Thursday, July 19, 2012


The Best Time I ... Tried to Adopt a Cat

For many years, I’d wanted to get a cat. And for just as many years, my boyfriend had resisted. He claimed that cats were creepy, would poop in our house, would never really love us, and would rip up our furniture. Cats are not creepy and they do love you, I tried to tell him (I didn’t have much ground on the pooping and furniture-ruining points), but he wouldn’t budge, so I spent many nights watching Real Housewives alone, wishing I had a cat to keep me company. Sad me! No, it wasn’t that dramatic, I just wanted a cute cat to pet.

So I pestered and pestered, and would read him heartbreaking listings from Petfinder.com (if you’re ever in the mood for a good weep, just peruse those adoption blurbs — “Little Albie, a 4-month-old male kitten, was found in a dumpster. We’ve nursed the friendly guy back to health, and now he’s looking for a forever home!” You’re crying now, right? I am!). Finally, after a nice dinner, a few margaritas, and particularly intense Petfinder session in which I read aloud a listing about a kitten named Emma — my name! — with one leg — one leg! — my boyfriend said to me, tears in his eyes (not really): “Fine, get the cat, but if our apartment smells like poop, it’s on you.” “Hooray,” I yelled, and quickly began Googling “how to adopt a cat in NYC.”

The next weekend, I set out on my mission. I even wore my glasses to convey just how serious I was. I took out my contacts! That’s how serious I was. I arrived at a Petco in midtown and was thrilled to see a number of kittens displayed for adoption. I liked one in particular, a small gray guy with green eyes. “Can I see that one over there?” I asked the volunteer manning the cats. She eyed me suspiciously — she was somewhere between 30 and 60 years old, had butt-length brown hair, and was in worn-out overalls. “Do you already have a cat at home?” she responded. “No, this will be our first!” I gave a chipper, cat-loving smile, one I hoped read ‘happy’ instead of ‘hoarder.’ “I’m sorry, then. You can’t adopt any one of these cats. You can only adopt them in pairs. Otherwise, it’s inhumane. Are you willing to do that?” I was confused, and started to sweat under her cat-lady glare. “I think we just want one cat,” I replied softly. I showed her my list of other adoption sites. “Will any of these places let me get just one cat?” She squinted at my iPhone. “Nope. No way. It’s a citywide policy for all the non-profits. We only allow kittens to be adopted in pairs.” I had just spent years convincing my boyfriend to get one cat, and now this scary lady was telling me we had to get two? 

I wandered out of the store, dejected, and called another organization.

“Can I adopt one kitten from you?”

“Only two, sweetheart.”

And another. “Can I adopt one kitten from you?”

“No, not if you don’t have another cat at home.” But she did recommend a Humane Society an hour uptown.

So, fine, I thought, what’s the big deal? I’ll go up and get a cat. One cat. I got to the Humane Society with high hopes. And then I went in. It was poorly lit and smelled overwhelmingly of wet animals. People were elbowing me and dogs were barking loudly. I followed the signs to the cat area, and on the way up some narrow stairs, I started to get dizzy. Like, really dizzy. Like, panic attack dizzy. Once in the cat room, a tiny square filled with cages of the saddest meowing cats you’ve ever seen, I began to choke on clumps of fur floating in the air like dandelion fluff. I know that the Humane Society is a wonderful organization that saves the lives of so many animals. And yet, at the moment, all I could think was: For the love of god get me out of this hellhole GET ME OUT OF HERE!! My chest tightened, and I felt like I was going to pass out on the floor of the cat room and forever be deemed unsuitable to raise a kitten. I ran out, gasping, eyes tearing up, glasses falling down my face. I got into a cab and sobbed.

I called my boyfriend. “So, did you find us one?” he asked cheerfully. “I CAN’T BREATHE. I THINK I’M DYING.” I tried to explain what happened, but wasn’t making a lot of sense. “I was going to get us a cat. But then I could only get two. So then I came here. And then I couldn’t breathe.” After several minutes (during which I debated telling the cab driver to take me to the hospital), I calmed down, and by the time I got home, I was tear-streaked but semi-recovered.

The next weekend, I adopted one cat from a different Petco. That lady had lied to me. But you know what? It is kind of tragic to only have one. He was lonely, I could just tell. So a couple months later, I adopted another. Now we have two cats, Ollie and Nucky. And they do watch the Real Housewives with me. And our apartment smells like poop. And my boyfriend and I are engaged and he’s stuck with me and our two cats forever. The end.

Emma Rosenblum is an editor at Glamour. She spends her free time watching TV and looking up diseases that she might have on WebMD.com

224 Comments / Post A Comment


As far as the Poop In The House argument goes, people also poop in the house. I'm glad it worked out in the end!

Jane Err

@Pizzahut Get rid of your houses, seriously, they're revolting.


@Pizzahut But not in a box that just sits out for days?


@aliceandstuff But ideally it doesn't sit out for days! That poop is ripe for a scoopin'! In my house the poop is lucky if it gets to sit in the box for longer than 10 seconds before I come diving in with the pooper scooper going "HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" like a Die Hard movie.


@werewolfbarmitzvah For real. It takes about 5 seconds to scoop up poop.

Hot Doom

@Pizzahut One time my friend had to deal with outages due to a hurricane so she pooped in bags of kitty litter and made her dumb boyfriend throw the bags away. The end.


@werewolfbarmitzvah I scoop 'em as soon as I see 'em, which is imperative, because the cat tends to leave them just sitting on top of the litter all exposed and stinky-like. I was just recently whinging to Mr Pixa "She doesn't cover them up!", and he said "well, she knows we like to collect them..."


@Pizzahut But there's no guarantee they will poop in the box! People (hopefully) don't poop behind the couch or in clean laundry. I love cats, but I've lived with too many (always roommates') cats that pee/poop in random, hard-to-clean places :( One cat peed ON MY ROOMMATE'S MACBOOK and fried it.


Also, it's the easiest thing in the world to toilet train a cat. Just:
-Put their litterbox on the toilet seat.
-Put their littlerbox in the toilet bowl (like put litter in a plastic bowl with handles that will hang over the edge).
-Take it away!
They'll poop in the toilet and nothing has to smell like poop ever again, and you never have to buy litter ever again, which stinks and has to be terrible for the environment.


@Pixa My cat leaves them exposed, too, but I think that's mainly because of the litter I use. (Feline Pine. It's magic!)


@Inkling You keep using this word "easy."
I do not think it means what you think it means.

Better to Eat You With

@billie_crusoe Cats are only hostile and insane if their owners make them that way. They pick up human habits and vibes really easily. Case in point: Every cat my mother has ever raised has been neurotic, terrorized, and dysfunctional. (Also her children.)

I have never had a cat (except when I lived with my mother) that ever peed or pooped anywhere outside a litterbox, and neither have any of the other well-adjusted cat owners I know, unless the cat is sick and trying to let its people know. Your roommates perhaps needed to not have cats until they lived somewhere without roommates, in more stable circumstances.


@Better to Eat You With the only time my cat ever pooped on the floor was when she had a cone on her head from the vet, and couldn't get into the litterbox.


@billie_crusoe I just almost spit out my sip of wine picturing my boyfriend pooping behind the couch or in a pile of clean laundry.


Cats! They weave mad happy poop- scented engagement spells over nice boyfriends! Also, congratulations on your engagement, Emma!!


Trusssst meeeee


@werewolfbarmitzvah Have you guys ever seen My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet? It's sort of like a Dog Whisperer-type thing, but with cats. Anyway, there was one pet owner on there whose cat was peeing in the bathroom sink, and the owner couldn't imagine why, considering that he--astute and sensible guy that he is--was cleaning the box...

once every two weeks! And he seemed to be proud of his dedication to the chore too! I was stunned. And he's lucky that his poor cat decided to use an easily cleaned sink.


@Inkling Proceed with caution. My sister's roommate tried this with her perfectly box-trained cat and turned him into a monster


My friend has a raccoon that poops in the kitty litter. Also, a (completely awesome) dog who while in the potty training stages was convinced because of watching all the cats and the raccoon do it that the proper place to poop was the kitty litter. Eventually she was re-trained that the backyard was the better option.


What kind of monster?


