The Reluctant Cat Guy

16 Jul

I have always been a dog guy. Some of my earliest memories involve begging my parents for a dog. We had a cat in the house, but that didn’t cut it, I needed a dog. When they finally broke down and we adopted a Chocolate Lab/Aussie mix from the shelter that dog immediately became my best friend. She slept in my bed with me, followed me everywhere and even played soccer in my front yard with the neighborhood kids and I.

Then I grew up. My four-legged bff passed on, I moved out of my parent’s house and out into the “real world”. I quickly learned a frustrating lesson that many other San Diego dog lovers are all too familiar with – although San Diego is very dog friendly overall, it is really difficult to find a place to rent that is.

I had never thought about getting a cat. Sure, my neighbors had them and they were pretty cute, but I still didn’t like cats. The cat that inhabited the house I grew up in hated me – seriously. Chronologically my Mom’s cat came first, then my father joined the family via marriage and a few years after that I was born. You could say that cute little “Coco” was jealous, but that doesn’t even come close. I could never get within 5 feet for the cat without risking a scratch or two. It wasn’t until she and I both reached our teens that she became too old to care and I could finally sneak a pet or two. Despite this, Coco pretty much shaped my attitude towards cats.

I still remember the day that all that changed….

It was my 20th birthday and I had just gotten off work at South Bark. I came home to find my girlfriend on the couch with a little orange and white ball of fluff sleeping in her arms. “Happy Birthday!” she said with a smile. I looked down at the thing in her arms and I couldn’t help but smile too as it was so darn cute! I really didn’t want a cat, but now I had one. I picked him up and looked into his sleepy blue/green eyes. “Hello companion for the next 15-20 years” I said to him. It was hard not to fall in love with him. He was so tiny but had huge white paws and extra toes making him look like he had thumbs on each of his front paws. He followed me everywhere and slept with me every night, he was about as close to a dog as I was going to get. I named him Zombie due to my love of horror movies.

Fast forward a few years latter and now I’m a certified (crazy) cat guy. My surprise love for this goofy orange and white tabby has led me down a path I didn’t think I would take.  Thanks to him I’m an expert in cat nutrition. I assist the feral cat coalition with cat rescues in my neighborhood. Also, as an added bonus, when I go to someone’s place, I’m the first person the cats go to….even the shy ones.

-Alex
Lead Tub Tender
South Bark

One Response to “The Reluctant Cat Guy”

  1. Alexandra July 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I love it! My dad was like you were – a super dog lover & cat hater. It’s taken me years to convince him of a cat’s place in the home. I love how you need to earn their love. I also love how a dog so freely gives his love, but there’s something unique & lovely about knowing that you were awesome enough to get a cat to love you. ;-)

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