saying it’s the cat who won’t leave him alone, but there’s no denying those extra large “Temptations” packages in the garage!  I love you Daddy. I’m lucky to have had you and still have you as my Daddy. Bacheegs xoxo

 

I was exactly one month old - I love how I'm gazing up at him. My hero!

I was exactly one month old – I love how I’m gazing up at him. My hero!

 

Jim and His Daddy’s Girls Abby and Casey

Abby and Casey are three-year-old sisters, who rescued me when they were nine weeks old. My heart was so broken when Jamie, my girl cat who barely ever left my side, passed.  I didn’t think I’d get through it. I’d always been a tough guy, but losing her changed me forever. Abby and Casey gave me a reason to come back from the dark.

bed sleeping

Abby and Casey (don’t they look like identical twins?! I love how they are intertwined!)

 

Now I live each day for the day and appreciate most everything. I walked into the living room one morning before X-Mas, and found the tree listing badly starboard, and most of the decorations scattered about. At the center of it all were Abby and Casey, looking like their paws were caught in the cookie jar. I laughed for 10 minutes. They must have had so much fun tearing it all apart. Things can be replaced moments like that never can.

Since I have only two cats, I cannot be considered a crazy cat-man. The rulebook clearly states the magic number is three!  The girls have birthday parties, their own Christmas stockings, and get an allowance. They’re paid by the number of mice they catch – $100 per mouse. Being indoor-only kitties however, they only get about two a year and donate all but a few dollars to the Westfield Homeless Cat Project. Those few extra dollars go to my Fathers Day present!

 Jim Aldrich

A Sunday afternoon nap with Jaimie who passed on May 3, 2011

 

I knew they considered me their Dad when I had to work at the hospital for a few days and nights, leaving the girls with my girlfriend. When I finally came home to crash, they both ignored their fresh food and jumped in my lap. When I woke up six hours later, they were still there, one under each arm. It was the ignoring the food part that made it important. They’ve been daddy’s girls ever since.

–  Jim Aldrich 

 

David with Furkids Jasper and Jezebel

I became a cat daddy on September 3rd, 2005. My fiancée and I had both grown up with cats, but these were the first we had lived with since leaving home, and the first we owned together. We treated the decision to get pets the way some couples might consider having their first child. College wasn’t the right time. And when we were living together in graduate school we moved around so much and had so little money it didn’t make sense then either. So we waited. And then waited some more. It wasn’t until we moved to Baltimore, with me starting a career as a science writer and my fiancée beginning her medical residency, that we felt ready to adopt.

Years of anticipation didn’t do wonders for our self-control. We walked into a humane society one Saturday morning and picked the first cats we saw. Spotting Jasper and Jezebel (then named “Jack” and “Jill”) in a cage together. Their fuzzy white bellies, their gray striped backs, their tiny heads with oversized ears staring back at us from behind the bars—we lost all sense of patience or reason. “We’ll take them,” I said to a slightly stunned shelter worker. They were a package deal: one cat for $85; two for $130. It was a steal. Or so we thought.

David Grimm with his cats

David with Jasper on his lap and Jezebel perched on the sofa behind him.

 

Jasper went into kidney failure three months after we got him and we nearly lost him. I cried more than I had in years. But thanks to a few days in the intensive care unit—and a $3,000 vet bill—we got him back. He and Jezebel are good in all of the ways cats are good: they’re adorable, they’re strange, and they (mostly) love to cuddle. We were even able to train them to walk on leashes (don’t ask). And they’re bad in all of the ways cats are bad: Jezebel wakes us up in the middle of the night to eat, Jasper has figured out how to turn on our alarm clock. Still, we couldn’t imagine life without them.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I had twins. We’d been treating Jasper and Jezebel like children for years, and I wondered how the arrival of human babies would change the equation. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it didn’t. Sure, both cats know they’re no longer the center of our attention. We spend less time with them, and they have two new competitors for our laps. But we’ve found plenty of room in our hearts for everyone. Jezebel still gets her nightly petting sessions. Jasper still gets his expensive kidney-friendly diet and yearly ultrasounds. We continue to take their pictures, call to ask about them when we go away, and spoil them rotten. They are, as they have always been, family. And I’m still proud to be their cat daddy.

