Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 199

Published in: Just For Fun

Sundays With Tabs

Evolution of a cat lady

A question for the members of Club Cat Lady: have you always been a member, or do you remember when you joined?



This may come as a shock, but I wasn’t always obsessed with our feline overlords. As a matter of fact, for most of my life, I considered myself a dog person, and El Hub and I used to talk a lot about adopting a couple o’ mutts when the time was right.

Then, one fateful day — I think it was in 2006 — I heard a friendly voice outside the laundry room of our old apartment. “Meow?”

I’d say it was the voice of an angel, LOL! — but that’s not exactly right. :)

I guess the seeds of my eventual move to Cat Ladyville were sown when I was a kid living in the burbs. My dad, who grew up on a farm surrounded by lots of different animals, was always bringing home one random creature or another, much to my mom’s dismay.

Our house was like the neighborhood zoo! Cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits, mice, turtles — basically, if it crossed paths with my dad and looked like it needed a home, we adopted it.

But by the time I started high school, Mom had had enough. She put her foot down one year, and the only animals allowed to stay were the dogs.

I had a deep bond with our black lab, Bell (RIP, buddy), who was with us through my early twenties, and when I returned home after college, Shauna, a 100-percent pure mystery mutt with gorgeous golden fur, moved in.

She’s an old girl now and doesn’t fetch as quick as she used to… I get a little misty-eyed when I remember her as a wee puppy.

Tabs and Shauna have never met, but I’m sure he’d rock her world. For such an aloof diva superstar kitty, he makes a pretty good first impression.

It’s weird, but sometimes I think of Tabs as a dog. He’s very comfortable and outgoing around people, and not skittish at all.

I remember at the old apartment in Mill Valley when Tabs first started coming around; he’d follow me all over the complex like a puppy!

On laundry day, he’d walk by my side down the stairs, across the parking lot and all the way into the laundry room. Then he’d wait patiently, cleaning himself and sniffing around, until I put the clothes in the wash, and then escort me back to our front door.


“May I help you with the laundry?”

Once, he even tried to follow me to the Safeway across the street. “No!” I shouted, and he actually stopped. I wasn’t taking any chances after that, though. From then on, whenever I’d go grocery shopping, he stayed in the house.


“Where ya goin’, Mom?”

He still follows me around, room to room at home (he even paws at the door to get in the bathroom!).

When people come over, Tabs likes to talk current events with them and entertainment (“Have you seen Cat Avengers?”). A few months ago, we had to hire a plumber for something, and Tabs spent the entire time minding the guy’s business. By the time the plumber left, he and Tabs, whom the plumber started calling “Little Pup,” were fast friends.

Yup, I never expected to become a cat lady, but now I wear the badge with pride. :)

I’d love to hear about your pets and how they came to live with you. Are you a crazy cat, rabbit, frog or dog lady (or guy)? If so, who is/was your gateway pet? Inquiring minds want to know.

Who is Tabs the Cat? About five years ago I befriended a stray, flea-bitten tabby cat with a bad case of worms. I could see he’d fallen on hard times, but his profound knowledge of high fashion and department store cosmetics led me to believe that he was more than meets the eye. We became fast friends, and now he’s actually my boss (and a successful kitty model). :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. To learn more about my employer, world-renowned plus-size kitty supermodel Tabs the Cat, you can also peruse the archives here.

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  1. Dao says:

    OMG, your story with Tabs and mine with Belly sounded so alike! I met Belly in the parking lot and he showed me his tummy. A few weeks later, people started noticing Belly to follow me around like a dog. He moved in pretty fast and even my mom who is 100% certified dog person loves him!

    I think Tabs is friendlier than Belly, who gives people some grade-A supreme stank eyes sometimes. And he was so jealous, too! Any male friends who came to my place got the silent treatment from him. But he’s so loyal and sensitive. He sometimes even came bearing gifts (a dead mole rat once, a dead bird another time.)

    I was a dog person, too, but I think cats are far more interesting. You can gauge what a dog thinks but you can’t with a cat. And if a smart one owns you, well, you’re in for a treat of a lifetime.

  2. Amy says:

    My family has always been partial to cats, but my family didn’t get one for years after our kitty, Tommie, died when I was a little kid. So, it actually took me quite awhile to embrace my catladyness. A stray cat started coming to our doors and windows when I was a senior in high school, and my dad couldn’t resist bringing her inside for good! It wasn’t until I got to my sophomore year of college that I got my own cat, Mogget. I’ve had her ever since, and she’s my very own husky tabby furbaby! I’ve accepted that I’m a full on cat lady, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My hubs got a kitty of his own a few years ago, and he’s a tiny delicate orange boy named Knox. Unfortunately I’m limited by our apartment’s two pet limit, but I do have a stray that comes around sometimes. I’m thinkin’ of sneaking him inside! I can’t help it, I do love cats. :)

  3. Ali says:

    I’m definitely a cat lady. :) The first pet I ever had was a dog, but as a little girl I always wanted a cat. Every birthday and Christmas I’d beg for one but my dad hated cats and wouldn’t allow it. I finally got my cat when I was 9 years old, but she had to stay outside most of the time. She was a black and white cat named Frisky….and she had a tough life. She was shot with a bee bee gun by the teenage punk who lived next door and survived that, only to be attacked and killed by another neighbor’s pit bull dogs (and I have never liked dogs since). It broke my heart! I didn’t want anymore pets after that.

