Get to Know a Cat Guy: Tim and His World-Traveling Cat, Flea


Today’s cat guy is Tim, a longtime cat lover from Florida who learned his cat guy ways from his parents. His current kitty is a huge part of his life, and he even got her a passport and moved her to Spain for a few months when he was there for a job!

I have to disclose that Tim is a good friend of mine. His cat used to be an outside kitty who hung out around my parents’ house ÔÇô until I convinced him that she needed a home, and he needed a little more purr in his life!

Dorian: Tim, when did you first realize you were a cat guy?

My first cat approached me when I was in middle school. He would come to the bus stop outside of my house every morning before school and rub against me and my brother’s legs. We named him Shadow, and after a few days we asked my mom if we could keep him. She said yes, Shadow found a home and I had my first cat. He was a great cat, very toy-friendly and would let us do anything to him, like lay him over our shoulders and neck like a scarf.

I’m guessing you named him Shadow because he followed you around. What about other cats you’ve had?

Shadow was actually named just because he was jet black like a Shadow. Then we got Melrose, Fe and Oscar. They were found as kittens in Gainesville, Florida, when I first moved into college. So naturally, being the cat people they are, my parents rescued them and drove with them for 4 1/2 hours back to our home (and their new home!).

Melrose was named after my college apartment complex, Fe was named after the community college I was enrolled at (Santa Fe Community College) and Oscar was named just because he was a tabby cat and he looked like an Oscar.

Then we got Tiger, who was an outdoor cat in the neighborhood. At night we would bring him inside so he would be safe. Eventually he just became an inside-only cat. We also had two other cats, Little One and Gizzy. Not sure how we named them or got them. And then we got Ziola who was my brother’s cat who he couldn’t take him with him when he moved away.

Before leaving college, I adopted and fed an outdoor cat named Sam, who would come by and visit every day. He was a good cat who needed a good home and loving. When I moved to South Florida, I had a step-kitty named Pimp (Dorian’s cat). And then, last but not least, as I lived on my own, I got Flea Flea, who was a cat found after a hurricane. She is my daughter.

Whew! That’s a lot of cats! You should probably invest in lint brush stock. So, are you constantly covered in cat hair … and do you wear it proud?

I actually feel bad when I leave the house after lint-brushing and find one hair still clinging on my shirt. So instead of plucking it off, yes, I carry it proudly on me all day.

Seems like something a lot of us would do. What’s the craziest cat guy thing you’ve ever done?

Nothing too crazy, but I dress Flea up for holidays.

Flea must be a very patient kitty. Is she always an angel or have your feline friends ever gotten you in trouble?

Gladly enough, so far I haven’t had any trouble. I would always sneak her into apartments I rented where pets were not allowed, and she was a very good, quiet girl. Eventually when I would became friends with the board of directors, I would tell them and she would win them over and they’d be OK with her.

What are your favorite pet names for Flea?

Flea is her name, but she’s Flea Flea a lot. She’s also Lil Girl and Boo Boo.

Do you take your Flea Flea with your on trips or to work?

I actually moved to Gran Canaria, Spain, in the Canary Islands, and got a pet passport for Flea to move with me! She became a surf kitty who lived with me in a surf shop I worked and stayed at. She probably has more stamps on her passport than most humans!

She isn’t bilingual just yet, but I do try speaking in Spanish to her every now and then. She definitely understands when I come home and say “Hola gato.”

Do you have any kitty-themed items in your wardrobe?

I don’t have any kitty-themed clothes, but Flea has clothes! Mostly holiday costumes and necklaces for college game days with her favorite sports team, the Florida Gators.

Do you think cat guys can be as crazy as cat ladies?

I think most women are nurturing, so cat-ladyness comes naturally to them. You never really hear too much about cat guys. We don’t seem crazy. Or do we? :)

Do you have a cat guy in your life? Tell us in the comments!

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