@Inkling A bed/furniture/floor-peeing monster. Once his aversion to the new arrangement drove him to seek alternative locations, he did not go back to going only in his box after the plan had been junked.


@Medani the only time my cat ever pooped outside of the box was the time I brought home a sheepskin rug. She liked it VERY much and was scrambling around on it. Suddenly, she went into a trance and pooped. Then she shook her whole body and walked away. Cats.


I have the opposite husband; he wants a FOURTH. Four is a lot of cats! I already feel like the crazy cat lady with three!
YouTube Business In A Box


was awsome i love the end@n


But have you ever adopted a cat on acid?

Judith Slutler

@noReally Cats are like, always on acid

fondue with cheddar

@noReally I held a kitten once while on mushrooms. I cuddled it against my chest and pet it and it was SO SOFT AND WARM and its fur was DRIPPING all over me.


@noReally I once held a kitten on acid and became convinced that he should stay a kitten forever and never grow again.

Then, he had a disease for a while where he didn't grow properly and stayed kitten size long after he was supposed to, which turned out to be less cute than you'd think and more worrisome.

fondue with cheddar

@sognodisonno Oh no! How is he now? Is he...still alive?


OH MAN. I have one cat, because she was found by herself in a forest and the very humane people I adopted her from in Chicago (errrm, the place that is just a house, filled with allllllll the cats? Northside...??) said it was fine. And you know what? Not a day goes by that I don't worry about her loneliness, although she's been fine for 8 years. A little clingy, but fine. A little vengefully barfy when I go out of town, but fine. (After Thanksgiving my roommate and I returned home to neat barfs on each of our beds. No turkey for you, cat!) The thought of two poop and dander machines in the teeny tiny apartment I cohabitate with my borderline allergic boyfriend is... well, overwhelming.


@liznieve That's probably Felines Inc. where I volunteer every week (going on 6 years!). They are the best place ever.


YES and we have had this conversation before, I believe. YAY Felines, Inc!


@liznieve I got my cat when a mother cat gave birth to three kittens in my grandfather's backyard, and we were always worried she'd be lonely because we only took her when my aunt's friend took the other two. A year ago we were taking care of a neighbour's cat who lived in our house for three months (it's a very long story), he was the sweetest cat ever and always wanted to play with my cat. My cat, who we always assumed was snotty to humans because she preferred cat company, was snotty to this poor cat too. I don't worry about her being lonely now that I know she just dislikes most people AND animals!


@liznieve Also Treehouse! Treehouse is also just a house full of cats. And it's where my lovely kitten came from. (We said, "We will take your craziest kitten please," and woooh boy, they did not disappoint. <3)


@bot Yay Treehouse! My old lady cat is from there, and she was definitely adopted alone because she hates every cat that is not her. Actually, she also hates her own reflection.

She barfs a lot sometimes? But she is the best one.


@bot Oh man, I LOVE crazy kittens! Barn cats are the best when it comes to being the right kind of batshit.


@Xanthophyllippa I love my crazy barn cat too! And I did a wrong thing when I was 10 and got another cat and she haaaaaaaaated him so much. I'm pretty sure she's stayed alive so long just to spitefully outlive him (she's 20, he had to be put down a month ago, she wins forever, but we are sad). Also, black cats! Why will people not adopt them!?


@rallisaurus cats forever! I have 2 black cats. One is an asshole and one is awesome but we love them both and actually chose them because black cats usually take longer to adopt.


@liznieve My black kitty adopted from under my aunt's porch is the best!! My first male kitty, and I cannot believe how much I love him - he's large, and super sucky and affectionate, and can actually hunt, and has a teeny tiny meow.

I also have two others, one of whom gets vengefully bitey when I leave her too long. She'll be thrilled I'm home, then a day or two later bite my ankles in the bathroom (only in the bathroom), because how dare I have left her. I understand.


What, pairs? Really? I wonder sometimes if our cat is lonely, but if she is, she doesn't really show it (other than being grumpy sometimes that we don't want to play as much as she does, which is all the time), and she hates all human beings besides my boyfriend and I, so I would not have high hopes about pairing her successfully with a Cat Friend For Life.


@frigwiggin The pairs thing IS actually true with young kittens. Kittens need a playmate. The cat shelter I volunteer at only lets kittens go in pairs, because the ones that get adopted out alone usually get returned because "they cry too much/are too playful/get in the way/etc." However, adult cats can be adopted out alone. Some cats love being alone, some don't. It depends on the personality of the cat. My one cat would have been fine being all by herself, but I am a crazy cat lady, so I got another. The firstone simply tolerates the second one.

Does Axl have a jack?

@frigwiggin I adopted my first kitty as a single kitten, and then a couple of months later decided that she was lonely and adopted another one. Nope. I still don't think she has quite forgiven me.


@olivebee I see! We just found ours in the bushes, so that kind of circumvented the whole adoption process. She was maybe 6-8months then, and maybe could have used a companion, but now I'm not sure it would become anything other than a hatefest.


@frigwiggin That's probably old enough to be fine alone. It's more the 4-20 weeks age that they need companions. Don't get me wrong, though, there are definitely oddball kittens who are so mild-mannered and shy that they like being alone. It's just not the [large] majority.

Judith Slutler

@frigwiggin This is why I had two cats growing up, and they really kind of hated each other. I guess they got exercise while scuffling and growling at each other 24/7?


@frigwiggin My downstairs neighbours were adopted by their cat rather than the other way round. But our area has ALL THE CATS that live in London in it, so she has a boyfriend who looks exactly like a male version of her and plenty of other playmates to gang up on the neighbourhood fox with. I guess its different for indoor cats?


@olivebee We'd always heard/been told cats do better with another one for companionship as well, so we will always have two! I want more but the husband says no. :(

We have an older cat, and she was PISSED when we brought home the kitten to "keep her company." He was kind of a rebound cat. He was taking the spot of a young male who had an untimely demise of renal failure. It took all of one day before my in-laws were trying to find me a new cat, and all of a week for me to succumb to this one in my picture!


@BornSecular My husband says no more than two, too. Husbands! Ruinin' all our cat dreams. My last ditch effort to get a third was to take him to the shelter to meet this cat they have named Big Daddy. Big Daddy's number one favorite activity is to be held like a baby. He climbs up onto you and wraps his two front legs around your neck and then rests his head on your shoulder. I thought, "there is NO WAY he can say no the a cat who is literally hugging him like an infant." It didn't work.

BUT if there are any Chicagoans out there who want a lovely adult cat who you can carry around like a baby, visit Big Daddy at Felines, Inc. and fall madly in love!


@frigwiggin I really think my cat needs a friend but I don't know if my apartment could handle it and my roommates don't really want another one. Since I don't have enough money to live alone, I just have to give my cat extra love when I get home. But I worry about her loneliness all the time. I should have adopted 2 at the start!


@olivebee I WANT BIG DADDY. Too bad I am not...anywhere near Chicago. Time to pester my best friend, who lives there and does not need another cat either.


@olivebee Ha, we have 5 at present, as readers of the tumblr may have noted. The 5th is a palliative case, though, so eventually we will only have 4.

the roughest toughest frail

@olivebee I, TOO, WANT BIG DADDY. I'm also no where near Chicago, but my cat's name is Rue McClanahan and getting her a companion named Big Daddy would be just too perfect.


@frigwiggin The older they get, the more they hate change. We got a second kitten when my first cat was a couple of years old, and they got along fine. But the second cat died after only a couple of years (the greatest tragedy of my elementary-school life).
So my cat lived for several years all alone, and then we found this stray at the Lumber store. It was living there, but they couldn't keep it. So be brought Lumber Cat home and my other cat FREAKED and peed on all our desks and pillows for 2 days until we had to send poor old Lumber Cat back.


@abetterfate YOU MUST MOVE TO CHICAGO! It is fate.


@olivebee Ahh, I have the opposite husband; he wants a FOURTH. Four is a lot of cats! I already feel like the crazy cat lady with three!


@olivebee Would they ship him to New England? Nori the cat, my pillow buddy, tolerates being held like a baby for exactly 30 seconds before the squirming awayness happens.