    Well, when I was 14 a stray cat we named Indigo wandered into our lives. My mom and dad divorced and since he wasn’t around to ban cats from the house, we took her in…and when we brought her to the vet to be spayed, we learned she was pregnant! She gave birth to a litter of 3. Unfortunately we were never able to make an inside cat out of her, and when we had to move she ran away from home and we never found her…I’ve had such terrible luck with allowing cats outside, that I will never do it again.

    We still have her babies. They’re 10 years old now, and I love them all but I admit that I have a special bond with one of them in particular. He’s kinda like how you described Tabs…he follows me around, sleeps next to me every night, and let’s me cuddle and hug on him like no other cat I’ve had. He’s more “dog-like” than any cat I’ve ever seen…he doesn’t have a temperamental bone in his body, he’s very laid back and trusting.

  4. I’ve always been more of a cat person than a dog person – I know some absolutely great dogs, but I still prefer cats.

    My parents had the strict no-pets rule when I was growing up…which lasted until we were in a pet store “just to look” and a Maltese puppy licked the glass when mom looked at her. I pressed to get a cat, as well. Taki died when his one functioning kidney gave out suddenly at age five. We adopted another cat soon after, but I was already headed away to college.

    I got “my” first cat in 1996, and Monkey’s still with me – though a bit less agile than she used to be, but just as much of an empress-diva. I adopted GlamourPuss three years later; and six years after that, Fog adopted me much like Tabs adopted you! My latest kitty, BabyJ, has been here since late April and he hasn’t totally been accepted yet: everything is fine as long as I feed Monkey and GlamourPuss upstairs, and keep BabyJ in the library/downstairs bath/kitchen when I’m away at work. :)
    LiAnn – Sparklecrack Central recently posted … Saturday Soundtrack: Unbecome (Vas / Azam Ali)

  5. AG says:

    As a lifelong cat lover myself, I loved hearing your story of Tabs :) My family used to buy purebreds but have been strictly adopting for a long time. I believe that, despite their ups, downs, and occasional health surprises, adopted animals somehow know that you’ve rescued them into a good life and will thank you for it every day

  6. Shaylee says:

    I’m a cat lady now but never thought I would be! I never grew up around cats as my mom was very allergic. They kind of weirded me out! Then, my friend found a stray kitten in a dumpster and my heart melted when I saw him. Now, Benson (the stray) and Itsy (my boyfriend’s cat) are the loves of my life! I can’t imagine not having kitties now, they are amazing little creatures – except when they bring live chipmunks into your house and let them go.. that’s not amazing, or fun!

  7. Heidi says:

    Aww… so great to look back on the great Tabs’ humble beginnings.

    I started life as a dog person. Got a poodle/terrier mix for my fifth birthday and named him Snoopy. He was the best. Throughout that time we also had parakeets, including one, Sammy, who we taught to talk. He would talk to Snoopy, saying “watcha doin’ Snoopy?” every time he would walk by the cage, and poor Snoopy just could not figure out who was talking to him! Poor thing. After Snoopy passed away at the age of 15, there was no replacing him, so the cat phase began. First was Mitzi, a tabby we only had a short time before she ran into the middle of the street and got hit by a car. That was heartbreaking. After that we got the brothers. They were polar opposites in every way, litter mates that didn’t look alike or act alike, so they became Oscar and Felix. Felix was the sleek smart black cat, Oscar the tubby bumbling tabby. A few years later a Russian Blue wandered in through the cat door and decided to stay. We named her Smokey.

    Now of course there’s Missy. She started showing up in our backyard the first summer we lived in the house I now live in, seven years ago. I decided to put some food out one day and that was it. She’s got tons of personality, is completely unpredictable, but is very loving. I can’t imagine how I would get along without her these days.

  8. Daanielle says:

    There is something of a “Dr. Doolittle” gene that runs through my dad’s side of the family, so there have always been pets, all either strays that never left or adoptions from family friends. My grandparents’ farm was home to a rotating host of furry creatures, one rough and tumble Tom cat named Brutus was a standard feature after awhile, and did his best to make sure there fouls be no shortage of kitties for Grandma to feed.

    Like a lot of you, I considered myself more of a dog person, mostly because that’s what we had at home most of the time. When Grandpa’s health started to decline, though, and Grandma couldn’t be at the farm to feed her kitties for several months, she was desperate to find homes for two kittens that she’d nursed after their mothers went missing. My parents took one, but I had just taken a new job ANC moved to a new apartment, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for pets. Then they showed me a picture of this tiny little ball of orange fluff, and all reservations went out the window. A week later, The Amazing Rando was en route to my new place.

    Since he’s an indoor-mostly cat, Rando hasn’t been very well socialized, and is a fraidy cat the size of a lion cub. He loves me and tolerates my boyfriend now. He follows me around and has trouble understanding why Mommy doesn’t want 13 lbs of kitty sleeping on her head at night. He can be moody, but he’s the best cuddler I’ve ever had and he’s a riot when it’s playtime. Just don’t touch his tummy, or you may lose an arm.

