Have You Ever Seen a Non-Cat Person Become a Cat Lover?


Gretchen wants a cat.

I wasn’t surprised by the text. My brother’s girlfriend had talked about cat adoption for years despite Josh being steadfastly against it. Recently, though, she seemed to be wearing him down.

It wasn’t that Josh necessarily disliked cats. He just didn’t feel much of anything about them one way or another, which was actually rather surprising. Like the rest of my family, my brother is a true animal lover. He grew up with dogs and two African gray parrots and loved all of them fiercely. He became a vegetarian before it was cool and a few years ago made the decision to go vegan.

But cats? Well, the only cat he ever really had any experience with was Annabelle, a big grey tabby who wandered onto our porch one day during a rainstorm. Annabelle liked exactly two people. Unfortunately, Josh wasn’t one of them and she made a point to avoid him at every opportunity. So I’ve no doubt in Josh’s mind he thought that’s the way all cats were.

In addition to this ambivalence, his business requires him to travel frequently, and he wasn’t sure a cat would fit into his lifestyle. And to top it off, he has very specific, and expensive, taste in furnishings, so he was understandably concerned how a cat’s claws might “redecorate” his home. But wanting to keep his girlfriend happy, he finally relented.

At the time, I was the only one out of four siblings who had cats and this set me up as my brother’s go-to gal for all things feline. So over the next few weeks, I got numerous texts regarding cat adoption and cats in general:

Read an article about declawing. Seems pretty bad. Maybe we could adopt an already declawed cat.

What do you think about an 8-year-old cat versus a younger one?

I found the perfect litter box. It’s called a ModKat. Looks really cool. Watched some videos and cats seem to like it.

Then one day I got THE text:

So we paid an adoption fee on Piper last night.

Piper was a young, front-declawed Tonkinese who had just come into a local shelter. She was so frightened that Josh and Gretchen only got a glimpse of her hiding under the blankets in her kennel on that first day. Although they were allowed to pay the fee, they couldn’t take her home because the shelter wanted to make sure she was okay physically before releasing her. They suggested Josh and Gretchen return in a few days.

The following Saturday, they returned to the shelter. The good news was that Piper had quit hiding. The bad news was that she was now crouching in her kennel, growling and hissing at everyone who walked by. The shelter rep asked them to wait a few more days because the staff was too afraid to handle Piper to get her into the crate for the ride home.

My brother, not unreasonably, was ready to call it quits. Gretchen, however, stood firm. This, she made it clear, was her cat and that was that.

Lady said we can take her home to see how it works out. Said we can always bring her back. So not exactly the way I would want things to go but hopefully it will work out.

Finally, several days later, they managed to get the hissing, unhappy cat into the carrier and drove her home while she screamed at the top of her lungs. Once inside their apartment, they opened the carrier door and stood back, bracing themselves for a possible onslaught from the wild animal inside.

Instead, what walked out was a sweet, gentle kitty who rubbed up against them, purring contentedly. Since it was immediately obvious she was not going back to the shelter, they made it official by changing her name from Piper to Maki. That night, Maki crawled underneath the covers, snuggled up with her new family, and didn’t make a sound.

Next text I got:

First ModKat trip successful!

A few days later:

So why does she only seem to drink the leftover water in the shower and not from her water bowl? Worried about her getting sick from slightly soapy water.

A few days after that:

In general, how worried are you about poisoning from food products, household cleaners, etc? Read any book and it makes it sound like cats are dropping left and right.

By this point it was clear: My brother had become a certified cat person. And if there was any doubt, that’s when the Facebook pictures started.

Maki appreciates the view from our windows.

Maki seems to like the new perch we installed for her.

Maki says it’s time to stop working.

Maki celebrating that last touchdown. Boomer Sooner!

Maki the parrot cat!

Every time I see one of these pictures pop up on my feed, it makes my heart happy. I love that he loves his cat so much and I love that he’s not afraid to show it. I always suspected that he had a dormant cat-loving gene; he just needed the right feline to bring it out.

Your turn: Have you ever known someone who went from being a non-cat person to a cat person? Tell us about it in the comments.

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About the Author: Amber Carlton is a freelance pet industry marketing copywriter and content specialist for hire who also acts as interpreter and typist for her dog’s musings at Mayzie’s Dog Blog. She shares life with her husband, two dogs and two cats (all rescues except for the husband). Connect with Amber at her business website or on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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