@Does Axl have a jack? THIS. I got my cat a kitten for a pet. She was so stupid and sweet! My old man cat was highly offended, because he knows he is a person.


@frigwiggin I think mine (she's 11ish, and I've had her since 2001) prefers being the only pet. She only started to come out of her shell right after my other cat died three years ago (he was 17, and I'd had him since 1991! Aww, I love and miss you, Tim!). It was as if she knew it was her job to be comforting to me; before that, she might stay in the room if I were there, but only if my other cat was there too, and she didn't like being petted or anything, though she'd occasionally play with a toy. She's gotten increasingly friendly and less skittish since she became an only child. I love that she's so easy to hug and kiss now, but I don't think I can get another cat; I think she'd feel bad.


The cat room at the Humane Society is THE SADDEST PLACE EVER. Sad kittens, sad cats, and sad old cats who will never get adopted and no one plays with. I can't go in there. I do go play with the kitties at Petco so that my kitty will sniff me sucpiciously when I get home.

My kitty adoption story: I pulled her out of a dumpster, took her to the vet to have the parasitic worms removed from the skin on her furry little tummy, and fell in love. WORM INFESTED KITTY LOVE.


@OhShesArtsy No, the old cats will get adopted! They will! Oh, no, the tears, they're still coming.


@OhShesArtsy I'm really high on the first Red Bull I've had in three years and I'm going to start crying just reading this.


@cosmia @frigwiggin I KNOW. It's so sad. I can't even, you guys!


@frigwiggin Here's a story that reinforces the theory that there's a home for all the cats.

We were looking to adopt a companion for our small, shy, skittish cat Ambrose. At the shelter, there was an aggressive, muscular powerhouse of a cat named Zeke. The woman at the shelter worried aloud at how impossible he was going to be to place, primarily because he played hard and had all his claws (the shelter had a no declawing policy). We spent a lot of time visiting with him, trying to make it work, and mostly dodging his claws. In the end, we concluded that he would just be too much cat for little Ambrose and, instead, we adopted a small girl cat.

A few weeks later, we were back at the shelter for girl cat's surgery and we (fearfully) inquired about Zeke. The woman just bubbled with joy as she told us that a family with two extremely well-trained but very large dogs had come in in search of a cat that wouldn't be intimidated or overwhelmed by the dogs. Well, they found it in Zeke. The adopting family had phoned about a week after taking Zeke home to report that he was in his element, dishing out some hardcore hijinks to two dogs, then the three of them curling up in the kitchen together in a big slumbering pile.


@datalass That story!!! It repairs some of the sads I am having today, just imagining Zeke and his rough-and-tumble life with the dergs. Awwww. (Also, I love that you have a cat named Ambrose.)

fondue with cheddar

@frigwiggin My ex in-laws adopted ONLY old cats. <3 them.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

cant you just get a cat in the street for free


@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I got my cat from a backyard for free!

Judith Slutler

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Free unless you count the deworming and shots and flea treatments and feline AIDS and intestinal parasites?

My friend has a really great, streetwise, pretty kitty that she rescued off the street, but srsly, that cat racked up some medical bills as a kitten!


@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
That's how my dude got ours. Well, 2 in the ally free, the other 3 were the kittens resulting from not catching the other two fast enough. And yes, 5 cats, I know.

Lily Rowan

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood A friend of mine bought some kittens off a crackhead once, so that was in the street, but not at all free. Then she brought them to a shelter, so she didn't even end up with the kittens!


@Emmanuelle Cunt My pets have all been "free." They'd have been cheaper at the pound.

practical cat

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I mean, that's how I got mine but the shelter where I volunteer advocates bringing in found cats (in case they're lost, need treatment, for spaying, etc) and that makes a lot of sense to me.


@Emmanuelle Cunt Seriously, because shelters usually get bulk discounts on things like spays and vaccines (I know, I work for one), the adoption fee is usually a lot cheaper than what it would cost as a regular customer at your regular vet. My place does a spay/neuter, vaccine, deworming, frontline, and FIV/FeLV test, and I can assure you that stuff would cost at LEAST double if not three times as much on the the regular animal hospital market.


@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

I found one living in the engine area of my boyfriends car. I had it for two weeks before he made me give it away to a friend of his. Lots of fights over this.


Petfinder is a terrible habit. Terrible, terrible. I'm addicted.


"And my boyfriend and I are engaged and he’s stuck with me and our two cats forever. The end."

Best thing I've read all day.


Also, there are weird adoption rules all over! For instance, when my parents got their cat, the adoption people were like "THANK GOD YOU CAME TODAY. As of tomorrow, all of our black cats are unavailable for adoption until mid-November!" and my parents had to give two references that weren't family members and pay up and take their scrawny black kitten home.

Because apparently assholes adopt black cats and kittens for HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS and then throw them out.

Humans. What are we doing.


@PatatasBravas Yep. This is very true. That's why there are organizations dedicated to rescuing/raising money for black cats because they are the most mistreated. (One of my cats growing up was black, and she got shot by a neighbor...she lived though, and is still kicking today!)


@PatatasBravas @olivebee

Ugh. Fuck humans sometimes, seriously. Why are we even allowed?


@PatatasBravas Ugh I can't even read about people doing this shit, it literally makes me nauseated.


@frigwiggin Because some humans are like my parents and you all? And take kittens home and are nice to them and make grumpy faces but don't move the cat when it decides to knead your gut as hard as possible right after you've eaten?

Y'all should share more adoption stories, though, it'll be a while before I have space and cash to get a pet and I am in wiiiiiiithdraaaaaaaaawal from the cuddles and fur.


@olivebee I read somewhere that all-black animals get adopted less, usually because they photograph poorly.


@PatatasBravas Adoption story alert! One of my cats, Olive, won't let anyone in the world touch her or come within 5 feet of her except me. And she LOVES me (cuddles all up in my face every night). I got her from the shelter I volunteer at, who got her off of death row at a kill shelter, and she was at the kill shelter after being recused from a home where she was abused. Anyways, so I have been volunteering at this place for 6 years, and 3 years ago, I finally moved into a place that allowed cats, so I spent the 5 months before my move choosing which cat I saw every week to take home with me (because I love them all!). And every time I came to the shelter during those 5 months, Olive (formerly Darcy) would bolt over to me and curl up in my lap. So I chose her. I didn't know her backstory and how much she is terrified of other people until after I took her home. I love her more than everything (except for my husband, though he would say I love Olive more).

the roughest toughest frail

@PatatasBravas I read this somewhere and, because I am contrary, I went out of my way to adopt a black cat.

Totally anecdotal, but everyone I know who has owned multiple cats simply raves about how wonderful black cats are, so that also swayed the decision.


@PatatasBravas That is awful. Poor black cats (I have one, and she is the best. She'd make an awful Hallowe'en decoration, though).


@meetapossum There's definitely a truth to black dog syndrome, as sad and stupid as that is.


@olivebee Oliiiiive. That story, it gets all my heartstrings.

@PatatasBravas On the subject of adoption stories AND black-cat stories: almost two years ago, my friend threw me a birthday party at her house and we had a ton of friends over. At one point a few of us went out the front yard and found a wee little black-and-white kitty curled up on the top of the trash can, looking bone-thin and responding sleepily and affectionately to pats. It was a warm day so we gave her some water and tuna, both of which she helped herself to very eagerly, and then, because she looked so under-loved, went around to houses in the surrounding two blocks asking if she belonged to anybody. Nary a soul claimed ownership, and since the house-owner's boyfriend was allergic, we sat down to figure out what to do. One friend whose family already owned five cats somewhat-reluctantly agreed to take her home (an hour away) and place her at their local shelter, since the rest of us couldn't have her at home for even a few days (I don't remember why we didn't just drive the kitty to a local shelter, but whatever). Aaaaanyway, long story short, she of course kept the kitty, named her Nousha, and now Nousha is her sweet little baby who is much more of an energetic pest now that she's properly fed and loved.



This is an unfortunate truth. Though I am currently dog-only (and that dog would probably love to have a cat to make completely miserable), there are a number of wonderful black cats in my past, and they get a raw deal. Dogs too -- it's hard to see their facial expressions and they don't photograph well.