  9. Julia Alkaseltzer says:

    I have been in the club since March 2011, when I first started working in a private company where my boss lets his cat stroll around. Boss now has two cats of course, I refer my boss to my friends as “cat boss” x) But I swear, when I end up scratching them, feeding them, talking to them, it’s like my job is more than just being an assistant to a human boss >.>

  10. I love reading about Tabs. I don’t think a gal could hope for a better boss.

    Our cat, Curiosity, adopted us too. And… every other cat my family has had ever. It’s a common story… sad-looking persistent kitty suckers someone into feeding him and discarding his poop while he lounges or chases moths all day for the rest of his life. Cats are pretty awesome at that kind of thing.

  11. MaryAnn says:

    I’m fairly certain I was born a cat lady er…girl. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong passion for animals, but I’ve always been especially drawn to cats. My mom was never too fond of animals in the house, so my brother & I considered ourselves lucky when my dad finally convinced my mom to get a puppy when I was about five. However, my gateway kitties were thanks to my uncle on my 11th birthday. I got two brother, long-haired tabbies that we named Max and Meowth (yes, after the pokemon…my brother was 8 at the time, sheesh). Meowth unfortunately passed away at the young age of 4 due to unknown reasons, but Max is still alive and well with me at the ripe old age of 13! He’s definitely outgoing & isn’t afraid to get into mine or company’s business. He’s been with me through being kicked out of my parents house, terrible roommates, moving back into my parents house, summer romances, getting married, break-ups, & currently becoming a new homeowner. I don’t know what I would do without him! He’s always been my little lion or “king” as I like to call him sometimes.
    In the end though, I’ve always been super proud of being a cat lady or animal nerd amongst my friends. If you want to get into specifics, tigers are my true passion & I even have a gigantic tatted on my left calf.
    Oh and by the way, I finally convinced my mom to come around. She and my dad now have two of their own and Max got a little sister two years ago, in which I named Sookie (yes, like True Blood & I swear she has her personality!!)

  12. Bing says:

    I have always been a dog person until hubby and I adopted Remy from SF Macy’s holiday window. She is now my husand’s 2nd wife an sleeps between our heads. I believe she was abused as a young kitten as she’s super cautious and doesn’t like to be held. I do love her or her individuality and occasional craziness.

  13. kim says:

    Aw! I love this. I’m so over the “crazy cat lady” stereotype and I love that so many bloggers are cat ladies. Cats get a bad rep from dog lovers but my fellow cat ladies know just how sweet, loving and caring cats can be. I love that cats require you to work for their attention most of the time, unlike dogs they’re smart and self sufficient (for the most part) but there is nothing more heartwarming than when a cat comes up and cuddles you out of nowhere. I find it so much sweeter than dogs constantly in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs just fine but as a pet I 100% choose a cat over a dog.

  14. Yelena says:

    so funny reading ur story cuz it really does remind me of my lil pup Eli :)
    i had just moved into my very own place – no fam, no friends, just me!
    my bro came to help me move in and he said the one thing i need is a dog for company and for protection. i knew i was going to be a busy girl working fulltime and going back to school so i knew i cudnt handle a puppy and potty train it and all…he found my lil guy on craigslist….”A chihuahua?! “, I exclaimed. I never liked chichuahuas. I thought they were small, annoying yappy lite things that only reminded me of paris hilton in the early 2000′s (late 90′s? ) I dont remember haha. he convinced me to atlleast go over and meet the lil guy….
    I fell in love immediately! I couldnt say no to the most adorable over bite with 2 missing teeth haha. his long curly hair cud not stop wagging and he was beyond himself when he realized i was taking him home. haha.
    I vowed to be a strict mom – no dogs on the bed, no dogs on the couch, no begging, no chewing on my stuff. YUP, he pretty much runs this place now. haha.
    Love him!

    p.s. did i mention he thinks he’s a cat? haha. he likes to stretch like a cat and sits and licks his paws all day long like a cat. i have a feeling him and tabs wud get along just fine.

  15. CharlaL says:

    Well, my Mom calls me Snow White. It’s because one day after my divorce she caught me in the house with the cat, two doves and the bunny following me around the house as I was cleaning. Yes, they all get along just beautifully but I have to say…..it’s a lot of work. I guess u can call me the crazy cat/bird/bunny lady (thats what we should have called Miss White…….that’s excluding the dwarfs …sorry guys) and I will wear the badge proudly because I also have a wonderful guy that shares my love for them ALL plus MY TWO kids!!

    Kitten the cat (13 years) and Bunny Freddie the 10 year old Dwarf Bunny have won his heart too!! He’s really a tough guy but I have caught him on several occasions making kissy noises to Bunny Freddie and giving him treats when he thinks no one is looking.

    Bunny Freddie is nearing the last years of his life now and has had lots of medical problems lately. His vets and I are shocked at how long he has lived as bunnies usually don’t make it this far (8 is really old I’m told) …..but I contribute it to lots and lots of love and making him part of the family just like a dog or cat!!

