CAT MAN MONDAY: Pet Friendly Living

If you live in New York City or another metropolitan area, you may well be familiar with the challenges of finding a pet-friendly building. Today’s Cat Man Monday, entrepreneur Josh Garay, combined his love of animals with his knowledge of real estate to create PetFriendlyLiving.com, a service for people with pets to find apartments, vacation rentals and homes. The idea for the company was influenced greatly by his upbringing – with cats. 

Josh Garay (sorry, sadly that's not his kitten - yet!)

Josh Garay (sadly that’s not his kitten – yet!)

As an only child growing up in Suburban, New Jersey, I always wanted to have a pet.  All of our neighbors had pets, mostly dogs and a few cats. But my parents told me I had to wait until I was old enough to take care of them before I could have one myself. Once I turned six the told the time had finally come to choose a pet!

I really wanted a cat from the start.  I saw my neighbor’s cats and really liked the way they acted, kind of like guardians of the home. They pranced around liked they owned the place, but were always warm and loving to their human companions.

Kittens

That’s Samantha front and center!

 

When it was time to adopt our first cat, I was so excited. Finally I would have what all our neighbors had, a real pet of my own. My parents brought me to their friend whose cat had just given birth to a litter of six kittens and told me to pick as many as I wanted!  I asked them why since I thought I was going to get one cat. They said  cats get lonely too, and they could keep each other company when I was in school.

As soon as I saw Samantha, I knew I had to have her.  She was the most beautiful kitten I’d ever seen.  Jessebell came right up to me so I figured we might as well take her in as well. She turned out to be an exceptional cat. Two was enough for me so back home we went with our two new cats!

Jessebelle

Jessebelle

 

What made Jessebell special was how smart she was. She always was waiting for me near the door at the time I came home from school. And she always came into the kitchen when I was eating breakfast to send me off each morning. It was like she knew my schedule.

Jessebell was so different from Samantha, I guess she was the alpha cat.  She was always present, in the living room when we were watching TV, in the kitchen when we were eating.  Samantha was a bit shy I guess, or just more of a loner. She liked being in the corner by herself. But she was always affectionate when I approached her and wanted to hang out.

image_1

Samantha being very tolerant I’d say!

 

I don’t know how I came up with their names, they just popped into my head.  Perhaps my parents used those names at some point, or I heard them on TV.  I called them by name every time I saw them with the hope they could learn their names.

Some people just don’t realize that cats can be as friendly as dogs.  My cats loved being around people and to my delight would always come running when hearing their names (it worked!). Jessebell and Samantha were warm, outgoing and affectionate.  Maybe it’s because of how I treated them.

I was an only child after all so I spent a great deal of time with them. They were part of the family. When I wasn’t playing with friends I was with Samantha and Jessebell.

image_2

Samantha as a wee one!

 

They were part of the family for many years. While they didn’t always get along with one another, they did come to respect each other.  They were friendly to everyone in the family including the extended family. I always looked forward to seeing them when coming home from school or long day out.

At the age of twenty and twenty-one, they finally said goodbye to us and took a trip to another place. It was such a shock that they would leave this world within months of each other. I guess it was meant to be that way. We miss them and think about them often.

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Samantha all grown up

 

Whenever I see a cat, I always feel the need to pet them and play with them for a few minutes.  It reminds me of Samantha and Jessebell.

Recently I took the opportunity to leverage my love for animals coupled with my real estate and website skills to develop a service for pet lovers, PetFriendlyLiving.com. I dedicate my new service to Samantha and Jessebell whom I miss dearly.

petfriendlyliving.com

I loved my cats.  They were, and remain,very special to me. While I do not presently have a cat, I think it might be time to begin looking for a new special friend…

A final photo of Jessebelle being silly, wrapped around a tree.

A final photo of Jessebelle being silly, disguised as a plant!

 

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  • yeah!!! love it!!! let’s hope it brings me luck!! 😀

  • What a nice guy and great idea. I really hope he adopts a cat or two soon. Send him my way. We’ve got about 100 cats at the New Rochelle Humane Society and a 2 for one adoption special this Saturday!

  • pilch92

    There are so many cats looking for homes, I hope he gets a couple soon-they would be lucky.

  • jmuhj

    A new hero — Josh Garay! What a wonderful “tale” and how great it is that you are incorporating your love for cats into your business to help others find their dream homes. Keep up the amazing work — and I think I’m safe in saying that all readers here think it IS time for you to adopt more cats in the best possible tribute to Samantha and Jessebell and the love you share forever with them.

  • Pam

    Your kitties lived a good long life, and it is a result of loving care and attention. Please adopt at least one all black kitty as they are euthanized more than any other. Black cats are incredibly wonderful, smart and affectionate.

  • what a beautiful choice of an idea. I’m glad you are having success with it.

  • dmricciardi

    God bless Josh for providing a much needed service!!! May God bless him with much success — and a new kitty in the future!! ♥♥♥