And yes, if you have a black cat keep him or her safe in the house around Halloween, because people (especially gross teenagers running around wilding in packs) could do something horrible.


@PatatasBravas The same thing happens to rabbits at Easter, so this year the shelter where I adopted my bunnies (which gets a bunch of rabbits dumped or abandoned after Easter every. single. year.) convinced several area pet stores to stop selling their rabbits in the weeks before Easter. It was awesome. The next step to get them to stop selling rabbits AT ALL, but Eastertime is a start.

@olivebee Albino bunnies, the ones with pink eyes, also have black cat syndrome. They're hard to adopt out because people think they're freaky-looking. And even though I kind of agree that they look...different....it's so sad to me that they get overlooked because their eyes are an unusual color. :(


That's actually what I heard. The pound PatatasBravas visited might've been putting a nicer spin on it, but a lady who ran a shelter in my (tiny, racist, superstitious, Christian) hometown said people killed black cats, especially around Halloween.
My sister adopted a black kitten from her because she knew we weren't religious/superstitious, but she usually didn't let anyone take them around October.




@PatatasBravas When I was standing in the cat room at PetCo, there were two kittens in a cage together; a little black and white kitty who was crazy and bitey and all over the place, and his Siamese cellmate who was much more calm and affectionate. I wanted the crazy one because I figured he'd be a lot more fun, but my mom suggested I get the Siamese instead because he seemed much less annoying. So I somewhat reluctantly chose him and he was shipped off back to the shelter for shots and neutering. When we went to pick him up a few days later, he buried his head in my armpit until we got to the car. In the ride home, he sat very contentedly on my lap and looked up at me and meowed. Mr. Mojo has spooned with me, under the covers, for the past 13 years now.

And he ended up being crazy, anyhow. I'm pretty sure he sees ghosts, he regularly runs laps throughout the house, and his "meows" sound exactly like, "mom".



All the black dogs that I know are immensely loveable :)

Roaring Girl

@PatatasBravas I have had four black cats, all of them free, all of them freaking amazing. BLACK CATS FOREVER, WHITE CARPETS NEVER.


@abetterfate Me too! One of my cats is black, and she photographs gorgeously. I was embarrassed to ask the rescue society for a black cat because I was afraid I was being shallow, but they were relieved when I did because they said it's hardest to get the black ones adopted. Anyway, I'll just leave this here: http://www.retronaut.co/2011/11/black-cat-auditions-in-hollywood-1961/

The Dilettantista

@PatatasBravas BLACK CAT PARTY . I have two, Dexter and Minion, and the photo of Dexter as a kitten is my little user icon, and it is a GREAT PICTURE of a little black cat, look at my sweet little baby...


@PatatasBravas I have a black cat adoption story!

It took me forever to convince my husband that we needed a second cat. My female cat is outrageously clingy, and I was in the process of looking for a full time job after pretty much not leaving the house for a year while working on my thesis. I figured she would need some company. We looked mostly on craigslist because we didn't want a shelter to call our landlord, who would have charged us ANOTHER $300 nonrefundable pet deposit. We had permission and the deposit for one, and we figured that was enough.

Anyway, I finally found a listing for a black cat on craigslist. He happened to have been born with only three legs. I told my husband we had to get him! His owner was being evicted and had to get rid of all her pets, and if no one contacted her through craigslist they were all going to the shelter. There was no way a 3-legged adult black cat would stand a chance. We made plans to pick him up, but then his owner turned out to be a crazy meth addict and she couldn't find him (in her one bedroom apartment...). We went home very sad, and made plans to go get a kitten the next day.

Then she called me back the next morning once she sobered up. She found him! We promptly took him home. That was about 3 years ago. He doesn't really get along with my cat that well, but I do feel better that she's not all alone in the house, and Victor is a pretty adorable cat. I hate to think what would've happened to him if he'd ended up in a shelter! His favorite tricks are hamming up the whole "missing leg" thing for new people (exaggerated limping, wiggling the stump like he's trying to scratch his ear, flopping over and showing you the stump, etc) and head butting his humans with astonishing force.


@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon What a little sweetheart! Great names too.


@PatatasBravas Another adoption story alert: We adopted our second kitten (black) within nine days of our first (gray-and-white), because we realized that the first one was the naughtiest kitten either of us had ever met (now that she's almost two she's calmed down a little so she's maybe two parts naughty and one part haughty)and our inability to play like kittens was really frustrating her and we hadn't slept in a week. The gray and white one perpetuated emotional terrorism on the black one for about a day and a half, and then they became frenemies for a few hours, and then best buddies/spouses. They have a totally egalitarian relationship with complicated rules, like only one of them is allowed to act silly (tail-chasing, etc.) or play with toys at any given time, since there always has to be a sober one monitoring the activity. They also have a rule where only one of them can be on the bed with human(s) at any time, unless the human is sick or unhappy, in which case a group snuggling may take place.

The gray-and-white one was born in a wealthy household and reared on organic cat food, and even though she's really assertive, she will stop doing things like tearing the map off the wall (again) or shredding the curtains if you tell her once, because in her experience authority works and is a good thing. The black one was the runt in a feral cat colony on the street and had a hard first few months, and even though she's solicitous and shy and has never scratched anyone on purpose and will try to groom the living daylights out of your hand if she thinks she hurt your feelings, she will just look at you politely and keep shredding the curtains in a hesitant and unobtrusive way when you tell her to stop, because surely you didn't really mean it. She can also do this thing where she curls up and sleeps next to you and you involuntarily fall asleep too, no matter what your plans might be. She's doing it now....


@PatatasBravas Yes, black kitties! I have two, Pete and Mrs. Forman and they are the greatest. Pete is big and sweet and shy and Mrs. Forman is a tiny violent (to bugs/mice/her toys) firecracker who loves to cuddle. Seriously, being an adult with a cool dude and two cats is not too shabby. They both came from shelters, but not together. Introducing them was rough for my sweet Pete but they get along pretty well now.


@editrickster Ahhhhh! Adoption stories! Okay. So.

I moved to a new city right after graduation and all my friends were still in Old City partying and having fun and I was stuck in shitty New City with nobody. Then-Dudefriend was going to come down in a few months, but I was all alooooooone. So naturally I cried. A lot. Every night, actually. And then my birthday came and I was a super sad panda and that weekend I went to the shelter to get a dog. I didn't care that a dog was a bad choice, I wanted a dog.

But none of the dogs clicked with me. They were too big or too small, and nobody was Just Right. So I walked around the cat area and passed a bunch of obnoxious kittens (including one with really weird facial hair climbing up and down the bars of his cage who I would later adopt even though I didn't know it at the time), and I saw her. She was grey and adult and in the top right corner cage and it was Love.

I petted her for a few minutes, then walked to the counter and said, "What do I need to do to adopt THAT cat?" and I took the paperwork and I got my apartment complex to give me permission and I went to PetSmart and said, "I am about to adopt a cat. What do I need?" All of this without actually knowing if she would be there when I got back.

So, after purchasing $100+ worth of kitty stuff, I was on the road back to the shelter and I called then-Dudefriend and asked if it was okay if I got a cat. We weren't going to live together, but that was the plan eventually, and he is allergic to cats. But I was sad! And she was furry! And it was love, dammit! He paused for a second after my tearful, discomboblated rant about how sad I was and how when you find love you shouldn't reject it, and besides, I didn't want to have spent all this money on cat things for nothing, and I needed her and said, "Are you going to stop crying yourself to sleep every night if you get this cat?"

I nodded. On the phone. Then he asked again and I remembered I had to actually say words, and I said yes. "So get the damn cat!" And so I did, and then I got her annoying cage-climbing brother, and we have been a family for 4 years now. I am away from them this summer and am super bummed. Current (and best) Dudefriend even misses them, even though we're long distance and he only ever sees them on video chat, he tells me all the time how much he misses Ezra (cage climber) curling up next to me when Dudefriend tries to start frisky conversations and how Lola (my grey furry ball of love) headbutts the phone when he talks, and how excited he is for us to find a way for all three of us to move in with him and be a little family.


@PatatasBravas Wait, what? This whole thread is blowing my mind. Who gets an animal to use as a decoration? That's so messed-up! Also, I think black cats are the coolest and would happily adopt them, so I don't understand why they'd be less-often adopted.