    Kitten, of course , runs the house and has trained my man to wake up at 5:30. He frequently “complains” but I really think he is bragging that he “fed the Kitten a SLAB” at that time before he goes surfing> This is our name for the raw food we feed Kitten. It looks like a cube of steak. She is a tabby just like Tabs and would probably rock his world (that is if he prefers the “cougar kitties”)

    My kids want me to get a dog and have been badgering me ( they really don’t realize i’m a push over….if I see the right one ) and are hopeful that I will surprise them soon with a new pet………..to be continued………

  16. I think we are so lucky to have our fur babies in our lives. They are so GOSH darn smart and my little Lady never fails to makeme smile no matter how depressed I am
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  17. Adrienne says:

    Karen, have you ever been to Greece? I was lucky enough to go through a class/program thing in college (lucky to go to Greece, get a chance to see where my relatives came from and discover that some of their weird quirks are just good ol Greek quirks, but also lucky because it’s how I met my girlfriend!)

    Anyhoo, if you like pet escorts, the stray dogs and cats in Athens (95% of whom are friendly and relatively clean) make excellent tour guides and escorts! One dog latched onto our group, and when the aggressive street salesmen were bugging us and trying to push wares on us in one touristey area, the dog would circle around us and bark them away!! We had one dog lead us home, wait outside our door while we got ready for a night out, and escorted us back out! They’re surprisingly randomly loyal! 

    And there’s friendly cats everywhere!! I was in cat lady heaven :) We would just wander around the ancient ruins, listening to the tour guide, and carrying random stray cats, hehe.

    I’ve always been a cat person, as far back as I can remember, with my Lisa Frank cat trapper keeper and pencil cases :) My girlfriend is a dog person, and sometime within the next couple of months we will be attempting to mesh our two loves when we move in together. She finds my cat boring, I find her dog annoying, and goodness knows how they will react together, so it might be a bit rough at first, but I’m hoping we’ll all live happily as a funny little family :)

    And here’s my kitty Daphne walking up now, after defeating her mighty foe/prey: the hair scrunchie!  She must know I’m talking about her!

  18. Aww I’m so happy to read about the whole story! It’s so sweet!

    I’ve always been a cat lady, which is very weird considering how my grandpa and mom spent a lot of time trying to brainwashing me into thinking they’re not good (seems like people who don’t know cats often have this misconception). My mom has never allowed me to keep any pets, but one fateful day (August 2006), I heard a kitten meow on the rood of my then-boyfriend. I thought it was a kitten separated from its mama, and didn’t want to do anything just then (what if the mama came back and smelled human on the kitten?). By the next day the meowing was still going on, so I spent the entire morning trying to lure the kitten down. Finally with some help from the landlord the kitty was captured. That’s also when we realized he was like a day or two old!

    I took him home, promising my mom I’d give him away once he is weaned and litterbox-trained, and started he has badly sleep-deprived month raising him. I’m glad Tango lived, and by the time he was almost old enough to be given away my mother had fallen in love with him!

    Long story short he’s almost 6 now and has traveled to Belgium with me. He has daddy and a baby sister, but still I’m his favorite ;)
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  19. Minnegirl says:

    This might be my favorite Sunday with Tabs post. Love it! I was adopted by two kittens at the shelter. :) I love our kitties, Oscar (who sounds a lot like tabs) and Maxwell.

  20. Ruchita says:

    Aww, I love seeing pics of Tab and his humble beginnings. A Tabs biopic really should be in the works. :-)

    I never thought I would become a member of the Cat Lady Club, but now I’m in for life! Growing up, we never had any pets. My husband grew up in the country and only had outside pets. After I got married we talked about adopting a cat, but we didn’t think there was a good place to put a litter box.

    Ha! How things change. Back in the fall of 2010, I was taking the trash out to the garage on a Sunday evening when I saw a sweet striped kitty standing near the porch. I kneeled down and he came over and let me pet him. He was so sweet and friendly that I ran in to get him some food. At that time, all I had to offer were some hot dogs. I called my husband outside and we both petted him for a while. The little guy was skittish, but hungry, so he stuck around.

    After that, he started showing up on a more regular basis and we slowly started letting him in the house. When we got home from work we’d leave the curtain open so we could see him show up at the patio door.

    Eventually we took him inside and got him to the vet to get neutered and for shots. Then he became our little (now big!) Mingus boy.

    Ella was found by some friends of ours. She was spayed and declawed so she was someone’s pet, but they weren’t able find her owner. They couldn’t keep her so we agreed to take her in. She came to us in January of 2011.

    Then finally, this past Cinco de Mayo a little black kitty showed up outside my sister-in-law’s house. My husband saw her first and then called me out to take a look. We fed her too and made the impulse decision to take her home with us. We didn’t have a carrier and I just held her in my arms on the ride home. We weren’t sure if we could keep her, but at the very least we wanted to get her spayed. The vet thought she was about 6-8 months old and she only weighed 5 lbs! Of course, we fell in love with her and kept her.

    Having pets was something I never planned on, but now I can’t imagine my life without them. They are such a huge blessing to me and make me smile every day. :-)

  21. Nina says:

    I just wanted to say Hi to both Tabs & Karen. :-)

    We got back yesterday and its a bit tough getting back into the swing of things.

