By Julia Williams
If you think there aren’t any men willing to profess their love for cats…think again! For this article, 7 Cat Guys talk openly about all things feline.
What’s the best thing about being a Cat Guy?
Dan: Having a Cat Lady to share our seven cats with! Not to mention the fringe benefits of the unique love, loyalty and companionship each cat freely gives to me on a daily basis.
Doug: Snuggling with a purring kitty on a cold day.
Eddie: They're very cool, no barking, low maintenance, they bring home exotic “things” and they're the only ones that “understand” me.
Kevin: I think there’s a certain sensitivity and self-awareness that cat people generally have. Being a cat guy also allowed my wife Tracey and I to reconnect (we had worked together at the same company many years ago). I had been volunteering at PAWS for years, and then she started volunteering there, too. It was a total chance meeting of a crazy cat guy and a crazy cat woman. We’ve been a crazy married cat couple for five years now!
Michael: Cats are low maintenance and cuddly.
Scott: Saving a life.
Terry: The best thing about being a Cat Guy is interacting with one of the most fascinating species on the planet. I love the time I spend with my cats. I also always try to fully exceed their expectations of me.
When you leave the house, on a scale of 1 to 10, how covered in cat hair are you?
Dan: 10+. On a recent trip, I even noticed that my luggage was covered with cat hair. I guess it's their way of giving you something to remind you of them.
Doug: Well, that's hard to say because I don't take the time to count the dog hairs and then subtract for the number of cat hairs that are left.
Eddie: 7 on a good day, but usually 9
Kevin: It depends upon where I’m going. In the morning during the workweek, I’m probably a “2.” Once I’m dressed in my work clothes, I don’t dare sit on any of the upholstered furniture, so as not to get cat hair all over me. On the weekends, I’m probably anywhere from a “3” to a “6.” Thank goodness for lint rollers!
Michael: 2. Lots of laundering.
Scott: Not too much – I put on a clean shirt right before I leave!
Terry: Listen, if I leave the house with a cat hair ranking of 7 or less I have really ignored the cats. Up close and personal with your cats is something serious and there is cat hair involved. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Dan: Fell in love with my crazy cat lady and encouraged a household of seven cats.
Doug: One of the neighbor's cats got stuck on the roof of my house and I went up to get her down. It was cold, rainy and dark, and she kept moving around. We were both unhappy campers by the time I finally caught her.
Kevin: I definitely think non-cat people think much of what I do is crazy. Like volunteering for 15+ years with the cats at PAWS. Or having framed pictures of our cats in my office at work. Or making photo cards of the cats every holiday season for the past 10 years. Or having pictures of some of the PAWS cats on our wedding table cards.
Scott: I brought home cat #13, Sylvester. He had lived two years in a cage at the vet.
Terry: I actually thought it was pretty crazy three years ago when, as a “Cat Guy” I attended the first Barkworld Expo, a social media event marketed to critters that bark instead of meow. Given the audience and the nature of the four-legged attendees, I took the “Flat” version of my cat Brian. As it turned out, the event was terrific and I made many new friends.
What cat-themed items are in your wardrobe?
Dan: I'd likely be arrested for divulging that information!
Eddie: No way. This article is about guys, right?
Kevin: I have a couple cat-themed t-shirts, a baseball cap, and a necktie.
Scott: I have a tie-dyed shirt featuring a cat's paw.
Terry: I can never have too many cat tee shirts or cat sweatshirts, and during the Christmas season I look forward to wearing my tie with Santa and the kitty on it. Cat Guy items are not as easy to find as Cat Lady items.
What is your favorite cat quote?
Dan: There are two actually: ‘Time spent with cats is never wasted.” - Sigmund Freud; “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” - Albert Schweitzer
Eddie: “The dog did it”
Kevin: “Time spent with a cat is never wasted.” - Colette
Scott: “Let sleeping cats lie”
Terry: Two of my favorites are: “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” - Albert Schweitzer; “You can't own a cat. The best you can do is be partners.” - Sir Harry Swanson
What funny thing has your cat done recently?
Doug: We have a cat cube. I looked in it yesterday and found it full of cats piled up to the top.
Eddie: Fell asleep in my wife's craft supplies and wouldn't budge.