David Grimm is the online news editor of “Science” and the author of the new book, “Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs”, which traces the journey of pets from wild animals to family members.

 

Bruce, Cat Dad to Raskolnikov and Malishka

About my small family, it’s just me and my two rescue cats Raskolnikov (a boy) and Malishka (a girl).  Raskolnikov (Raski) was named after the protagonist in “Crime and Punishment,” he’s a huge grayish cat. He earned this name because when he came to live with me he would suck on the pad of his paw, like a baby sucks its thumb. I think he was separated from his momma too early, and for some reason his emotional issues reminded me of the character Roskolnikov. He’s adjusted well to his new home and life with his sister, a gorgeous little Tortie,  Malishka (which means “little girl” in Russian, and she is indeed very petite).

Cat Daddy

Raskolnikov (Kip makes the same pose!) and Malishka (love her coloring!)

 

They are the closest I’ll probably ever have to children, and they are like children in the sense that they live in my home (more like I live in their home but I get to pay for it!). I feed them and give them water them, clean up after them, blah blah blah.  I must mention that I’m an Archaeologist requiring quite a bit of travel so they’re with me only about half the time. When I’m on long excavations away from home, I usually take them to my parents about an hour and a half away (unless I happen to have a girlfriend who will take them in), which is another way they’re like children.

Raski and Malishka love going to grandma and grandpas house. They get spoiled rotten over there. My dad will get up at six in the morning to give them cat treats and play with the, and my mom just bought a huge kitty condo that takes up half their living room. Shameful 😉 Sometimes when I go pick them up, I get the feeling that they’d rather stay there!

Bruce getting some loving from

Bruce getting some loving from Raski (adorable!!!)

 

Another way they’re like having two small, furry, demanding children is that they wake me up whenever they feel like it. Raski likes to play very early in the morning and will jump into bed with me, biting my toes until I wake up! Malishka jumps on the island in my kitchen so she’s more or less at my level whenever I get home in order to tell me what kind of shit went down in the apartment while I was away. She does this by meowing loudly and incessantly at me while I patiently listen to her kitty dramas, after which she wants to crawl into my lap for a nap.

I’m very lucky to have them in my life. They fill my home with love and joy, and I miss them a lot when I’m traveling. They can be like little tiny, furry offspring, but I think they’re better than kids. They can clean themselves and don’t require my constant supervision. They’re inexpensive, will eat whatever I give them {Tamar here – he’s lucky!}, and most importantly they give me huge amounts of love. Sometimes there is nothing better than lying in bed reading with two cats piled up on your lap of chest purring away.

– Bruce Darnell

Bruce Darnell

Raskolnikov and Malishka

If you’re a man who lives with cats, do your find they can feel like children at times? Or make you feel like a Dad in some way or another? Leave a comment and tell us about it! 

And a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to you Dad’s of all kinds on this special day!

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  • Lorraine

    Happy Father’s Day to all the cat daddies. Hope your fur babies spoil you rotten 🙂 And thank you for sharing these stories.

  • Aaaaw Dis be a Pawsum posty.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi

  • Birgit K.

    Lovely stories!

  • Rena

    Great stories!

  • We loved reading these Cat Daddy stories. Happy Dad’s Day to them…and all the Cat Dads out there…’specially ours. 🙂

  • Happy Father’s Day to all Cat Daddies !

  • jmuhj

    Yes, Happy Father’s Day to all the cat daddies out there – you’re the greatest! Really enjoyed reading these guys’ stories and seeing the pix of their beloved felines. Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to my dad and my uncles all of whom are looking down from above and all of whom were absolutely Cat Daddies. I love you and miss you all. Thank you for giving me — in tandem with the cats who have graced our lives — the greatest Life Lesson there is, that of love, compassion, kindness, gentleness, and personal responsibility.

  • This is an awesome article that made me laugh out loud. I am sooo glad there are so many loving pet parents who truly understand that their furry children make their lives bigger and better than they could possibly imagine.

  • Aw, I love finding men who like (and are owned by) cats.

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