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WHEN I BECAME A CAT LOVER

Updated on January 30, 2015
Punkin will sleep anywhere . . .
Punkin will sleep anywhere . . .
Like I said, Punkin will sleep anywhere!
Like I said, Punkin will sleep anywhere!

I did not grow up with cats in my life. We had one dog named Duke my entire childhood (into adulthood). My Mom and sister found him one day just before Christmas in between the glass doors at the local S. S. Kresge’s store. He was a tiny puppy, way too small to be away from his mother. Yet someone left a litter of puppies there on this cold winter day knowing that they would find good homes. Duke was a wonderful Christmas present that year and my family gave him a great home for over 17 years. The only other pets we had were a canary, parakeet, and goldfish. I also remember having a duck? Yeah, we had a duck in our basement. Why? I really don’t remember much about the duck except my parents won him or something. I wonder what ever happened to that duck.

So, as I said earlier, I did not grow up with cats in my life. When I was around 19 years old and moved out of my parent’s home, I lived in a townhouse with a couple roommates. I remember one of my roommates brought two kittens into our home. I’m kind of surprised that I still remember their names: SweetPea and Nelson. And I do remember not being very fond of them. I was not used to cats. I was kind of afraid of them. I felt like anytime they were near me, they were going to scratch, bite and hiss at me.

During this time, I was a typical young adult ;) You know, I went to work like a good girl and then came home, changed my clothes and left again to meet my friends at the bar. So I never had the chance to bond with SweetPea and Nelson. I wonder what ever happened to them.

FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS . . .

I now have a dog of my own, a toy poodle, the love of my life named Buttons. And I still really never had cats in my life and it was not a priority to start now.

One day my partner walked in with a kitten, a very sick kitten. She couldn’t see from an eye infection. She couldn’t hear from an ear infection. She was having a difficult time breathing. She was underweight and covered in fleas. I didn’t want this thing in my house. “Get her out of here.” Honestly, I could describe myself as an animal lover, but that really didn’t include cats.

I lost that battle and we started caring for this kitten. Yes, I helped too. We got Clavamox from our Veterinarian. We picked up kitten food, flea dip, litter and a box from the store. We cleaned her eyes and ears and gave her several baths. She was coming back to life. We were giving her a second chance. It truly was exciting to watch her progress.

Just a couple days later while I was at work, I sent out a bunch of emails to people who I thought would like a new kitten. I took pictures of her and put signs up at work. FREE KITTEN TO A GOOD HOME. But at the end of the work day, I found myself hurrying to get home to see her. I made her a little toy out of yarn and a bell. And I started to call her E.T. She looked like E.T. I held her like a baby and talked to her. I whispered “I promise, no one will ever let you get that sick again.” I made little beds for her all over the house. What was happening to me?

The next day at work I received some email responses “sorry, she’s adorable but we just can’t add another animal at this time.” “My son is allergic, sorry.” “If you are looking for a place to take her, here is a list of no kill shelters. Good luck.” Wow, no takers yet to my surprise. I was sort of relieved and again rushed home that evening to see little E.T. When I arrived, there was a voice message on my machine. It was from a friend named Terri. “Hey, I saw your email about the kitten. We’ve been thinking about adding another kitten so Tasha has a friend to play with. When can I stop over with the kids?” Oh my gosh. My heart began to pound. Someone wants to take E.T.

I avoided calling Terri back right away. When my partner got home, I was found sitting curled up on the window seat with E.T. “Sharyn, you are really getting attached to her, aren’t cha?

I turned into a little girl, shrugged my shoulders, and puckered my lips “yup, I, uh, I tink so.” At this point, there was no turning back. I was falling in love with E.T. I called Terri and told her the news. I sent out an email letting everyone know that E.T. found a new home.

Less than one week later, our kitten was really changing. She wasn’t looking like E.T. so much anymore. So we discussed changing her name. Let’s face it, E.T. really isn’t all that attractive. At this point to me, my new kitten was the cutest in the whole wide world.

Changing her name became a serious decision for me. We were now talking about MY little girl. After literally writing name ideas down on a piece of paper and chatting about it for a long time, our E.T. became our little Punkin. I like to call her Punkinbutt. I love my Punkinbutt. I became a cat lover the day Punkin came into my life.

A lot has changed since then. We now have three cats: Punkin, Peanut and Momma Kitty.

I look forward to writing about the days my other girls came into my life. And Momma Kitty’s story – well there is a reason she is called “Momma.” Gosh do I love cats!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

See my new article MOMMA KITTY:  A Story For Cat Lovers

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    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Carol ~ So you understand I see. I definitely am thrilled that I became a cat lover. Seriously now if I didn't have any animals and was looking to adopt a pet, I would go for cats over dogs any day. I love the names of your "kids." Thanks for your feedback!

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Kelley ~ I totally understand. My heart strings have been pulled in many directions ;) Thanks for your comments and sharing.