Kevin: Seriously, they make us laugh each and every day. Tonight I saw Moosey creeping around on the kitchen table. Where he’s not supposed to be. I nudged Tracey, and we both watched Moosey quietly. When he realized we saw him, he turned and looked at us directly with those big round eyes, as if to say, “What? I’m not supposed to be up here?” No fear. No guilt. Just absolute feigned innocence
Michael: Stalked a raccoon.
Scott: The Baby jumping and flopping chasing hummingbirds.
Terry: Brian loves paper bags. Recently, after a trip to the grocery store, an empty paper bag magically appeared on the living room floor. It wasn’t too long before Brian spotted it and crawled right in. One of his sister cats spotted the paper bag wiggling and snuck up on it. Yes, you guessed it, she gave it one big whap. Brian, while still in the bag, jumped straight up in the air and it looked like the bag was levitating. When it came back down it scared his sister.
What naughty thing has your cat done?
Dan: Our cats can do no wrong, particularly our Zee. In our household, it's NEVER Zee who “did it,” it's always the phantom kitty.
Doug: Depends on what naughty is. Walking in front of me and then suddenly stopping in an effort to trip me – that's naughty! Those unexpected leaps to my shoulder from out of the blue? Big time naughty when I'm not wearing a shirt!
Eddie: Rolled in sawdust - came home completely covered and walked all over the house.
Kevin: Our cats are absolutely perfect, and would never do anything naughty. Ha ha!
Michael: Everything they do is naughty.
Terry: Brian is actually not a naughty cat at all. The only thing he does is occasionally stalk one of his sisters. Oh, every once in a while he might scratch a chair or two, but he stops if you catch him.
When did you first realize you were a Cat Guy?
Doug: At the age of 10 or so, when my mom said if my sisters and I could catch a wild kitten, we could keep it. We caught 4 wild kittens that day.
Kevin: I’ve always loved cats, though I was severely allergic to them as a child. Luckily, I outgrew most of my allergies. As an adult, my cat guy-ness was multiplied when I started volunteering at PAWS, and then even more when I adopted my (now angel) Graphite. I think my official cat guy moment may have come the first year I featured my cat on my holiday card.
Michael: When I married my wife.
Scott: When I was a senior in high school I lived with a couple who had an all black long-haired cat named Chessie, and I realized that I really liked cats!
Terry: I knew I was a Cat Guy when I was 6 years old, and that was a long time ago! That was way back in the day before spay and neuter was common. At one point we had one Mama cat and 16 kittens, 4 of which were named John, Paul, Ringo and George, if that tells you something!
Does your cat eat better than you do?
Doug: Well, I had a bologna sandwich for lunch and the cats had turkey.
Kevin: I wouldn’t necessarily say “better,” but Moosey is always interested in what I happen to be eating.
Terry: I can't really say that my cats eat better than I do, but they certainly eat more often!!
Will cats rule the world one day?
Dan: You mean they don't now?
Kevin: What do you mean by “one day?” Don’t they already rule the world? ;)
Michael: Maybe. I say if I die in my sleep they will eat my eyeballs. Does that count?
Scott: Yes, in a Planet of the Apes way...
Terry: I firmly believe that one day cats will rule the world, and the first official step was taken this year. My cat Brian was one of 6 catidates running for the Cat Ruler of the World. This election, the first of its kind, was hosted by Deb Barnes at The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey. Although Brian was not elected, the fact that there was an election at all tells me that cats are well on their way to ruling the world. I actually think they will do a great job.
Would you ever take your cat for a walk in a stroller?
Doug: No way. Guys don't walk cats in strollers! I use a halter and leash, like any normal guy.
Eddie: No. Why not? Because I'm a guy.
Kevin: It would depend upon the cat. Sammy: we’ve actually considered trying him in one. Moosey: not so much, since he’s generally more anxious.
Michael: Nope. Because that's crazy.
Scott: No, but it would be fun to have one who would walk on a leash.
Terry: I really can't see a stroller in our future. While it may look appealing to me, my cats are generally afraid of the unknown and loud noises, and the outside world is a nice mixture of both.
Dan: The only limit is time, space and lots of cash for lots of space. Should we one day win the lottery, the sanctuary we would create for cats would be unsurpassed!
Doug: How blue can the sky get?
Eddie: I'd probably say three would have to be the max.
