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A newbie with a confession

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I hope this isn't too long. My name is Carla, and my boyfriend and I are proud to include three cats in our family.

I've been "lurking" here for a week or so, just to get the hang of this place--but Dawnofsierra's kind message convinced me to introduce myself.

Yes, I do have a confession. Up until Jan. 19, 2005, I was an avowed "dog person." I grew up with dogs I loved and cats that I--well, didn't love. My step-mom's cats were old, and just a little on the cranky side. (One was also fond of biting a sleeping person's toes. Hard.)

I lived in blissful ignorance for a long time. But, when my animal-loving boyfriend (I, too, am an animal lover, but he's thinking-about-working-in-a-zoo-passionate) started begging for a cat (we're not allowed to have dogs in our apartment), my heart began to soften. Then I met two separate friends' cats, who were absolute dolls. I agreed to look for one--only one!--cat.

After an exhaustive two-day search, we met our match at a Petco branch that hosts cats from the Pennsylvania SPCA. Mellow and a bit reserved at the adoption center, we soon realized that this boy is a smart, loving, somewhat mischievous sweetheart. I had read multiple articles about introducing a cat to his new home--keep in one room for 5 days or more, etc. Ziv made it clear almost immediately that he would have none of that. He slept in our bed the first night! Here he is, our handsome Ziv:

I fell head-over-heels for him, and for all cats thereafter. After about a month, I started to think...maybe Ziv would like a playmate. He obviously loved our company already, but we both work...

That's how Eva came into our lives, this time through a great rescue organization run by two sweet ladies. Eva was nothing like Ziv: She was tiny and fearful, and didn't want to come out of her hiding spot. But, when petted along her back, she would raise her hindquarters to get an extra scratching right over her hips. We brought her home, and she wouldn't come out of the carrier for almost 24 hours, poor thing. Ziv knew she was there (we had her in the bathroom), and he ached to meet her. Eventually, we allowed him to sniff around her, and I think he's the one who coaxed her out. He was very gentle with her for the first few days--then he decided he wanted a playmate, so the chasing began. I think it was good for her--he is sort of a rough-and-tumble older brother. She can still be very timid, but she just loves to cuddle on the couch or at night. In fact, she insists on it! So, here is Little Eva, in her favorite spot (our bed):

And here they are on their condo. Eva's a little hard to see--her coat just absorbs light!

Last night, the final member of our family came to stay--we adopted Chesty from the same place where we found Ziv. Since he's so new, I don't have a photo yet, but I will post one soon. In the meantime, if you can imagine Eva (at just under 7 pounds) magnified to about 12 pounds, you've got Chesty (it's really amazing how much he looks like her). So far, Chesty is extremely cuddly--more so than either of the other (fairly cuddly) cats. He clearly loves people and craves human attention. He also loves to explore. After a visit to the vet today, I hope to introduce him to the others soon. I think he and Ziv will be a good match. Though Eva has become very playful, I think Chesty will give Ziv a run for his money. I'll let you know how it works out!

PS--Since these were all adopted cats, we're not sure of their ages. Ziv is around 2 years, probably; Eva is about 10 months, we think; Chesty is anywhere over 1 year.
post #2 of 25
I loved your story as it is very similar to mine only that I did love kitties when I was a girl but then rather grew out of that (probably 'cause we didn't have kitties) and then for years had nothing to do with cats. We became dog lovers (My husband has always loved dogs) and I also became allergic to cats....but then the allergies to cats left and then two summers ago we saw a Humane Society ad on tv, lots of kitties needing homes and I asked my husband (fully expecting a "No."), "What do you think of getting a kitten?" He said, sure and that was that! We have 3 kitties (started with one and then added) and I just love them so much....I totally became a Cat Lover again...and boy do I love and spoil my kitties! I still love dogs but I REALLY love cats! I loved your story and welcome to the Cat Site! You will love it! I've learned so much!
post #3 of 25
Welcome to the site Carla!! No worries about being a reformed-cat lover. I'm one myself. I grew up with dogs and thought they were the best...until I met my two kitties. Ziv and Eva both look so happy in those pictures, and I have no doubt Chester will soon be an integral part of the family too.
post #4 of 25
aww congrats!!
Welcome to TCS
post #5 of 25
Great story! I'm glad you got in touch with your "inner cat lover"! Your kits sound great, and, I'm sure, much spoiled!