    Cats are a special gift. And im dealing w/ some sad right now over one of ours. I dont want to say much because im scared if I do, it will make it true.

    Just please send some kitty purrs and headbutts along our way, please. :-)

  22. Katrina says:

    My baby is a female chocolate lab named Koda. She’s about 78 pounds and sometimes doesn’t get that she isn’t a lap dog. She’s the ultimate girl, pink is her favorite color. The short story is that we lost Koda’s mom and 11 siblings and she was the only survivor. So I have been her mom since she was three days old. I bottle fed her and did everything a mom would, which meant we had to be attached at the hip. She just turned six this summer and I’d say she’s going on two. She’s such a puppy. I was really never a pet person until Koda came into my life and now I cannot imagine life without one.

  23. kimkats says:

    Our present 2 kitties picked us. :) Just like Tabs did you! That seems to make for the happiest setting; you may adore them, but if kitty doesn’t take a shine to you, well…. it’s just not going to be a great relationship.

    One kitty, Sofi, we got at the local shelter. We’d lost our last cat to cancer exactly one year before Sofi came into our lives, and DH suddenly suggested we go to the pound to look for a kitty because he just “had a feeling” there was one there for us. Sure enough, they had only one kitten there and when they brought her out, she looked at me and then at DH and literally sprang out of the employee’s arms into DH’s!! She was ours from that moment on, and she’s oddly enough, MY cat now… She still likes DH, but given a choice of laps to get into, she’ll pick mine 99% of the time.

    Our other kitty, Sammy, is our outdoor/barn cat. Don’t fret, he has his own little bed in a styrofoam cooler with a nice foam pad wrapped in a towel out there, and he is fed regularly (VERY regularly!) My mom even gave me an old heating pad for his bed in the winter. :) He’s not roughing it much…. He is one helluva mouser tho… Anyway, Sam literally appeared out of nowhere about 5 years ago…. I was in the barn looking for something and I heard this little tiny “mew, mew,mew” and looked around to see a teeny,mostly starved adorable black kitty sitting there. He was obviously not in the least bit afraid of me, so I raced inside grabbed some cat food, and DH and went out to Sammy. He snarfed the food in an instant, and he was so thin that when he crouched to eat, every vertabrae in his little spine showed up like a mountain ridge. DH then reached down and picked him up (which can be a dangerous proposition with a cat you don’t know) but Sammy just purred like a motorboat and snuggled up. He’s been ours ever since. He stays pretty close around (we have about 60 acres, and he tends to stay around the house/barn area) and gets his little ration of milk (warmed up of course) every night, and during the winter, he chooses to come inside for a while at night, then lets us know when he wants to go out, so we take him out to the barn and give him a nighttime snack. :) He’s the sweetest friendliest little guy you could ever want to meet, and I just adore him.

    Whew – Didn’t mean to be such a windbag, but now you know how our little darlin’s came into our lives!

    Kim :)

  24. We have a huge animal family… We’re like your dad – we ended up with anything that seemed like it needed a good home. Growing up, we had everything from fish to turtles to guinea pigs, dogs and hamsters, and we always LOVED animals.

    Cha Cha, our black shorthaired kitty, was found meowing in a box with two of his brothers, abandoned on a street corner near my office 3 years ago. I just scooped him up (a coworker took in his brothers), brought him home, and now’s hes grown into a little terror.

    LeRoux came to us from a pet shop. He was the “clearance” kitty – an orange tabby Egyptian Mau mix who moved from store to store for the pet shop chain, until he was marked down to a low, low price. We found him locked up in a glass box, with no stimulation, and an upper respiratory infection (and also probably from one of those horrible kitten mills), we paid the adoption fee, and took him home. He’s a huge goof now and loves everyone and everything.

    Emily is an American Pit Bull Terrier who was abandoned by his family because the owner got too sick to care for her. She ended up in neighboring Ontario, which has Breed Specific Legislation, and was going to be put down until we drove there to pick her up on behalf of one of the rescues we foster animals for. She is a wiggly butt and one of the best dogs we have ever known. She’s 70 pounds of muscle and love that just thinks she’s a 3 pound lapdog of some sort.

    We also have two hedgehogs. Kashi, which means “thorn” in my native Korean, was adopted from a breeder, and has always had a good home. Po’Boy was rescued from a family who didn’t feed him properly or interacted with him. He is twice the weight of Kashi (battling with obesity and other health problems related to weight management), and not very friendly towards humans yet, but we’re working on it.

    Lastly, we have a fish, called Ichabod II (Ichabod I died of swim bladder disease), who has lived a whopping 3 years so far (we got him around the same time as Cha Cha. He is a blue, turquoise and purple veiltail (common pet shop variety) betta/siamese fighting fish. He does NOT like the cats, and will always “flare” or display his fins when they come too close.

    We also foster a wide range of kittens and dogs (no puppies as we don’t have the time to toilet train and all that with our own mini zoo) for local rescues, and are especially involved with Pit Bull rescues and rehabilitation. We are strongly anti-Breed Specific Legislation and hope to educate many people about the need to train their dogs properly.