Kevin: We’ve had three, and that’s our absolute limit. It’s a matter of space and condo association rules.
Scott: We are at 13 and that's it!
Terry: Given our house size I would say the most cats we could have at one time would be a six pack. I do think if we stretch things a bit we could possibly make room for one more. But I haven't discussed it with Brian and his sister yet. Six really does keep me hopping.
Do you talk about your cat to other guys?
Dan: Absolutely! And it's amazing to see when the Cat Guy comes out of the other guys.
Doug: Sure, my cats intimidate the dogs. That's pretty sweet. Gotta brag about that.
Kevin: Depends upon the guys. I’m not at all ashamed of our cats (or my love for them), but in general, I try not to dwell on things in a conversation that people aren’t interested in. Because of my transparent love for cats, however, guy friends from other social circles (teammates on my baseball team, for instance) have approached me with cat-related questions about their family pets.
Scott: Yes! My son and buddy Tony are both Cat Guys, too.
Terry: Most of the guys I know also know that I'm a Cat Guy, and it is not unusual for me to talk about my cats just as others would talk about their family members. If they don't want to hear it, that's fine, I don't have to talk to them. LOL!
What’s in your house that lets people know you’re a Cat Guy?
Dan: Are you kidding! There's no question in anyone's mind who may come to our home, let's start with the custom made leopard cat tree, the other huge cat tree beside that, and the leopard cat tree that just arrived in a huge box awaiting assembly. Then let's look at the baskets of stuffed animals and toys that are beside the front door – CAT TOYS, not kids toys!
Doug: Cats, cat pans, cat hair, cat toys, cat treats, cat beds, and more cats.
Kevin: Aside from cat figurines and pictures of our cats, we have SO much cat stuff. Cat furniture, cat stairs, cat toys, three litter boxes, water bowls, etc.
Scott: All the cat statues, figurines, photos...and all the CATS.
Terry: Outside of a couple hundred cat toys and custom portraits of our cat Brian, there really isn't much in our house that would give that way. Well, maybe the cat calendars on the wall and on the refrigerator might be a hint.
If your cat could talk, what words would he/she use to describe you?
Kevin: Dad, gentle, giant cat, empathetic, quiet, fun, playful, warm and snuggly
Michael: Nice. Loud. Warm.
Scott: “You are one cool Daddio!”
Terry: Brian would likely tell you that I must have a love for all critters. It is not unusual for me to come home smelling like a different critter. I also think Brian and his sisters would tell you they think I'm pretty cool, for a human, and that they love welcoming me home anytime I'm away from them, even if it is just for a while.
The Cat Guys
Dan currently lives in the tropical paradise of South Florida with his fiancé and seven furry felines. While he has a successful marketing career in the body armor industry, he is perhaps best known for taking stunning photographs of two of his cats who have become feline celebrities through his wife’s book, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, and her blog.
Doug ponders the Crazy Cat Guy label and shrugs it off. It's easier to get rid of the label than it is the cat hanging onto his shoulder. He happily shares his home with rescued cats and dogs while wondering who really rules the roost.
Eddie: After 40 years of slugging it out in a high stress corporate job, Eddie is happily retired. He now enjoys hanging out with his cats, dogs, oh yeah, and his wife.
Kevin: As a child, Kevin was severely allergic to cats. Who would have ever imagined he would grow up to become a cat guy, cat blogger, and senior cat volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter? Kevin (a PR/communications professional during the day) and his wife Tracey are happily owned by their two cats, Sammy and Moosey.
Michael: shortly after birth, Mike's parent's brought home two cats. One was sweet and loving, but the Persian wanted nothing to do with people. Struck though, by how much the Persian loved the other cat, a domestic short hair, he fell in love with cats.
Scott and his wife are servants to 13 cats, all of which appeared at the house with hungry faces, or were strays adopted from the vet. He works from home which is ideal for the clowder – somebody to wait on them, all the time!
Terry is an animal rescue advocate and popular pet blogger from South Carolina. Terry's rescue blog ForeverHomeWanted highlights animals in search of homes and features news stories of motivational interest to those involved in animal rescue. Terry's cat blog, Brian's Home, features the activities of his six rescue cats through the voice of his male tabby cat, Brian.
Read more articles by Julia Williams