This week’s “Get to Know a Cat Guy is a very special edition I’m so happy to share with everyone. He’s an amazing cat guy who probably had a lot to do with the fact that I’m such a cat lady myself. Everyone, meet my dad, Bob Wagner!
Think back to when you first noticed kitties had a special place in your heart. When did you realize you were a cat guy?
I was always a "pet" guy, but I became a full-blown cat lover thanks to Gizmo Wagner. Gizmo was a big, beautiful, fluffy gray-and-white cat that actually created an entire generation of cat fanatics. Can’t say enough about Gizzie; she was the most loving, amazing cat ever to walk the earth. She went to the Bridge a few years ago, and we hung her treat plate on the wall in our bedroom right above the spot she used to sleep every night (she and her treat plate were inseparable!). I look at it every day and smile. All it takes is one Gizmo in your life and you are forever a lover of felines.
Gizmo was definitely a great kitty. The best! For me, the best part was how she’d help me get ready every morning when I was in school. Such a good girl! So tell everyone about your current cats. You have two pretty girls right now, right?
Tuscany is our orange-and-white girl. My wife was in love with Italy at the time and it was a perfect name for her. And Taylor is our gray-and-white Maine Coon. Taylor was her name she was given at the Humane Society we adopted her from, and it fit so perfectly we couldn’t change it.
So, with these two bundles of fur around, tell the truth: Are you constantly covered in cat hair … and do you wear it proudly?
I would be, but my wife chases me around with one of those sticky roller things. I have this bad habit of allowing Tuscany and Taylor to, well ÔÇª I let them go anywhere and do anything they want. And so the roller (with my wife attached) kind of follows us around the house.
One favorite thing Tuscany and I love to do is this: After carefully looking to see that my wife isn’t watching, I open the armoire doors in the bedroom and invite Tuscany to hop up and get comfortable in the soft pile of clean clothes. Funny thing is that she looks both ways (looking for my wife) before she hops up and starts to knead and purr like crazy. Then my wife’s sixth sense perks up and she comes around the corner to catch us in our mischief. “Busted!” I always proclaim as Tuscany gets scooped up and deposited back on the floor.
Taylor isn’t much of a lap kitty except up in my computer room, and when she sees me headed up there she scrambles to beat me there and hops in my lap. She is a Maine Coon, and after a good 20 minutes or so of petting and purring I am covered with about a half a cat’s worth of long, long fur. I got the gift of one of those lint rollers to keep in my room this weekend ÔÇª wonder why?
Sounds like you’re just as sneaky as the cats and they’re your partners in crime! Have your feline friends ever gotten you in trouble?
As mentioned, I get busted quite often when I invite Taylor and Tuscany to cuddle in certain off-limits locations like the armoire or between the pillows on the bed (great hiding place, but the tail always gives it away) or under the covers. They’re just so cute, that it’s hard to say no ÔÇô- and they look so comfy! I have never gone without supper, but I do get the evil eye!
Shenanigans is the word that comes to mind, but I bet most of us reading this would do the same things. If you had to pick, what’s the craziest cat guy thing you’ve ever done?
Can’t think of anything real crazy — just the typical cat-lover things like never throwing out a box because you know someday your kitty might go back to sleeping in it, and so your living room looks a bit crowded with makeshift toys. Kitties really do prefer to pick their own toys and they are rarely the store-bought ones. Boxes, wrapping paper, those cardboard separators in boxes ÔÇª oh, and don’t forget paper bags! Those are some of my Tuscany and Taylor’s favorites.
Do you have any silly pet names for your girls?
Gizmo had at least 25 nicknames, of which Bubbs was my favorite (for her always doing “the bubblies,” which is what we call it when cats do that kneading thing because their paw pads are like bubbles). After that, my wife felt we should tone back the nicknames. So when Tuscany came around, nicknames were not allowed and we tried to stick with her real name, but she became T. And then with Taylor, again being such a pretty name, my wife wanted no nicknames ÔÇª but with that she could not stop me! She became Pooh Bear, Pooh for short.
Pooh Bear! I love that name. Do T and Pooh Bear ever go with you on trips or to work?
The kitties stay at home (never could put them in a kennel) and we have a neighbor who looks in on them twice a day when we are on vacation. In addition, our "sitter" is left with individually prepared bags of food for all our outside stray cats we feed. There are a bunch who come every day.
I have a feeling I know the answer to this after some of the things you’ve said you do for your cats, but we have to ask: Do you think cat guys can be as crazy as cat ladies?
No question about it! You see, it is really not up to us humans. If your cats "allow" you to be crazy about them, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, you are just blessed to be owned by a cat to go crazy over. And so, your cat kind of calls the shots. If you are paying attention, you just get hooked! If not, wake up and go crazy over your cats.
Are you a cat guy? Would you like to be featured in our weekly series? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little bit about you and your kitties and why you think you’re a cat guy. We’d love to hear from you!
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