@olivebee A neighbour shot my black cats and it was the saddest thing that has ever happened. Poor Daisy and Benny. And then the morning after we had had to have them put down a sad little kitten came down the garden and cried until we let her sleep by the fire. And she didn't belong to anybody and the Baby Cat stayed for ten years until we went abroad THE END. (catstory. end.)


@all My family has two big black dogs and they are the GREATEST!!!


@PatatasBravas, @Scandyhoovian Yep, just belatedly chiming in to second (fifth?) the whole black-animal thing. I adopted a black pit bull two years ago-- a pretty good double-whammy of unpopularity-- and she's the sweetest and goofiest thing in the world, but people still freak the hell out when they see her.


@PatatasBravas But Padfoot was a black dog, and that is all the reason I would ever need to want one.


My thoughts EXACTLY.


@Blushingflwr I kind of love that for Harry the Grim, this big black dog that was a sign of badness and death and awful things happening, turned out to be his loving godfather. It's like JKR inadvertently told the "big black dog" people to shove it. Or maybe that's just how I want to read it, as I own two dead ringers for Padfoot. :)


@KatieBarTheDoor @all


Also my parents also have a black pittie-mix (mostly pit, though) and she is DUMB AS A BOX OF ROCKS but also THE SWEETEST DOG IN THE WORLD and is all cuddles and wiggles, so she's sort of winning over the world :)


@Blushingflwr Um, I love you.


@PatatasBravas My 15 year-old black cat has been through hell. He was shot with a BB gun, but luckily he's super tubby so his layers of fat just kind of absorbed the pellet? And we didn't find the pellet until way later when we took him to the vet for something else. And then he had his ear all torn up by a raccoon (which is a common occurrence; raccoons are bitches). And at some point he had stroke, we think, because his back legs are all stiff and wobbly and there's nothing else that could have caused it. His back legs were paralyzed for like, a day, and we were all sure he was gonna die and took all these sad pictures of him, but that was about 5 years ago. Oh, and he has asthma. But he is the sweetest thing in the whole world. Aggressively sweet. He loves me with all of his heart, and he purrs so loud that you have to turn up the TV volume when he hops on your lap. I got him when I was 6, and named him Trouble, not because he was black, but because I really wanted a girl kitten.

Nancy Sin

Ugh. I got the Mean Adoption Center Lady treatment a few years ago. She made me cry. Today I have two poopers of my very own, and my husband is allergic, the end.


Those are some cute cats in that picture up top.


@laurel CONCUR!


I have never heard of that, and I've volunteered at shelters. I feel bad for all the cats who need homes who aren't getting any because crazy people are saying they can only adopt in pairs...? I am a total cat person and have grown up with them. i've lived with anywhere from one to four cats. I think sometimes certain cats would have strongly preferred to be the only one. Also, some cats are really dependent on people, and others really couldn't give a shit if you turned into a zombie—as long as you provide some sort of sustenance.


@herebullet It's not so much a cat thing as a young kitten thing. Cats can pretty much always get adopted alone (though some cats would definitely like company), but young kittens who get adopted alone often get returned because they drive the owner batshit crazy when they don't have a playmate. As I said upthread, not ALL kittens are like that, but most of them are. I volunteer at a no-kill shelter, and their number one goal is the happiest life for all the cats they adopt out, so they have a rigorous screening process for adopters. The people who ask for one kitten are almost always new to the cat-owning world (which isn't a bad thing....everyone should get a cat!), but that's why they get frustrated so easily when a solo kitten demands a ton of attention.


@herebullet So now I have a lot of guilt for only adopting one black kitten! But he's so loving and affectionate when he's not hyper crazy playtime, and we play with him as much as possible when we're home (after work & weekends, etc.), and I don't think we could fit another hockey playing with bottle caps-animal in our tiny apartment. Do they outgrow any loneliness they might have when young? I think he's only lonely during the day, but then he's very happy when we're home and doting on him, of course.

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@herebullet It took my first cat years to become friends with the second cat. She would have preferred being the only one. Second cat would have been fine either way.


@Stevie I think cats become a lot more independent when they get older. In my family, we've adopted both kittens and cats, in pairs and by themselves. Most of them were kind of clingy as kittens but got to be completely fine with being alone—though the difference might be that most of our cats spent a lot of time outside. That said, we left our cat, or cats, alone and indoors for a few nights at a time when we went out of town for holidays, and it never seemed like a problem.

I think breed plays a big part of it, too. My parents have a tabby and a maine coon. The tabby couldn't care less who is home, but the maine coon is so dog-like that he gets visibly annoyed when no one has been home for a couple days because he has a routine of sitting with my dad every night.

Honestly I wouldn't feel guilty even if your cat gets a little annoyed by being alone for a while, as long as you are doing your very best to take care of him. It might not be 100% perfect, but it sure as hell beats euthanasia, bad homes and the stress/diseases that are rampant in even the best shelters.


@Stevie I have the guilt too now for adopting my crazy little ginger cat alone. I think it was sad for him going from a room full of kittens at the shelter to my flat, but he's so affectionate and clingy now (1 month later) that I don't know how he'd handle another kitty to take up our attention and time.


Humane Societies! Our local one almost had to close down due to lack of funds but then there was a fundraiser over this last weekend and they made twice what they needed to stay open. I think the credit has to go to the local newspaper, which made it a front-page story with pictures of little blue-eyed kittens who would probably go to a kill shelter (or whatever you call a shelter that ISN'T no-kill) if they were shut down. I know I sent them a check salted with animal-loving tears.


@frigwiggin Also, since she got her stump amputated, our cat totally made it onto the surgery's Facebook page. Scroll down a little and see the (over-the-top) post about Flat Tire, and then crack up at the comments. "Thank you for your generosity and kidneys" is by far my favorite Facebook comment on anything ever.

Judith Slutler

@frigwiggin OMG your kitty is smiling so much for the picture! So cute.

Hot Doom

@frigwiggin Boo boo loons!


@Emmanuelle Cunt I love her little smile--people who say that cats have no feelings are such liars.

@LolaLaBalc Right?? I'd never even heard of Boo Boo Loons, but I think Flat Tire would manage to pop it in the first five minutes if we tried to use one in place of a cone.


@frigwiggin Where can I get my dog's nails clipped for free?




A similar thing happened to me and my boyfriend - we tried to get one kitten, but they would only give us two. Turns out two cats are twice as adorable! But also twice as mischievous, I swear they conspire to knock things over.

elysian fields

When my boyfriend and I (eventually) live together, I will insist on having a cat, and he'll insist on having a dog, and we'll fight and fight and fight and ultimately have no pets at all, since I won't stand to live with a dog and he won't stand to live with a cat. But I'm glad the author won the pro-cat war in her household!


@elysian fields Why a war at all? Just get both and never wear black again on account of all the pet hair! Problem solved!


@elysian fields just get one of each. Get them at the same time when they're both young and they'll likely adore each other. My cat spends her time snuggling up in my lap and snuggling up next to my dog. Which is actually kind of disgusting, because when she comes to me her fur is all wet from the dog licking her.


I too was forced by a crazy lady at Petco (KITTY, named KITTY) to adopt two kittens. "But they get lonely if you get just one!"

Four years later and my two kitty sisters don't even play together! I'm not sure they even like each other. I try and get them to snuggle and it's always a fail.

Meanwhile, one is in love with anything that knows how to open a can and the other actively competes with me for the love of my husband.

Cats: can't live with them, can't live without them, except you can, and you're apartment would be much cleaner, but we're all infested with zombie parasites that make us love our cats. the end.

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@rabbitheart They only get lonely if you don't pay attention to them! YEESH PETCO LADY.


Great story and even better epilogue! But I'll just stay here in the corner with my dogs. My slobbering, adorable dogs.


I got my cat from a friend who went into the Peace Corps (sorry, guy, I'm not giving him back), but he was originally a shelter cat named Precious (barf). Now his name is Monster Truck, and he is awesome and in love with me, though he does stress groom sometimes.


@meetapossum Ahh! My cat is named Truck too! Well her full name is The Lady Truckalicious, but I only call her that when I'm pissed at her. I took in a stray before I got her but had to give him away when I found the owners. His name turned out to be Mr Bobby which is sooo not as cool as when he was Truckasaurus for three weeks.