Welcome to TCS!
post #6 of 25
Great story, welcome to the site!
post #7 of 25
I used to HATE cats. I was mainly scared of them. Then, in 2000, I made a friend who had a cat. I fell in love and adopted 2 cats in June of that year. They'll be 5 in April!
welcome!!! My name is Bobbie.
post #8 of 25
What a beautiful story. I am a true animal lover too and although I love dogs I have no desire to have one. Cats on the other hand are my passion. As you can see from my signature, Bijou has us wrapped around his paw, especially my husband.

Your cats are beautiful and must bring much joy into your life.

PS - Welcome to thecatsite.
post #9 of 25
What a great story and introduction. I've had kitties all my life, and collies when I was younger, growing up in Maryland. Welcome! And don't lurk, just jump in.
post #10 of 25
Hi & welcome to TCS!!!!
post #11 of 25
Hi Carla,and welcome.When I met my boyfriend I found out he was an avid lover of siberian huskeys having grown up with them.I of course already had two cats.My cat Kaya absolutley fell in love with him and he had no choice but to fall in love back.Now we have 4 cats and Im trying to convince him to get another,it might not work but at least our boys have converted him to a full fledged cat lover!
post #12 of 25
Hi Carla and kitties!

Wow, what a fantastic story - it's great to hear how you've done a total 360 in your thinking about cats - funny how once you get to know a couple of really awesome cats that can change so much.

Your kitties are amazing, and though I may be partial to purebreds, I love all cats, especially black kitties (my first looked just like Eva).

Hope to see you around the forums!

Jenn, Mik & Lex (the Russian Blue crew)
post #13 of 25
i too never saw myself becoming an animal lover. growing up my parents and siblings were all allergic to animals and my parents always thought people with pets were silly.

BOY has my opinion changed! My boyfriend opened me up to the wonderful world of kitty companionship. He grew up with cats his whole life, and when we moved into together I decided it would be nice to have a pet. So of course a cat it was.

I immediately fell in love with our little Ebony and we are now adopting our second kitty this week (because I think Eb needs a companion).

Welcome to TCS, I am glad you have decided to come out from lurking! I look forward to getting to know you and your fur family better soon.
post #14 of 25
Well Welcome to you Carla, Zev,Eva,Chesty and that nameless boyfriend of yours enjoy the site and all the wonderful information and great great people who can offer lots of help and such great stories, Enjoy
post #15 of 25
welcome!! and belly rubs from Mischka & Linx to your new additions as well as the rest of the family. can't wait to see the newest!
post #16 of 25
Hi, Sierra and I welcome you to TCS, Carla, Ziv, Eva, and Chesty! So glad you've joined us and look forward to getting to know you better!Congratulations on the new member of your family! I would be so happy to help you in any way as you learn your way around the site. Please, simply click on my user name and send me a Private Message!
post #17 of 25
Hello and welcome!!!

post #18 of 25
hi and welcome! i'm new as well but these TCS folks are awesome. good luck with the new one...i'm sure with all that love it'll work out great.
post #19 of 25
Welcome to TCS, Carla and cats. See you on the boards!
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Chesty is beginning to settle in. By the way, I should mention that his full name is Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. He's a famous Marine Corps hero. (My "nameless boyfriend" is a Marine, which is why I haven't named him yet--he likes to retain his anonymity. I'll have to think of some clever pseudonym for him.)