  25. JCz says:

    Karen I love your pics above – it’s like “Where’s Waldo?”, except its Tabs. And my cats have already put that Chanel catnip case on their wishlists. Yeah right! ;)

    • Karen says:

      Hi JCz,

      If your kitties love the finer things, let ‘em know that Tabs also did the modeling campaign for Burberry’s cat carriers, LOL!

  26. Ruby says:

    I’m definitely a cat lady and just love their character. My parents didn’t allow me to have any pets and thus I only adopted my first cat, Eden when I finally had my own place. She is the ultimate princess of the house, demanding to nap with me and hub, meowing for food and following me around whenever I’m at home.

    We adopted Titus, a month later so that Eden will not be lonely and man, she really bullied him. Titus took 2 months to finally get used to us and Eden finally accepting him. They are still good buddies until today.

    Simba came a year later when I was surfing the local cat welfare website and he just seems to calling out to me :). He look just like Tabs with more brown undercoat. Totally a greedy pig that just constantly wants food so it’s no wonder he is the biggest size of the lot.

    Astro was the latest addition to the family when we found him only a week or 2 old at the car parking lot. We couldn’t find his mother around and brought him back with the intention of putting him up for adoption. However, after taking care of him for a few days, we realised he had constipation issues and with a help of a vet nurse we knew, we had to play around with his diet and eventually medication to make sure he poos everyday. We decided to keep him since he needs to be on special diet and attention and we are not sure if potential adopters are willing to invest the time and money in him to make he is well taken care of.

    That just round up my 4 fur kids :) Eden, Titus, Simba and Astro.

  27. Sarah S. says:

    Awww, Karen! This cat love story made me go all misty-eyed

  28. stalkthepostman says:

    My husband grew up with cats and always wanted us to get one, but I was firmly a dog person. My parents didn’t like cats, so I didn’t have one as a pet growing up. Then last November, my hubby came home from work carrying a crate from our local shelter and as soon as this teeny-tiny, grayish, spotted kitty stepped out into our kitchen, I was in love :)

    We named her Cleo (for her Cleopatra-like eyeliner markings), but I never call her that. It’s usually Beluga, Beluga Whale, Beluga Bear (…I don’t know), Bieb (because she squawks and mrrroowwrrs, etc.), or Rubbernecker (she likes to strain and lean closely to get a better look at things without actually touching them). My husband mostly calls her Flopsy, because she’s always following him around and when he stops moving, she suddenly flops at his feet and shows him her belly. Hahaha.

    She was soooo small and definitely malnourished. Her fur was rough and her ribs were sticking out. With proper food and lots of love, she’s doing very well and her fur’s now soft and shiny. It’s weird – now I can’t imagine life without her.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stalkthepostman,

      El Hub and I feel the same way about Tabs. We were together for six years before Tabs came along, and now either of us can’t remember how it was to not have him around.

      BTW, like Cleo, Tabs has all sorts of crazy nicknames, too — Mixy, Mixy Bear, Cocoa Gravy (?), Poops, Babycat…

      • stalkthepostman says:

        I know, right? So weird….sometimes I try to remember what it was like before she arrived, but all I can think about is that we must have been really bored. LOL. And “poops”??? Hahahhaah. I might have to steal that one ;)

  29. Lainey says:

    I never had any pets until several years ago, i adopted a stray tabby. my parents said he couldnt stay with us, so now he lives with my grandparents and weighs 25 pounds ( too many cat treats LOL). Orangeys been with us for 5 years now. :)
    Lainey recently posted … HG review: My HG Bronzer

  30. Karen says:

    Adorable how Tabs bonded with the plumber ;) Your “Little Pup” seems to have been blessed with personality to spare. Love him! My 10-year-old orange tabby “Kit” flees for his farthest hiding spots in the house when anyone comes over. I had no intention of being a cat owner but that day when a litter of kittens ended up in my shed (busy me, forgot to close the door) a new “cat chapter” in my life began. :)

  31. BeccaTheCyborg says:

    Awww!

    We have two. Cinnamon is “mine” in as much as a cat that lives with two people is either’s. She used to belong to my best friend since junior high, who, after having her for year and a bit, went to Berlin for a year to teach and have adventures. So I volunteered to take care of Cinnamon on a temporary basis. Unfortunately, during that time I started having major health issues and anxiety attacks. Oddly, Cinnamon seems to be able to tell when I’m going to have a fainting spell or anxiety attack, and sits and comforts me before they start. This, combined with the fact that she didn’t seem to care that her owner had returned left my BFF deciding that me and my Babycakes might as well stick together.

    Gatsby is The Mr’s. cat. Well, sort of. His adoption papers technically read “puppy”, as they were out of the “kitten” ones. And he does like to yell, play fetch and follows us around. He’s just also the kind of puppy who purrs. :)

  32. Katherine G says:

    I love reading about Tabs! He sounds like an awesome cat.

    Growing up, the only pets we had were goldfish and hermit crabs. My parents refused to get a dog, cat, or horse because they worked full time and wanted the animals to have lots of attention and love (which they wouldn’t get with all of us working/being in school full time). My first goldfish, Goldie, lived for 3 years and had a swimming bladder issue where she swam upside down. I love all animals and would be extremely happy if the fiance would cave and let me adopt a cat or dog. I’ve been around animals my whole life, especially horses, dogs, and cats, and have just never owned one.

