Meet 6 Belly Dancers and Their Fabulous Rescue Cats


I’ve been taking belly dance classes and performing for the past 10 years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about my fellow dancers, it’s that the majority of us are insane cat ladies. We also make a lot of our own costumes, which means we have beads and tassels and coins and sparkly things everywhere. In other words, rescue kitties who end up with us have pretty much hit the jackpot.

After joking with a group of dancers about how you’re inaugurated into the art form the day you find glitter on your cat, I decided to interview my posse about their kitties. So, without further ado, I present your feel-good, glitter-saturated post of the day. You’re welcome.

1. Heather and Focus, New York City (as told by her boyfriend, Chad)

Chad says: One sunny weekend afternoon, Heather and I were walking home from brunch. Earlier that week I had noticed a sign posted regarding a nearby cat adoption event and suggested we go have a peek at the kitties. At the time we wanted a black one, but we weren’t quite ready to adopt.

While wandering around the adoption event, one particular jalopy of a cat caught our attention. His name was Mr. Biggs. He was a tomcat, so his face was big and masculine. He had huge paws, a broken tooth, a nose that looked like it may have been broken, and ripped ears. A lot of physical traits but none so characteristic as his eyes … crossed! It was kind of hilarious. He was a feral cat they caught and had fixed up. He seemed to have a good demeanor, so they were going to try and find him a home.

Nearly six months later we found ourselves at the same cat adoption event and noticed that Mr. Biggs was still there and seemed to remember us. While we were inspecting all of the other kitties, we noticed him continually staring at us. Obviously we had to say hello to him. Now both of us felt a connection with this patchwork monster.

The next evening we called and began the adoption process to adopt our cross-eyed kitty, whom we renamed Focus. He lives happily ever after in our home!

2. Holly and Lottie, New York City

Holly says: Last year, the tuba player in the orchestra where I play violin had two cats who had a litter of kittens. He brought some to rehearsal one night and that was all it took for me to fall for her. I named her Lottie after Little Lottie in Phantom of the Opera. She had her first birthday on January 5, 2014.

3. Mariyah and Bunches, New York City

Mariyah says: I didn’t seek her out, but Bunches found me. She belonged to a friend of a friend. This friend had taken a job for a year in China and could not take “Tempest” with her. She was young, maybe a year old, and she fit her name. She was and still is a little bit crazy, like I think all torties are.

I agreed to catsit … for an entire year. Tempest was pretty charming, but I tried my best not to get to too attached. When Tempest’s mom decided to stay in China another year, Tempest became my cat and soon after became Bunches, named for the bunchy, snuggly shape of her body when she curls up on your belly, arm, or side of the couch.

I feel her temperament changed with the new name, too. She went from being a bit of a tornado to an all-out cuddly snuggle-bug, though she still definitely has the tortie crazies.

4. Donna, Calli, Banshee, Peanut and Kahlua the Wookiee, St. Paul, MN

Donna says: Calli (calico, 13) was a farm cat who found my husband one morning after a party. Banshee (black Siamese/Manx, 11) was part of an “unwanted/accidental” litter. She was a shy little girl and I knew I needed to bring her home.

Peanut (cinnamon tabby) was my special cat. When we got her, she had earmites, roundworm, giardia, and a respiratory infection. After months of antibiotics and emergency vet runs, she had a clean bill of health. We had her for nine years. She was diagnosed with lymphoma and we had to say goodbye in May of 2012.

Kahlua the Wookiee (tortie, 10) walked into my house off the street. I was leaving for work one morning and this tiny kitten popped into my porch. It was fall, and in MN, it gets pretty darn cold. I went into the house to grab a carrier, blankets, and food and water. I couldn’t have her inside with the others until she was cleared by a vet, but I wanted her comfortable. She followed me in the house, made friends with Peanut, and has been in my home and heart ever since.

I’m often fighting with Banshee and Wookiee to get off my fabric when I’m costuming, and Peanut had a habit of licking glitter (and everything else, really).

5. Alison and Mook, South Africa

Alison says: Mook was handed to me 20 years ago by a coworker — he found her on the pavement outside. She was tiny, probably about four weeks old, and for the first two weeks of her living with me she was just a tiny lump under the bed covers, only appearing to eat or use the sand box.

I named her Carmen Miranda, but that name didn’t stick and she became Mook. She spends her time trying to convince me that I don’t need to sew costumes but should rather allow her endless lap time.

6. Yasemin, Mem and Khan, Thousand Oaks, CA

Yasemin says: My Siamese mix kitties, Khan and Mehmet, were adopted from Pink Paws in Thousand Oaks. They’re brothers who were found in a dumpster during a rainstorm. Their mother and siblings were later trapped and taken to Pink Paws as well. They’ve always been inseparable. They enjoy sleeping and playing on silk, velvet, and lace in my sewing room.

So, as you can see, if you’re really good in this life, you might come back as a belly dancer’s cat in then next one. Huge thanks to my lovely friends for giving these adorable floofballs forever homes full of sparkles, glitter, and love!

Read stories of rescue on Catster:

About the author: Stacy Pershall is a constant traveler currently settled in Astoria, Queens, New York, where she lives in a Greek Archie Bunker house and loves it. When she’s not tending to the needs of her two street adoptions, Carbon and Tiki, she writes stories and teaches writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Her passion in life — besides cats — is her work as a suicide prevention speaker for Active Minds. She is the author of Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl. Find out more by following her on Facebook.

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