As part of our ongoing series celebrating the cat guys we love, this is a reader-submitted “Cat Guy” story. This soldier hubby demonstrates his cat gayness by going the extra mile to keep cats happy and healthy.
A few weeks ago, we discussed a New York Times column that suggested that straight single men were now increasingly unashamed of proclaiming their love for cats. The following is part of an ongoing series wherein we celebrate the Cat Guys we love. This is a reader-submitted “Cat Guy” story from Julia M., whose soldier hubby David demonstrates his Cat Guyness by going to extraordinary lengths to keep the cats happy and healthy:
When I first met David almost 12 years ago, I was sharing my cramped apartment with two cats — Lillie and Camila (aka, Milla). I sensed that David was an “animal person” (a quality that is very important to me but also difficult to find in straight men!), but suspected that he was really more of a dog person than anything else. Well, Milla and David fell head-over-heels in love with each other (Lillie gave her own approval of David in more discreet ways). We married two years later. Of course, after a couple of years of marriage, we decided that it was time to add to our family, so we adopted twin torties, Mara and Malaika — bringing our feline brood up to four.
Things were going along swimmingly, and as time progressed we began looking for a house to buy. One of the MOST important things to both of us was that the window sills be wide enough for the cats to perch and enjoy the sun and bird-watching. While looking at prospective houses, many were vetoed because they either lacked certain features that we thought that the Fab Four would like, or there were features that we felt posed a hazard to them. We drove our real estate agent nuts — it was probably the first time anyone had ever taken into consideration that there were more than just two humans potentially living in the house. Anyway, we ended up finding just the right house that offered everything that we wanted (including awesome windows!), and we settled in.
Two years after moving in, Malaika, Lillie, and Milla all became ill with terminal diseases. At almost 20 years of age, Lillie developed mouth and tongue cancer, and at 16 years of age, Milla was diagnosed with colon cancer. Both were treated agressively with surgery and chemotherapy, but each died in 2006 within months of each other. At the same time that they were battling cancer, 5-yr-old Malaika got sick. She was diagnosed with hypercalcemia-induced chronic renal failure. We took her to N.C. State Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where she remained an active patient for over one year until she died in late 2006. Shortly thereafter, David and I decided to adopt again, this time taking in a brother and sister from the local shelter — Jake and Emma. One year later they were both diagnosed with (non-effusive) FIP. I had to have Emma euthanized last February while David was in Iraq (Jake continues to be in remission).
Through all of this, David shared all of the heartache with me, travelling the four hours to N.C. State several times a month with me for Malaika, Jake and Emma. He is as crazy about all of our babies and considers them to be our children — something that isn’t easy when you’re a Commander in the Navy surrounded by some true Alpha males who think that cats are for sissies. David keeps pictures of all of our kids on his desk (he even refers to them as his kids!), and is proud to boast about them to anyone who will ask.
We’ve since adopted yet another little tortie, Galena — so now we have a happy household of three. I can’t think of any man who would indulge my need to share our home with a bunch of cats — let alone one who would love them as much as I do. Then there’s the cost that we’ve incurred with numerous illnesses: In the past three years we have spent approximately $30,000 on vet bills. (Galena, Marty, and Jake now are all insured!) That alone would scare off virtually any man I can think of. But he loves them all and doesn’t even think twice if one needs something. He isn’t ashamed to be caught playing with them, throwing their toys around the house and encouraging them to go after them. I can’t think of any man I would want to be married to except him — and life with him and the cats is the best that I could ever have hoped for!
Well, here’s a big salute to David. I’m sure that more than a few single women will be leaving comments asking if he has a single brother!
Got a Cat Guy story? Send it to me!