    There are so many animals I have worked with that truly influenced my life for the better that it’s hard to pick just one. There’s Trigger, the fat palomino Quarter Horse who I trained for 3 years and became very attached to. There’s Charlotte, the barn cat at my dad’s friend’s farm who always wanted to be picked up and held for a while (she was a grey tabby like Tabs and looked like a kitten despite delivering 5 litters of kittens herself!). There’s Frankie, my neighbor and friend’s golden retriever puppy who sees me as his aunt/other mommy. There’s Scotty, the Budweiser Clydesdale turned therapy/lesson horse, who I rode in many horse camps, lessons, and training sessions. There’s Spencer, the barn Dalmatian who loved stealing people’s lunches and once ate an entire McDonald’s Happy Meal. Like I said, that’s not even half the animals I know that influenced my life and that I loved just as much as their owners loved them.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katherine G!

      He *is* an awesome cat. I’m very lucky to be his chosen human. :)

      Anywho, I think it’s really neat that you’ve spent so much time with horses. I’ve always loved them and think they’re so beautiful. Where I used to live in Southern Marin (Mill Valley), there’s a place near my old digs called Horse Hill where people keep their horses. When you drive by you can always see the horses perched up on the hill grazing or just chilling out. So cool!

      Kind of random, but I drove by this place called Tomales Bay here near the coast and saw a sign for kayaks and thought of you! I’m hell bent on going at least once this summer.

      • Katherine G says:

        Awww, cool! Kayaking is a blast. I actually haven’t been out yet this year because the rivers around here (Potomac and Monocacy) have either been way too high or way too low. I’ve got the whitewater itch, though, big time! I told my fiance we need to take a trip out to a different river nearby or just go to the big lakes (Greenbriar and Cunningham Falls) around here. You should definitely go! It’s usually not expensive to rent one.

  33. Soo Jin says:

    Hey Karen! I love your story with Tabs. I’m definitely a dog person. Last month I had to put down my bestest friend of 18 years, Cera. She lived a wonderful life full of family, love and laughter. It’s really strange not having her around anymore since I’ve had her for most my life but I try to remember all the good memories and am thankful to have had her for so long. Tabs really sounds special and dog-like with all the following around and loving (hope you’re not offended, Tabs!) It’s the highest compliment in my book, haha.

  34. Bregit says:

    these posts always chear me up:)))))

  35. S says:

    I’ve had cats since I was a baby. The closest cat I’ve had was Oreo, who my family and I adopted after our cat, Meow, died. I loved Oreo a lot and I consider her one of my best friends. She was playful, active, loved to cuddle and I was devastated when she died last year.

    I live in an apartment with my husband and we can’t have cats because he’s allergic. I do have a cat friend, though, who is sort of ‘my’ cat — his name is Tiny and he lives with my parents. My sister and her family live in a rural area and they found him last December hanging around the wooded area in their backyard. They already have 2 young kids, 3 cats and a dog, so my parents agreed to take him in. At the time, we thought he was only 3 months old because he was so small (hence the name), but we took him to the vet and it turned out he was about 5 or 6 months!

    Tiny has since grown a lot, and he’s about a year old now. He’s still small for a male cat, but he is very active and eats a ton (he’s a picky eater and prefers canned food). He still has to learn hands and arms aren’t playthings, but he’s a nice boy. I only wish I could have him in my own home!
    S recently posted … Links I Love vol. 1

  36. auroragyps says:

    I was a total dog person, from the time we got out first dog, a Bull Mastiff named Samantha (Sam for short) when I was about 3ish, until I was in my early 20s. I liked all animals growing up & I knew all the dogs & cats in the neighborhood (like Lily the pale grey tabby & Kit the Malamute), but I hadn’t met a cat that wasn’t either mean or hid away when strangers were around. Oh, & when I say dog person I mean I had a subscription to Dog Fancy, had doggy knick knacks & posters in my room, and did at least a couple of school project on them. Also, I was, and still am, mostly a fan of dogs like Mastiffs, Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, Bulldogs, and Rottweilers (we had two Bull Mastiffs when I was a child, Sam & her son Bull, a Rottie named Zeus in HS, and my parent’s now have their second Pit Bull, Samson (aka Sammy) & before that Max (aka Doofus Maximus).

    Lady Zeal turns 14 the end of this month & I was truly a “crazy cat lady” from the day we got her when she 6 months. By this time I liked cats more, because I’d met more of them that were not only friendly, but that liked me a lot. So, my ex (he was the cat person) & I finally decided to get a cat, thinking one around a year old would be great. I’m so glad we didn’t stick with that, because as soon as he spotted Zeal in her top cage, sitting shyly in her little cut down box of litter, we were both in love. He held her & we both pet her, and she was quiet, but curious. We took her home the next day & she was totally a different cat from the car ride where she meowed pitifully the whole way home (the first time she’d uttered a peep) until this day. My ex told me she’d be shy & probably hide in the beginning and sure enough, when we let her out of the carrier in out little office where we’d put her litter box, she went right behind the desk. “Oh well, that’s where she’ll be for a while. ” we both thought, but instead she came out after about 2 minutes. She promptly began to inspect the entire apartment, looking back at us every once in a while, as if to make sure she could keep going into rooms and on to furniture. That night, we had about 5 or 6 friends over and Zeal would walk up to everyone of them as if to say, “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the new cat.” It still makes me grin like an idiot when I think about it.

