I thought that it would be fun to do a little About Us blog post to let you know all about our cats!
A little backstory. Growing up, we had so many different pets throughout the years. Cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, snakes, bearded dragons, turtles, fish, birds! My dad is an animal lover and got it from his father so I was bound to be one too!
When I first met my husband Mike, he wasn't too fond of pets since he didn't have much experience with them growing up other than a dog and a cat that he didn't really bother with.
That all changed when we adopted our first cat together, Mindy! She was a dark-colored tortoiseshell cat and she was such a goofy character. She would guard the doors and try to steal food at every chance she had because she was a former stray. She was a daddy's girl off the rip. I was SO jealous but it was the cutest relationship ever and turned him into a "Cat Man".
Mindy sadly passed away a few years later recovering from anesthesia from a routine teeth cleaning. The vet did an autopsy and said that she had undiagnosed pancreatic cancer- a difficult cancer to spot. After Mindy passed, I wasn't sure if I wanted another cat because the pain was so difficult to handle.
After my landlord heard about Mindy passing, she told me that her cat had kittens and to just come by one day (she lived above us) to play with them. Honestly, I had no intention in adopting another cat because I was still heartbroken over the loss of Mindy.
Well, I went up to her house and she brought to me a tiny 1lb kitten who she said was the last of the litter as the others were adopted already. He was black and white and SO fluffy. He put his chin on my chest and looked up at me and I knew in that moment, he was coming home with me. So I grabbed him, walked back down to my apartment and excitedly took pictures and sent my husband an email to his work email with a ton of photos and told him "look who I brought home".
Again, he fell in love with him as quickly as I did and I named him Neko! Neko was a handful as a kitten but the love I had for him was immeasurable!
He quickly became a daddy's boy however over the years, he's become a HUGE mommy's boy. He went from 1 lb to a 14 lb monster! He isn't overweight, he just grew to be huge! We think he may be a maine coon and Norwegian Forest cat mix, at least from my research I think so!
After we had Neko for a couple of years, we decided we wanted to get him a companion to keep him occupied while we both worked all day.
We took Neko in the car to the nearest Humane Society and we went into the shelter hoping to find his new best friend. There weren't many cats but there were a family of 3 ginger cats. The shelter attendants told us that they were given up by their previous owner and were in rough condition. The sister and 2 brothers all had health issues. One of the boys was grooming his sister who clearly had an eye infection and a cold of some sort. When they opened the cage, the cat grooming his sister seemed the most interested and came out.
We sat on a bench and this cat who was covered in flakey skin (flea dermatitis) rolled all over our laps, head butted us and purred like no other. We looked at each other and knew he was the one. I did the paperwork while my husband spent more time with him. We adopted him and got him into the car in a carrier next to Neko for the hour (traffic, ugh) drive home.
Neko was confused and unsure of his new orange tabby brother dubbed "Beanie" and stayed up all night to follow him around and sniff him. The photo above is from that night! Within a week, they were cuddling, grooming each other, and best friends! Eventually we put harnesses and leashes on them and walked them in our yard and they both LOVED it instantly. We had so many adventures in our yard, it was my favorite.
Beanie was the sweetest cat ever. He would headbutt strangers, rub all over you, meow at you. He was the cat we used to introduce to the new kitties we adopted over the years because he instantly accepted anyone new. He was goofy and so loving. He was our shadow.
Unfortunately Beanie passed in February 2022 due to cancer but we know we gave him the best life we could. He was 11-13 (we weren't sure his exact birthdate). He was the best cat we could ask for and miss him very much.
I skipped ahead quickly but back to September 2015. I was volunteering at a cat shelter and I met a few cats that I fell in love with. One of them being a ginger kitten named Owen. He was such a sweetheart and we adopted him pretty soon after.
He blended in so well with our little family. He quickly became friends with Neko and Beanie. He loved watching the fish in the fishtank, sitting next to me while I drew, read a book or crocheted. He was my shadow. He was so playful and played fetch with me!
Sadly February 2016, he passed due to an underlying heart condition that we had no idea he had. He was such a sweet boy and we were grateful that we were able to give him a loving home for the short few months that we had him.
Shortly after Owen passing, I volunteered again at the cat shelter where we adopted Owen. I went a few times to help feed the cats, clean up after them and the best part- play and pet them!
While petting one of the cats, the owner of the shelter said "Oh my goodness! Diana is letting you pet her? In the whole time that she's been here, she's never willingly walked up to a human before." This is when I knew, she chose me. A few short weeks after we lost Owen, I adopted the most beautiful black long-haired cat, Diana.