@boysplz My front-door neighbors have semi-adopted two stray cats and named them DumpTruck and FireTruck.


Better to Eat You With

@boysplz My neighbors' white cat liked to wander in and out of our house while we were renovating (before we moved in). We spent months avoiding learning his real name, which was Tonka (a perfectly fine name, because we called him Bennie Blanco from the Bronx (even better).


@meetapossum my former neighbors had two kitties: Biggie and Foxie. BEST COAST.

practical cat

@boysplz Isn't Mr. Bobby the victim in Clue? Why go with him when you can name your cat Colonel Mustard?


@practical cat No, Mister BODY! Although Colonel Mustard would be a great name for one of those giant whiskerlicious orange tabbies.

The Lady of Shalott

My boyfriend rescued a kitten from a dumpster in his old apartment building, and she was black and white and named "Kitty" (I know), and he had to give her away to his friend when he got called to active duty, and he still keeps photos of her on his phone and I catch him looking at them all the time because he MISSES HER SO MUCH. Even though he won't admit it.

I can't keep cats because I'm allergic, but it is the dream of my life to have a rescue dog and give him a FOREVER HOME (sniffle).


@The Lady of Shalott how do all of these kittens end up in dumpsters? Reddit would have me believe that all of the world's dumpsters house kittens. Do I need to start hanging around more dumpsters?


@ginalouise I'm thinking so. I know my rescue cat came from a group of kittens that were dropped in or near a dumpster. I lived near a college at the time of adoption and was told that a lot of students would adopt cats and then just let them go when it was time to go back home for the summer. Which..I just can't even. I don't get how the cat could go from your buddy to being put in with the rest of the garbage? Or how anyone could put an animal in the garbage ever, really?


@The Lady of Shalott We had a rescue-cat called Kitty/ Baby Cat. My mother said we couldn't name her because then we'd want to keep her. (We kept her. For ten years.)

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@missupright I HAVE A CAT NAMED KITTY TOO for the same reason! Except it was me and not my mom who refused to name her. It didn't work for me, either.


A few months after my little ginger cat died, my husband said he'd get me 2 cats, as a Christmas present. We went to the cat shelter and they offered us two glamour pusses, very white fur and striking-looking, but said we couldn't collect them till after the new year (this was Dec 14th) due to the 'pet for life, not for Christmas' principle.
So we said okay, but could we see all the cats anyway (so I could get my petting fix). We ended up in this basement room with all the ugliest reject cats, so of course I fell in love with the 3-legged cat and the depressed self-harming one who'd chewed half his fur off, and said "maybe we should take these ones instead?". SUDDENLY... the 'pet for life' prohibition didn't seem to exist anymore and they just threw those moth-eaten mogs at us and we took them home 20 mins later. They got on okay but not brilliantly together, kept each other company when we were out at work or away for the night, which is probably when cats need each other most.
That was a long long time ago, and the depressed self-harmer is still with us, after many happy years as a non-harming cuddler and purr-monster. And my husband is now a devoted cat-lover too.
Best Christmas Present Ever.


@Heike Yayyyy! Good for you for taking home the "rejects." One of my cats is a total reject, too (I shared her story upthread). I fall in love so easily with the sad kitties.


@Heike Three-legged cats! High-five for tripod owners. The reject cats need so much love, so props for giving them a home and love.


@Heike Aw, the "As-Is Kitties" room! That's where my husband found our cat, too. (She has no tail and an obsessive grooming problem.)


@Heike My husband-at-the-time wouldn't let me get a third cat, and any cats I pointed out would be deemed "totally adoptable, someone else will take it". Then one day I spotted a big gorgeous three legger up for adoption, and extremely cynically thought "husband is a sucker for a gimp, I bet he'll let me get this one!" And he did. That was the best cat in the whole world, smart, sweet, funny, communicated better than most of my students. He was my best pal. When husband and I divorced, I got him, and we lived happily ever after for twelve years until he died in January. I still miss him so much.


@dabbyfanny Haha, "a sucker for a gimp". When my mom was obsessively reading dog-adoption sites, she told me she'd seen a three-legged dog. I'm still a little upset that she didn't jump on it before someone else got it.


Awwww, I want some cats so bad!! My husband grew up with tons of cats and loves them, but somehow became allergic after he moved out of his parents' house. Apparently this is a known thing?

Someone I know claimed that this happened to him, and then he became un-allergic again after getting a cat, but I feel like we just can't take that risk.


@OhMarie I was always allergic to cats up until a couple of years ago. Allergies change.


@OhMarie This happened to me. Grew up with cats, no allergies, left home, became sensitive again, now I have cats and I'm fine (although I do take zyrtec for other allergies, so this isn't conclusive. Hey, your man could just take zyrtec! Take it last thing at night, he'll sleep like a baby)


@OhMarie I had cats growing up and then was living with two cats for a few years in my 20s and was totally fine and non-allergic. Until I woke up one morning shortly after my thirtieth birthday only to discover I had developed a severe cat allergy quite literally overnight. Now, I can't be around cats for too long without turning into a sniffly, wheezing mess. It happens and let me tell you it sucks. No cats for me :(


@OhMarie He was probably always allergic to cats, he was just used to the ones at his parents house.

Allergies do change, but you don't really become "un-allergic" to cats. Your body just adapts and will tolerate a cat that you live with more than ones you don't.

Someone Who is Allergic to Cats but Owns a Cat and is Usually Pretty Okay but Sometimes Still Wakes Up Sneezing and with Red Eyes


Adopting pairs is so great! They swat at each other's faces instead of biting your feet.

I lost my first pair of cats (SAD FACE FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER) in a breakup, which was the worst part of the whole stupid thing. I'd had them since they were 4 months old. They were 2.5 last time I saw them, and almost 4 now. :( :( :(

More recently, Mr. Singstrix and I offered to help a friend of a friend out by adopting her 12yo cats that she had to place due to a big ol' life change circumstance. Obviously my heart broke for the lady, because having cats from kittenhood = you have imprinted, those cats are the best cats in the world, etc. BUT ANYWAY these old cats are.. fine, we like them, but they're still basically like borrowing someone else's cats, AND we can't get a dog or more cats until they shuffle off. Which is the morbid-est thought, great story, me.


the love triangle happening in my house is like some telenovela-level shit. I desperately want our kitty's affection but he only has eyes for my husband whose eyes are pleading with me saying "can you please make him stop kneading my gut so hard?"


@mynamebackwards Please, please write a short script for the Hairpin. Write that telenovela screenplay for all that you're worth. I would read the hell out of that.


@PatatasBravas ...but only if the three principals' names are Guillermo, Humberto, and Guadalupe.


@wee_ramekin Smaldino is also a good name! Although maybe a name for a villain.


@frigwiggin my cat's name is otis but I often refer to him as otissimo (the most otis). is this an adequate telenovela name?


@mynamebackwards That is a majestic name for a telenovela love triangle.


I don't know if the person at the shelter I adopted my cat from was lying or what, but she seemed genuinely relieved when I adopted my cat because apparently she'd been there for a while and people kept not picking her. Which makes no sense, because she's the sweetest cat ever and was even then. When I walked in and saw her I went up to her cage and put my finger through the bars and she started to lick it. I'd been there for all of 10 seconds and I knew that was my cat.

ALSO my brother got a cat recently, and he was just going to get one but then couldn't bear to separate him from his brother so he got two. He still lives with my parents and they aren't sure if they're going to separate them when he eventually moves out, which probably won't be for a while anyway.

I'm still disappointed they didn't end up naming the second one Captain Beefheart.


@TheUnchosenOne When I adopted my cat from the shelter they told me she'd been there for a year. A YEAR. And she was totally the most gregarious and sweet cat- all the other ones would hiss and be standoffish but she just plopped right down at my feet. She has kind of bizarre coloring (a tortie) so maybe that was the problem? The staff cried when we took her away b/c they loved her so much.

miss buenos aires

@TheUnchosenOne Isn't that the cat's name in Christine?

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@miss buenos aires I don't know about that, but Captain Beefheart was a band.

miss buenos aires

@jen325 I think the cat was named after the band...