      Sharyn

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I used to not like cats. When I went to friend's homes who had them I tried to avoid. I have had cats now for 20 years and I love them. My two currents: Elwood Jr. (there was a senior) and Sammi Speckwood. Loved the hub.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Once they grab your heart strings they don't let go. I'm a cat lover also! Cute cats Sharyn. Sharing this one. Take care, Kelley

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Vinaya,

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I really do love cats. But my deep fondness did not begin until much later in life. Today, I do not know what I would do without them. Have a beautiful day!

      Sharyn

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I don't know when I began loving cats. My mother has been loving cats all her life, maybe I grew fond of cats because of my love to my mother.

      Yours story is a delightful read.

      Cheers

      PS

      Thanks for following back.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good morning Yvonne, Thank you for stopping by. I love that photo too of Punkin. Although I have so many of her where she just sleeps wherever, in the silliest places. Right now, she's is next to me sound asleep on a pile of papers on my desk :) Hope you have a great weekend!

      Sharyn

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      Oh this is sweet. That first photo is just gorgeous.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Kel, Thanks for your comments. I love the name Miracle, how fitting. Let me know if she enjoys the story :) Punkin was a miracle for sure!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Aw Sharyn...My cat Mia was the same way - she was found almost dead and infested..starving..her name is Miracle but we call her Mia. I know what you mean too. I would never let that happen to her - gosh I have had her about 12 years now! Love it - hey maybe I will read this story to her! hahaha!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning JMJ,

      Scatter is a really cute name! Thanks for stopping by!

      Sharyn

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 5 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      My cats name is scatter..he is a good cat, but he is a trouble maker..hahahah

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning PP,

      It is funny how people can turn into cat lovers. I definitely did. In addition, I turned my (sometimes quite cranky) Father into one as well. And he's in his late 70's. ha

      Thank so much for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Sharyn, what a sweet read. I do love reading about these wonderful little animals! It's funny how people can turn into cat lovers. My husband was the same way; he had never cared for cats, but now he absolutely loves our three girls. Thanks for sharing a great story. Take care!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi J.S.,

      Thanks so much for checking this out and for your wonderful comments. Your wife will continue to "convert" I'm sure. Have a great day!

      Sharyn

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Duke was very lucky to find such a good home! He lived to be 17? Wow, that's old for a dog! A duck is a funny pet!

      It is great to see a transformation in your attitude towards cats! My wife isn't much of a cat person but she is slowly converting. Punkin was lucky to be brought into your life as well! I like the names you chose for your cats!

      This is a beautiful Hub-thanks for sharing! Voted Up and Beautiful!

      JSMatthew~

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi D.A.M.,

      Thank you for your sweet comments. None of my cats will stay on my neck which I would love. But my Punkin can never refrain from jumping in the laundry basket :)

      And one of these days I will write about my sweet Buttons. It's still heartbreaking! Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Sharyn

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 6 years ago from Indiana

      Sharyn, I really enjoyed this hub. I have a cat too, named Gracie. She basically lives upstairs because she does not like the dogs, but man does she have fun tormenting them from behind the gate. Gracie is my laundry-sorting buddy, I basically do that with her wrapped around my neck. I'm sorry you lost Buttons...that was my childhood dog's name!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Diana,

      An animal lovin' heart is the best kind. If you meet someone who doesn't like animals and isn't kind to animals, that is always a huge red flag as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for your votes!

      Hugs,

      Sharyn

    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 6 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      I love this story! You are a woman after my own, animal lovin' heart.

      I have a Punkin' cat too! She was dumped off as a pregnant momma kitty. She's speyed now and happy as a cat in a milk barn full of mice.

      Great writing. Voted UP and all the rest...

      peace in your heart...always,

      Diana

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey pinkydoo,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, we had a duck in the basement. I've got to remember to ask my sister's if they remember. Have a great day!

      Sharon

    • pinkydoo profile image

      pinkydoo 6 years ago from New York

      This is the most adorable story! I remember actually being afraid of cats until we got our first cat - and actually, she was a terror, but I learned to accept that all cats have different personalities, and that's what makes them so special. (A duck in the basement? Ha...that's funny)!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Lucky Cats,

      I am so glad that I became a cat lover. I do wish they were in my life earlier and because of how I feel about them today, I kind of feel that I lost out on something. I too cannot imagine life without them. I've always loved animals and especially dogs. But today, I am a very serious cat lover. And I've had the opportunity to turn others into cat lover's as well :)

      Thanks LC!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Yes! Cats are the best! I love all of my kitties and could not imagine life without them. They are the reason I rise in the morning and they are who make my nights so much sweeter. Thank you for an eye opening hub which every person who isn't in love with cats should read....I say "Hey Mikey! He LIKES it!!" and "try it, you'll like it."

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Q, what is Q? Absolutely all animals are special and deserve the best care. Your Lucky is LUCKY to have you. I hope he appreciates your humor too? I've read some of your hubs and love your "slant" on life. Thanks for your vote of confidence!

