I take being called a crazy cat lady as fact. I’m that friend that wears cat shirts, cat shoes, a cat hat. The interior design of my home is catered for cats, with humans a secondary consideration. Friends come over to visit, but the reality is that they’re visiting my menagerie of cats, not me.
I grew up with two childhood cats. First there was Itchy, an outdoor only DSH that our neighbors left in our care when they moved away. My mom felt bad for her during the Winter, so she transitioned into an indoor/outdoor cat. She was 12 years old when she was run over by a car. This is traumatizing for an 11 year old, thus my personal reasoning for never owning an indoor/outdoor cat. Less than a year after Itchy’s passing, my family brought home 5 month old Patches, whom I loved as my best friend (I used to remind my husband that Patches came before him) until she passed at 17 years old in September 2016 of Feline Kidney Disease.
A few years ago, feral cats began having kittens in my dad’s backyard. This is when my inner cat lady really started rearing its head. My cousin and I raised the kittens, and we found homes for all of them on our own. I learned the concept of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release), and spent a couple of summers trying to catch and spay cats living in the backyard, which my brother had deemed “the cat brothel.”
A friend of mine told me she pictured me as the Indiana Jones of cat trapping. Although TNR is actually boring and consists of a lot of waiting around for a cat to walk into a trap, the imagery of wearing a cool hat and jacket is nice.
Anyway, the work was indescribably rewarding, and thus I started working officially with various rescues to foster and adopt out cats.
It’s been an educational experience; I learned how to tube feed and bottle feed newborns, medicate cats of all ages, and became familiar with your typical cat ailments. There have been horror stories that make you want to cry and punch awful people, and happy stories that still make you want to cry, but for a good reason.
I started this blog after taking a class in graduate school called Digital Research Methods. We had an assignment to do an Ethnography survey using our smartphones. This demonstrated how easily attainable it is to leverage technology for the education and benefit of animal welfare. Friends had already been telling me to record my adventures in animal rescue (aka post cute kitten photos), so I finally decided that a blog would be my technological medium for spreading the word.
I hope that a blog about the life of someone immersed in all things cats (ownership, fostering, TNR, rescue, consumerism) will raise awareness for the tears and joys involved, and convince someone else to give ownership or volunteering a try.
For cat-related tidbits that don’t necessitate a blog post, I’ve also created a board on my Pinterest similarly titled Occupation Cat Lady.