Strange how I can't remember to pick up milk, but I can remember the cat's name in a trashy novel I read 20 years ago...

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@miss buenos aires Yeah, my brain works the same way. I'm really good at remembering the stuff that doesn't matter (but not enough to win at Jeopardy).


@TheUnchosenOne Extremely belatedly, but my parents' dog is named Bongo Fury after the Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa album.


If you have a catflap and a garden, they go outside to poo! That's one con taken off the list right there. (They do still rip up the furniture a bit, though. And while I like to think my cats love me, I think they mainly just care about my body heat and ability to provide food.)

Hot Doom

@Verity Ach, unless it's my cat who was a feral kitty we convinced to stay with us. In her condescending refinement, she decided that life is much more swish when you can poop inside rather than outside, so she runs in the house to take a dump, races around ecstatically, sometimes dropping dingleberries (she has long hair)in her wake and then runs back outside to play. Such an a-hole.


@LolaLaBalc She sounds adorable, though!

Hot Doom

@Verity Ya, she earns her keep. But pretty darn cute :)


Hahaha jeez, what I actually intended to say: CRYSTAL LITTER is the answer to not having a poo-scented dwelling (along with fairly regular sifting, but seriously: crystal litter).

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@singstrix I used that for awhile but I didn't like how it turned into pee-gel. Maybe I just didn't buy the right brand?


@jen325 Hm.. I think our local PetSmart only has "Precious Cat" brand, which tracks a bit too much, while the PetCo near my work has huge bags of store brand crystal litter with grossly oversized crystals.
Eventually, you will end up with a puddle of horrifying cat pee under the litter, but I think the goal is to clean it when the (silica?) crystals aren't absorbent any more. For our 2-cats-1-litterbox, that can be 2+ weeks, so long as the poo gets scooped out. I don't think we've ever had pee-gel!

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@singstrix One of my cats pees a lot.

Judith Slutler

Man, some days I just want to say to my boyfriend "Let's move in together and adopt a cat"

Maybe one day we won't live in two separate cities :(


The one on the left looks just like my Loki! Tuxedo cats are the cutest.


@Maria Aww, I had a baby kitty named Loki for his whole darn life! He left me just a year ago but I still love kitties named Loki. Mine was a fluffy ginger boy.


@Maria Tuxedo cats FTW!

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@Xanthophyllippa My tuxedo cat has a moustache!


Loki's early attempt at internet fame: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:One_year_tuxedo-pattern_male_cat.jpg

Chesty LaRue

@Maria I was reading the wiki for black and whites, and I learned that my cat Pineapple, who I've always called a moo cat, has a "cow pattern" coat. MOO CAT

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@Chesty LaRue My cat's name is Moo and I call her moo cat! :)

Chesty LaRue

@jen325 To be fair, I mostly call mine "fatso" or "poopypants" to his face, but he is approximately the size of a cow, so moo is also appropriate.

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@Chesty LaRue Haha, awesome. That's one of the great things about pets—you can call them whatever you want and they never get offended.

Mine used to be fat, so I called her "fattymoo". Also, her belly skin hangs really low (like an inch from the floor when she stands), and the hair is really thin on it so from behind it looks an udder.


I too almost fainted at the adoption counter at my local SPCA. It was hot, swarming with people, and I was empathizing way hard for my little kitty in his carrier case, patiently sitting in there while the worker took no less than one hour (!!!) to complete our adoption paperwork. She had to have had ADD; after every question she asked us, we'd answer and it would take her a brief second or two to type it in, and then she'd look over our shoulder to listen to the other conversations going on in the room, walk away from us to intervene, then come back 5 minutes later. I was ready to bolt with my cat.
Finally when we were done we said thank you, and I said "We'll let you get back to work now," in a chipper way. She looked at me like I popped her birthday balloon and said "But I was helping you, wasn't I?" My boyfriend and I just smiled and nodded and ran like hell out of there. God bless the SPCA workers, I love them for what they do, but that gal needed to be doing something other than paperwork.


Neither of my cats has ever forgiven me for the fact that they have to compete with another cat. I think my response to "it's inhumane to only have one cat" now would be hysterical laughter.


@wharrgarbl Thanks, this makes me feel better for only having one.


Would any Dallas Hairpinners like to adopt THE sweetest cat in the world? I just fostered her for a week and had every intention to adopt but I don't think it's going to be possible. Please let me know if you'd like a new furry friend and I'll give you the details of the organization she is with. Seriously, she's like a walking stuffed animal who will snuggle so hard! Sweet, gentle, affectionate, playful. Very scared at first and when she opens her mouth to meow nothing comes out, just a little sad squeak--makes me believe she was mistreated in the past. Please fellow Cat Ladies!! Someone take her home and love her for ever and ever!


I was similarly appalled when Northern Virginia rescue groups made us get 2 cats. ("Aren't they all gonna get euthanized anyway?" - My Husband) Really though, it is good for the cat and isn't much more effort/stank, and 5 years on, it warms the ol' cockles when I see them play/groom/wrestle with each other. They weren't even littermates!

Although if you really want to up the adorablness ante, get a new puppy and watch her and the cat warm up to each other. Interspecies cuddling is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

Symphony Ragan

Why is everyone discussing the poop issue and not the oh-so-awful-smell-that-never-goes-away CAT URINE?

Sea Ermine

@Symphony Ragan You need to get Nature's Miracle !!! It's the best. It's a spray you get at pet stores (any pet store really, probably also Target and Walmart and amazon.com and places like that) that is specifically intended for animals and it perfect for cat urine. It both removes the smell and also contains something in it that discourages the animal from peeing in that spot again. It also works on cat and dog vomit stains/smells (and probably also human vomit).


I will save some of my thoughts on shelter politics for Mean Spirited Wednesday, but I wanted to unpack a little terminology. "No kill" shelters can be great, or they can be not so great. Many "no-kill" shelters still euthanize, but say that they don't euthanize "adoptable" pets. Pets that they deem unadoptable due to health or behavior problems (including behavior problems due to the stress of being in a shelter) may still be euthanized.
No-kill shelters can also pick and choose which animals they take in the first place. For example, some won't take strays.
Calling open admission shelters "kill shelters" unfairly villainizes many organizations that are fulfilling a vital community role.
Also, if you love animals and sympathize with shelter animals, consider volunteering! Pretty much every shelter ever could use your help.


@frenz.lo Also the people at some of these places can be giant jerks! I had a woman tell me I couldn't take home a dog because I was single and a woman and that because I lived in a condo in the city and I would let the dog die of Parvo. And then she said she wouldn't let me adopt that dog, but that I could adopt a different one (that I would presumably be less likely to kill with my single-ness?). It was a bizarre interaction. I got into my car and cried, and then 3 months later I worked up the nerve to go to a different organization and adopted a wonderful dog. They were wonderful to me there and didn't blink about the fact that I had not yet married. She has not yet succumbed to Parvo due to my urban unmarriedness (and since she's vaccinated and I've had her 2 1/2 years I think she's in the clear).


@HeyThatsMyBike Yep, tried to adopt a small dog but they wouldn't let me because I live in an apartment. Nevermind that I WORK FROM HOME and live beside a park.


My current kitty showed up starving in January, snow, 3 degrees. What are ya gonna do. He acts like a used car salesman with every human who comes in the house but thinks other animals are for killing and eating.

The Dilettantista

That's pretty much my life story right there, except my boyfriend was more conducive to getting cats and he isn't my fiance (yet. Gotta get past his sister's wedding in September!) We started with one cat, and then thought he was getting lonely, so we got another cat. We got both as kittens but they're about 8 months apart. The older cat wasn't thrilled at first, but now they're...I wouldn't call them best buddies, but they're friends. They play-fight a lot and frequently groom each other and sometimes even sleep curled up together, but most of the time they are separate entities. I clean the boxes frequently and the apartment rarely smells like poop. Also both my kitties are black kitties--which are harder to adopt out, apparently. Their names are Dexter and Minion and one of them is my little user picture. I LOVE MY KITTIES SO MUCH, but I'm stopping at two. I read the last paragraph of this essay aloud to my boyfriend and we both laughed hysterically. The best. OMG MINION JUST CRAWLED INTO MY LAP CLOSING MY COMPUTER NOW BYE.