    • What Is Q profile image

      Adam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I'm not a cat person, per se, but I do love this hub. I have a chihuahua that I'm very fond of. His name's Lucky, he's 11 years old, and he's the 'replacement' chihuahua for the one I had when I was twelve and died before it could turn 1. I'm not a chihuahua person, either, but I love him a lot. He might be small, but he's got a big heart. And acts like a pitbull. lol. He's awesome and very protective. But it doesn't matter if you're a cat or dog person, all animals are special and deserve the best care. Awesome hub and voted up. :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      AGREED Angie, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Best wishes!

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Hi Sharyn ... lovely hub. It's I find it very reassuring to know there are so many cat-lovers out there.

      We gotta stick together,guys ... cats need us!

      x

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi simeonvisser -- hmmmm, it kind of looks that way.

      crystolite, any comments on what is being suggested here?

      Thanks!

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      To be honest, crystolite is posting the same comments on many hubs without reading them.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you crystolite for your words of encouragement.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Good hub and very interesting to read.thanks for sharing.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank YOU for your comment WRS. p.s. I love the name midnight! Thanks again.

    • W.R. Shinn profile image

      W.R. Shinn 6 years ago

      Cool cat! WE've recently had a stray show up on the doorstep. After a week or two of my 10 yr old daughter saying, "Aww Daddy, can't we keep him?" He finally made it into the house. What a blessing this cat has been. We've enjoyed a very friendly, rub-up-against-ya cat and yep! "midnight" sleeps everywhere. Such a neet adition to the family. Thanks for your story. W.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thanks Mar!!! I'm working on new story, mainly about when Momma Kitty came into my life. It was a truly touching experience. Have a beautiful day!

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Cute story Sharyn...I love my Big Toby too. He brings me so much comfort and company...don't know how I got along without him. :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Wow Micky Dee, they actually ride on your bike with you? That is very cool! Thanks for your comment and for the fan mail too:) Have a great day!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Thank you. I've had cats to ride on my shoulders in the car and on the bike. They're great creatures.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you mslizzee for reading and commenting. Oh, those cat personalities - now there is another hub all its own! Your Sam is like my Punkinbutt. She is always in the bathroom when I am in there. She rolls around in the tub and takes out the drain cover "all the time." I'm constantly putting it back but not sure why I bother. Thanks again!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear epigramman,

      Thank YOU so much for your wonderful comments. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my hub. No doubt Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel are doted upon. It is great to meet you too and I look forward to spending more time in your "space." Have a great day!

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      I love your story. I had pretty much the same evolution. I remember asking a friend and cat lover "do your cats have any personality?" She looked at me like I was crazy. Now, I have Sam and Izzi and all of the bizarre personality traits I can handle. If I could just get Sam out of the bathtub I could take a bath again.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...well I already love your 'slants' and I'm only at the first hub/slant - that is Little Miss Tiffy in the picture - she is the diva in the family - and my other buddy is a big boy and a deaf cat (all white) by the name of Mister Gabriel .....I certainly enjoyed your story and the pictures are lovely - so nice to meet you and thank you for dropping by my humble hubspace!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      LoraKay, I am so sorry to hear what happened to Passion. That is terrible. Hold Snowy tight - there is nothing like the unconditional love from your pet. Thanks so much for your kind comments. They are very much appreciated!

    • LoraKayAlexander profile image

      LoraKayAlexander 6 years ago

      Such a heart warming story...I prefer large cats like Tigers,

      but I have loved 2 cats, especially in my lifetime. Passion, my large black cat (which I loved with a passion) was killed by my friends Chows. She untied them, wasn't supposed to. Lying here beside me is my LARGE Persion, regestered name:

      Snowy Winter's Day. Bet you can guess what color. :-) I love him bunches. Thanks for sharing your sweet story. Good writer. Love

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thanks Prasetio,

      CATS RULE in my house ;)

      You too have a great weekend!!!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love cat very much. I have a cat and two kittens in my home. Thanks for writing this. I know how you love and care with your cat. As a cats lovers, I give my vote to you. Have a nice weekend. Cheers...

      Prasetio

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      I honestly do not know what I would do without my girls. I lost my Dog Buttons just last August after he had a stroke, he was 15. It was an extremely sad time. Yet, I had all my cats and they still needed me and helped me through that time. And I could tell they missed Buttons too.

      Thank you Sunnie, I love when you comment :)

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      I just loved this story..I also never was much of a cat lover but ended up with two for over 14 years until they went to kitty heaven..Thank you for reminding me of how precious they are. They do grow on you after a while..

      Sunnie

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you SO MUCH Linda. Punkinbutt is definitely spoiled along with all the other animals.

    • lindatymensky profile image

      lindatymensky 6 years ago

      What a sweet, pleasant read! Punkinbutt no doubt has it made.