We took Chesty to the vet on Tuesday (before introducing him to the others, of course). The vet and vet techs (including the two who clipped his nails) all raved about Chesty’s good behavior and excellent health—the vet said that we made his day by bringing in such a great cat, which of course filled me with motherly pride.

After a few days of gradual introductions, it has become very clear to me that Chesty has a much higher energy level than either of the other two cats. That's good, because Ziv needs a playmate who will really run around with him, especially because he's a little pudgy. The disadvantage is that yesterday, Chesty was literally climbing the walls! We have a narrow wall that sort of sticks out to separate the den from the dining room, and last night Chesty leaped up it, as if he were trying to climb a tree. I was astonished--it seemed to come from nowhere! I just bought a Cat Dancer yesterday, which all of the cats love, and so I pulled that out and tried to tire him out with some exercise (I had to go to bed!). I think the next step will be to get a really tall cat gym/tree. I was hoping to avoid that because we don't have a lot of space (we do have three small cat condos), but I'd rather sacrifice space than have the walls ripped to shreds.

Eva was scared of Chesty at first, even though he hasn’t done anything intimidating except try to introduce himself. Now, I think she’s just wary, and she knows that a hiss from her will make him back down immediately. She’s also come down from her high perch and from the couch to eat and even to visit me in the bedroom (her nightly habit)—all good signs!

Eva and Ziv are true cats, whereas Chesty is one of those dog-like cats: sort of eager to please and friendly to the point of being dopey (he’s not, though—he’s incredibly smart, as he has proved by opening the kitchen cabinets despite child-proof locks!). He and Ziv aren’t the best of friends, yet, but there has been absolutely zero aggression between them. They’re still scoping each other out, but they touch noses a lot and each sort of hang out in the other’s vicinity. Ziv did commit a shocking act himself on Tuesday (the first day of introduction), when he clambered up the ladder-like side of one of the bookcases to the top. I realize that this isn’t shocking in and of itself, especially for a cat, but Ziv had never expressed interest in that kind of stunt before Chesty came around. We figured it was a way of showing dominance/ athletic prowess. He didn’t knock anything down, though, and it was pretty darn cute!

Chesty is hard to catch on camera because he’s always moving, but I’m hoping to post some photos of him tomorrow. Thanks again for the welcome, and for reading!
post #21 of 25
hi and welcome to the site all your babies sound nice and what cuties they are.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Chesty is hard to photograph, because his coat (like Eva's) just absorbs all the light! But, he's a handsome, big boy, and I'll post the best photos I could snap thus far.

First, his close-up:

To show his size (12.2 lbs!) and his penchant for "exploring," here is Chesty emerging from behind the bf's monitor:

And finally, posed on the rug:

I've realized that it's not just that he looks like Eva (he does, though I've begun to notice the subtle differences), it's that he moves like her--the way he picks up his paws as he walks, plus the way his shoulders move, are all like her. They're my mini-pumas.
post #23 of 25
welcome to TCS Carla, How lovley that you have fallen for cats and so great for your 3 new cats to have been found by you. Hope that you enjoy TCS as much as I do.
post #24 of 25
Awww the photo's are so cute, You are so lucky. I can't rememeber whether I have welcomed you or not yet so a big hello from me and my babies eviecat, molly and huggy.

Thanks for sharing the photo's and telling us about your gorgeous cats as we love hearing all about it.

Hope to see you around again soon

Eva :-)
post #25 of 25
Hi Carla, I'm like you too! I was totally a dog person until June of last year, when I had to rescue a less than 1 week beautiful calico kitty (Pikachu, RIP) and that turned my life around. I used to not care much about cats, but after Pika's passing away, I began to have a spot for cats, kittens in particular, that my cat family bloomed from 0 to 12! I love cats, I think they're WAAAYYYY BETTER than dogs. It's just that people misunderstand them most of the time! Thinking they're smelly and whatnot! But I think it's a joy to have cats in our lives - they make really great friends.

Oh well, I said too much! Have a great stay here at TCS! We welcome you & your family!
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