She used to be a stray that frequented a local Dunkin Donuts and Pizza Hut. The owner warned us that she would probably take time to adjust as she was normally very shy. When we got her home, she was very scared and went into hiding as we expected. She hid under a blanket a lot and only came out at night to use the litter box and to eat.
I worked with her for several months to get her to trust us. I gave her what I call "love eyes" (slow blinks) every time I interacted with her. I pet her, fed her, talked to her in a sweet voice. Eventually she stopped hiding under the blanket and explored the apartment. She got along great with the other cats as she was in a no-cage cat shelter before we adopted her. She was still very much afraid of humans, especially my husband since he had to travel far for work every day and wasn't home a lot. I worked overnights at the time but I used every free second to spend time with her. Slowly, she would sit next to me on the couch but you couldn't pet her much without her getting too worried.
Over the years, she has improved SO much and is one of the friendliest cats that we have! She will want you to pet her until your arm falls off. Seriously, she doesn't get sick of petting! She sleeps in bed with us every night, sleeps on top of me in the mornings, sleeps on my pillow, follows me into my studio and is such a love bug.
Fast forward to the end of August 2017. We were at a Petsmart shopping for cat food and saw that there were cats from a Humane Society there. We saw a set of 6 month old brothers that were orange and white. Of course I just wanted to say hello.
I asked the attendant if we could hold them as I haven't held a kitten in a while. Mike had one brother and I had the other. The one in my arms cuddled up and was falling asleep in my arms. I went to give him back to the attendant and he looked me right in my eyes and I knew, he was mine.
We adopted Zazu, a scrawny kitten that day! I spent the night sleeping on the floor of the bedroom with the bedroom door closed while Mike slept in the living room with the resident cats. Zazu was a love bug all night. I woke up to him sleeping on my hair. When I say this cat was glued to me, I mean it. He played fetch with me for hours, he followed me around room to room, laid on me constantly. He got along great with the other cats, of course we introduced Beanie (the friendliest of them all) to Zazu first and they hit it off instantly.
Zazu is a full-blown Mama's boy, sorry Mike! Till this day, he will walk from the kitchen after eating breakfast into my studio and lay down on his special spot next to my computer chair and flop down and roll around for his morning pets. After he gets a good 10 minutes of petting, he'll leave and come back with a spring or a stuffed toy to play fetch with and that'll go on until he's tired out. He'll go sleep in another room for a bit but will eventually come back in and lay on my lap.
He's not fond of strangers and is afraid of the rain but he's been getting better over the years. He's almost as vocal as his brother Beanie and will definitely yell at you to tell you to throw his toy for fetch. He went from a scrawny 6 month old to what I call a "meat stick". He's not overweight per say but he's very muscular, from all of the fetch I suppose!
Almost a year after adopting Zazu, we went to a PetSmart to buy cat food. Of course I wanted to see which cats they had up for adoption but I was NOT adopting a fifth because my husband said four was enough. I met them all, gave him "love eyes".
I noticed a brown tabby named Roffle Paris who was very scared. She was curled up in the corner of her cage, pupils massive. I heard the attendants talking saying that night they were taking her back to the shelter because she was too afraid and no one was interested in her. When I heard that, I looked at Mike and said "They can't take her back there. Let's meet her". He was reluctant but we met her and she was sweet but scared. I looked at her name tag again and said "No, you're Rosie". I told the worker to get the paperwork ready while I bought a new carrier for our newest family member! The photo below is a photo of her in her cage at the PetSmart! You know that you couldn't be able to say no to that face either!
As soon as Rosie got home, we had her separated in the bedroom as we always do with new cats. She warmed up to me very quickly. Before long, she was sleeping next to me in bed and rubbing all over me. She had this strange high-pitched meow that I wouldn't even call a meow. It's like she didn't know how meows worked, it was adorable! Since then, she has kind of developed a meow probably from hearing her siblings!
She got along quickly with all of the other cats and became a daddy's girl. I was jealous of course but she loved me too. Over the years, she's definitely become more of a split between me and my husband. She loves us both equally I'd say.
She has a skinny little tail with a black tip that she flicks around excitedly when we get up from a chair (she's very food motivated). She loves bird and squirrel watching and will yell at them all day. She loves her squeaky mouse wand toy and will play with it for hours.
Well, that's the background of all of the cats that we've adopted over the years! At the time of this blog, we have 4 cats. Neko- the black and white cat AKA the drama king. Diana- the black cat AKA the majestic queen. Zazu- the orange and white cat AKA the ACTUAL king. And Rosie the brown tabby AKA the princess.
We don't plan on adding another cat to our family after the loss of Bean and current health issues that we have to attend to of our current cats but like you saw before in the stories above, I've said that and adopted another one anyway!