Vera Knoop

We found ours alone, and he showed signs of having been beaten up by the feral cats in the park (he was obviously not feral but had either been dumped or run away). I honestly don't know whether he'd want to live with another cat. We're home a lot, and he doesn't *seem* lonely, but I worry and feel guilty sometimes.


My husband and I adopted our cat on a day when we had meant to adopt a dog. It was a PetsMart and the group had taken all the puppies home by time we had gotten there, but the cat section was still open (the group, for what ever reason had decided that the cats wouldn't mind staying at the store over night?) and we decided to look around. There was a bunch of orange kittens in one section and one seemed to like us an awful lot. We took her out and bonded. I took a picture of her markings so that we'd be able to know which one was which when we came back.

They let us adopt just her, and I think she was not more then 12 weeks old at the time? She doesn't really like (acknowledge/go near/runs from) creatures outside of us and the random bugs she will adopt (which she will watch and pat until they eventually die) so I'm not sure how she would take to another cat or even a dog. I kind of worry that it would make her sad that we brought in another? Right.


Never go to The Daily Corgi guys. NEVER GO UNLESS YOU WANT TO CRY.


@Megano! zomg evil! Now I have cried and want to adopt a dog.


I had a solitary kitty for about 10 years-- adopted her from a shelter in Philadelphia. She peed on every carpet in the house continually for 10 years through moves to Manhattan and SoCal (no vets were able to diagnose her issues), but I loved her. In retrospect I wonder if a companion cat would have calmed her down a bit. She passed away after a mysterious but very expensive illness. After a couple years of pet-free living we adopted two kitties from the local shelter. Both are neutered males and I think they are soulmates! They adore each other. Very different personalities, but each loving towards us in his own way. We are so happy with our kitty-boys.


KingletCat has wanted to murder all other cats since the day she was born. "Lonely" my arse.

F-ing cat Nazis.


I definitely adopted a kitty and then spent 3 months stressing about if she was lonely, at which point my then-Dudefriend said, "Look, if you want another cat, get another cat, but don't lie to yourself and say it's for Lola." Which, okay, yes I *did* want another cat, but I also wanted Lola to not be lonely! Only it turns out maybe she liked being an only cat, because now she has a really annoying younger brother, except sometimes I come home and they're cuddled up on the bed and my heart kind of melts into crazy cat lady rainbows.


@packedsuitcase Our girl cat would desperately like to be an only cat. Whenever we bring boy cat home from his vet visits, she gets this irritated look like "Wait, what? He's back?"

This has been going on for 15 years.


We're were supposed to adopt to kittens from the shelter of the city where I'm from and fly them to Brussels, one for me and my boyfriend and one for my friend. But in the end the landlady forbid her to have one. Still my boyfriend was shown two kittens at the shelter. One heart-breaking male, all fear and bugs, found in a dumpster with patches of hair missing all over and a very incredibly beautiful female who had never been out of the shelter in her life. We took them both. And yes, the bathroom smell faintly like cat poop and yes they do wake you up at five o'clock wrestling upon the bed. But watching them all big and healthy cuddling together watching with us old 80's movies (which shows great taste from their side, btw)makes me all warm and fluffy inside and very much at peace with the fact that I don't have any flower vases left.

Nadine R Low@facebook

When I was in grad school I adopted a lovely dog. Then at the dog park I adopted a black & white tuxedo kitten. They played well together until the kitten became a cat. The cat become completely aloof to my poor dog who took the snub totally to heart for the rest of her doggy tears.
Flash forward to getting married to a man who was allergic to cats. The black & white cat was grandfathered in, but we agreed before our marriage that there would be no more cats. To his credit my fiancé never ever
suggested that I give up Katbert. When Katbert succumbed to old age, I kept to my end of the agreement.
Then my husband started moping about how empty our house was without a cat, even though we had two dogs and eight parrots. We went to an adoption event at Phoenix's Franciscan Renewal Center. At our last stop a young black cat named Krispy Kritter picked my husband and me and has been with us for the last five years. We have different dogs now, but Krispy gets along great with them, though he loves startling the dogs with running 'bop you on the nose attacks'. He's fascinated by the birds and is never left alone with them while they're out. Periodically I have to remind him not to fantasize about my birds and he stalks out with dignity to lie down belly up within eyesight in an adjoining room. The best part is watching my still allergic husband snuggle with Krispy - followed by a shower & benedryl.

Maja D.@twitter

Ahh, the tux in that picture looks just like my kitty (Dr. Claw), and I am having a rotten day and now I just want to go snuggle my cat. /feelings

fondue with cheddar

@Maja D.@twitter I'm sorry you're having a bad day. Cat-snuggling when you're down is the great therapy (also when you're crampy).


Oh, pet ads! Right after a bad breakup, I read one written from the first-person PoV of the cat... and it got me. "My name is Peaches and I am very sweet but am having trouble finding a home because I have only one good eye" (or something like that). Man! While the eye part was true, and I have no idea about home-finding difficulties, I will tell you all that the "sweet" part was a lie! Oh, she was nearly feral. But I took her home anyway and, seriously, it took years and the demise of a few older pets for her to become just comfortable. "Sweet" soon followed though, and I love her so much.

And, this video, you guys--this place, Cathouse on the Kings, is so awesome. Check it out if you have a few minutes.


@Hellcat I love you for adopting this Kitteh.


@Myrtle Thank you! She is so adorable, one good eye or not. She's only six pounds and so teeny, and she came from a hoarder house (though now that I think about it, maybe that's a lie too, like the "sweet" part).

She has not, however, written anything in the first person since then, lies or otherwise.

Mr. Kitty

Maybe the adopt-in-pairs thing explains why my cat turned out to be so needy. When she was 6 weeks old, I would leave her in my bedroom to go spend 10 minutes getting ready for bed and when I returned she would be TRAUMATIZED. The cries and the purrs!

She is still needy, but amazing. She fetches and knows her name and clearly thinks she is a dog. She's had many cat friends/roommates over the past 6 years (as I tend to have only seriously dated other cat owners), but now it's just us again. She's still living with my ex and our kittens (now his kittens? sad), so I hope she adjusts well in a few weeks when I pick her up!


My live-in bf and I had the WORST experience trying to adopt from the Humane Society.

First, they didn't want us to have a cat because I had never had one, even though he had several before, because "you'll just break up next month and the guy never takes the cat." (Umm, how is anyone supposed to get their first cat if cats are only given out to prior cat owners? Plus, we've been together 7 years, plus, sexist much?)

Then they asked about our income (not large, but definitely middle class). Then she said that at "our" income level, they would have to visit our apartment to make sure it was safe for an animal to live there (which she clearly doubted).

Finally, after all those insults, they stated that it was very unlikely we'd be approved for a kitten because "we save those for the FAMILIES." (I'm still not sure if she was objecting to our shacked-up status, childless status, or both.)

So we ended up at a local pet store instead, where they managed to ask us questions about our ability to adopt without implying that we were just a couple of fornicating idiots living in a crack house. Minky has been with us 8 years now, and is currently curled up asleep on the legs of the sleeping bf. Awww!


Friend: Here, I have a cat for you. Found her by a dumpster.
Me: No thanks!
Friend: Come on, I can't be a single lesbian with five cats. Too cliche. They'll revoke my card.
Me: If I take this cat won't you just be a single lesbian with FOUR cats?
Friend:..... You're straight, you wouldn't get it.
Me: UGH FINE. (It's been 3 years and I like her better than most humans.)



My boyfriend and I adopted our little ginger furball a month ago and he's awesome. He'd been at the shelter for three weeks and was feral before when we adopted him at 10 weeks. He was so shy - wouldn't come out from under the furniture at first. Now he's an adorable little ball of fur who plays all day and sleeps with us at night. His favourite toys are the little clear caps from water bottles. He dribbles them around the floor chasing one until he loses it, then comes and purrs at me until I pick him up and go and find it.

He's my first ever cat and already I can't imagine being without him. He's needy and a bit crazy, and he's had 3 vet visits with 3 prescriptions for various things already, but he's the best.

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