You know her as Blossom, or most recently as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory or maybe even as C.C. Bloom from Beaches. But there are two boys and three cats who simply call her Mom.
That’s right, I’m talking about the incredibly talented Mayim Bialik! Recently, I was fortunate to welcome her to my radio show, 19 Cats and Counting on Pet Life Radio, to discuss our mutual love for cats. Mayim refers to me as a “Rad” Cat Mom, a modern Cat Lady minus the crazy. Thank you Mayim! If I am rad, then you are even more RAD!
An advocate for cats
Mayim has done many incredible things for cats, not the least of which was to adopt a special-needs kitty named Addie. Mayim first became aware of the beautiful gray-and-white tabby and her special needs while appearing on a talk show in New York. One of the other segments featured Addie, a cat who was born without a pectoral muscle and was unable to hold her body upright, and was in need of surgery. Instantly struck by this kitty’s plight, Mayim told the producers if by the end of her stay in New York no one had adopted Addie from the shelter, she would.
Addie received her much-needed surgery, and then a couple weeks later she flew home to Los Angeles with Mayim. Addie was wearing a full body cast by then, so she got to fly in Mayim’s first class seat, while Mayim herself flew home in coach! Now that’s a REAL cat mom! Addie is also partially deaf, so Mayim raises her voice a bit higher when speaking to be sure Addie can hear her.
Addie is now famous, appearing beside Mayim in a public service announcement for Royal Canin’s Take Your Cat to the Vet initiative (#Cat2Vet). Along with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw, Mayim appears in these ads to raise awareness for cats who don’t get that preventive veterinary care. “Did you know that only half of the cats in the United States actually go to the vet?” Mayim asked me on the show. “We need to do better! Just like medical for ourselves, for our children, for our dogs, cats really do need to be seen by a vet.”
I couldn’t agree more. So many times, changes in cat behavior are indicative of unchecked health issues. Too many cats are given up needlessly, when just a visit with a vet may have uncovered a treatable health issue that would have corrected the problem. Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to illness; it’s part of how they survive in nature. Often by the time you notice that your cat is ill, there is something pretty major going on, and it might even be too late.
A longtime cat lady
Cats have been a part of Mayim’s life since childhood, and she can’t imagine life any other way. Her current three cats, Addie, Francis and Nermal, couldn’t be more different from one another. While Addie loves to curl up with the family, Francis, a gray tabby who is the oldest kitty, does not like playing with people nor with “the kittens,” as Mayim calls Addie and Nermal.
“She would be very happy to have been an only cat,” she says. Mayim affectionately refers to her as “Crazy Lady Francis,” a skittish cat who took 12 years to actually warm up to the family, having come from an abusive situation. Nermal, a Russian Blue, had been a street cat before he came to live with Mayim and her family. He loves to play and “torture the other cats!”
As the mother of two growing boys, through her cats Mayim is teaching her children the importance of animals in our life, and how to love and properly care for them. Addie is particularly infatuated with Mayim’s older son, waiting patiently on his bed for him to come home and snuggle with her. Her younger son was a little intimidated by the cats at first but has now learned how to hold them and feel comfortable doing so. Through interactions with the cats, her boys are also learning patience and to respect boundaries.
Probably one of the things Mayim loves the most about cats is their intuitiveness. Her cats seem to sense when she feels sad, and they have comforted Mayim through some difficult times, most recently the loss of her father.
“My cats have been a part of all the transitions in my life: They saw me through a divorce, through the loss of my father, they know what it means when I cry, and they comfort me and snuggle special with me.” They have also seen her through happy times, watching over her as Mayim gave birth at home to her second son. “My cats hold the secrets of my soul, and I hope my boys feel the same way about them.”
When asked “What is a secret your cats know about you that the rest of us don’t know?” A wide grin spread across Mayim’s face as she somewhat embarrassingly answered, “Probably the fact that I kiss them all the time.”
Don’t worry, Mayim. Your secret is safe with us.
Featured Image: Joey Andrew | Startraksphoto.com