When I met the person who I knew I wanted to be in a forever relationship with, I was fortunate that he didn’t “hate” cats. However, he was a little ambivalent about them. He liked cats in general, but probably thought that he understood dogs better. I say, “thought that he understood dogs,” because in hindsight, we both learned over time that we really both understand cats way better than dogs.
I’ll call my husband “C” for the purposes of this article. C is a private person and a Scorpio. He does, however, have an extremely good and big heart — crucial for any partner and really crucial when there are animals in the household.
When we first met, I already had one cat. C bonded with her right away, and Tigger (a beautiful cream-colored cat who is no longer alive) helped matters greatly by being absolutely crazy about C. C would play adorable games with this cat — some of which involved pizza. My heart was warmed instantly and I knew that C was an amazing match.
By the time we got married (we dated and lived together for four years prior), I had three cats. C showed amazing tolerance and patience when we introduced Milo, even though this cat (who had been a stray) objected strongly to being inside the house and howled nonstop while C worked at home on his thesis. Amazingly, C and Milo formed a stronger bond than I was ever able to create with Milo — just because they spent so much time in the house together!
Still, I don’t think C was prepared for how many more cats would join the household. (Hint — neither was I.)
Over the 23 or so years we’ve been together, we have had a max of six cats at one time, but a total of 13 cats overall. That’s a lot of coming and going. C continues to amaze me (a sign, I believe, of a good relationship). He’s patient and skilled as we introduce cats, and he’s been phenomenal when we’ve had to help them pass. C helps equally with all kinds of things, if needed, like medications, sub-q fluids, and general care and love. I think I couldn’t be luckier. Writing this article, in fact, is helping me re-remember how lucky I am.
C again proved his big heart when he brought home our second dog. (We only have one dog now.) The dog (a yellow Lab mix) was going to be killed. She had been been abused and would cower, especially around men, though it was quite obvious that she was a very sweet dog. C made a snap decision and bought this dog home on very short notice so she wouldn’t be killed. Corona is a truly amazing dog. She’s 15 to 16 years old, at least, and full of energy. The veterinarian staff are amazed and call her “super dog.” All because my partner, C, gave this dog a chance at life! C sincerely believes that Corona is grateful for her life, and so do I.
Not that this has been the case lately (we’ve been very, very busy), but in the wintertime, C usually sits around more than I do. I have less patience with television, for example, and am stingy about sacrificing my time to the TV. But when C sits down on the futon to read or watch TV (I will join him for House or for Downton Abbey), the cats are all over him! They love him greatly. Perhaps they associate him with increased lap time. He pets them and doesn’t push them off. They eat it up.
Also, there have been times when C has had a very short beard (not now). Certain cats have gone crazy for that beard — head-butting it, rubbing it, even gently biting it. Perhaps C seems like a big cat to them. Ironic, since I’m the one with the cat name. But there you have it.
We’re currently maxed, but we’re happy, and these guys are FAMILY
We can’t imagine life without our cats and dog. Of course, it makes life complicated at times. Sometimes, we can’t easily get away together. Other times, it works. Sometimes, the logistics of feeding and caring for several animals is, well, involved. We move fast. We have to. But it would be a pretty sterile place without these beautiful creatures and personalities who share our homes.
So, yes, I’m all for cat guys and cat partners. It’s a huge and important criterion when you’re going to share your life with someone.
Are you in a relationship with a cat guy or a cat partner? Tell us your stories in comments!
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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.