    We would come to find out that Zeal is a not only a friendly cat, but smart too. She already knew how to fetch (her favorite toys being tinsel pom poms), something I couldn’t teach 3 dogs to do. Being disabled, I’m home almost all the time, so just by interacting & kind of treating her like a dog in some things, I’ve kind of trained. She’s deals with things like a trooper and it was worrying about her & loving her so much that made me get help when I was afraid of doing something when I was depressed. She comes when I call or whistle, sits, & stays. She hates when I’m going to go out and hangs out & inspects the shower when she thinks I’m getting ready to do so. When she stayed a while with relatives after we moved from our last apartment, she got to be an outdoor cat for the Summer & when I visited her, we took a long slow walk down their driveway, stopping every once in a while for her to check out something and when we at the bottom, we both just turned around and headed back to the house. She gets to have a bit of people food, usually just a taste, and except for things she’s REALLY loves like milk, hot dog, & salmon, she’s not a noodge about it and will go elsewhere after she gets her little serving. She makes me laugh, keeps me company, and basically puts up with me. I can tell she likes to be with me, because sometimes, even though it’s not so comfy for us to be close (like in bed when it’s super hot), she’ll still lay so she’s just touching a part of my body with a part of hers.

    I truly lucked out when I became her owner & I’m so glad. I doubt I’ll ever find another cat like her (I hope to become a Crazy Cat Lady lvl 2 sometimes soon), but if I can find one that’s even half as awesome as she is, I’ll still be very, very lucky.

  37. Sadie says:

    I am a born-and-bred, full on crazy cat lady from the get-go. My best friend and I have always joked that our ambition in life is to be the mad cat lady on the street with 14 kitties, ruling the household… ok, maybe that’s a bit less…appealing/hygenic in reality than fantasy but that should explain how deeply I feel the mad cat lady thing! I grew up in a house with cats as pets (my main love being a husky jellicle boy called Harley) and I am now ‘mum’ to my three-legged ex-stray Dexter, who I know Karen has admired online before now! The plan is to get at least 2 more but the boyfriend has to have some say I guess… incidentally, he’s a born & bred dog person, but has been totally won over by Dexter and regularly talks about how much he loves ‘his’ kitty! After working for a dog rehoming charity for 5 years I definitely see dogs in my future at some point, but as far as I’m concerned a house isn’t a home with a feline presence. The end ;)

  38. Susan says:

    I love my furry babies, and have five cats and three dogs. Only our mini pinscher, Grady, and the youngest kitty are house babies (Boots is a ten week-old grey tabby kitten I found on the road outside of my workplace about a month ago). We live in the country so my big dogs are outside, except one has to stay in the garage for now because he’s having some health issues. They are both black lab and Australian blue heeler mixes, with the younger also having some blue tick hound in him. Their names are Lucky and Jake. Jake is Lucky’s daddy, and I found him at a local festival a few years back when he was a puppy. My big cats range in age from 17 to almost 6, and they stay outside, except at night when they stay in their own kitty condo due to the possibility of them being eaten by coyotes! Their names are Mama Kitty, Moose, Tiger and Gracie. Mama Kitty is a calico, and is the oldest. She found me almost 16 yrs ago. Moose is a beautiful gray kitty with big green eyes. He is 13 and found me when he was just a kitten. I think someone dumped him at my house, to be honest. Tiger is a big, husky tabby (sound familiar? :)) and I actually went to someone’s house to adopt him when he was a baby. He’s 9 now. Gracie appeared in my barn almost 6 yrs ago as a baby, and she’s also a tabby. She actually caught a ride to my house in a neighbor’s minivan (unbeknownst to them!), and I couldn’t resist keeping her!

    I love my furry family very much, and am lucky that my husband and stepsons (ages 17 and 12) do too! Grady is actually the only one that was his when we got together. He goes to work with him every day and rides in the big equipment, stopping to chase mice or rabbits or anything else that needs to be chased! I don’t think my husband was much of a cat person when we got together, but I think I’m seeing him warm up to them a bit. He was laying on the living room floor last night playing with Boots (the kitten) and Grady, and seemed to be enjoying himself. I can’t imagine not having my kitties and dogs! Grew up having lots of pets, and fostering them for the animal control officer for a time. I can’t foster anymore, though, because I get too attached!

  39. kelly m. says:

    I can tell you the exact day I became a cat lady Oct 31, 2001. That’s when my cat Beanie showed up at my now Mil’s house. they were terrified of cats so i took him. I figured he had to belong to someone, he was declawed and neutered by when I took him to the vet, he had no chip. I was told he had FIV and that I had to take him or a shelter would kill him. I immediately feel in love with him. Hubby and I had him for 11 wonderful years he just passed away on June19,2012 from a stroke and I’m beside myself with grief. he was my baby. he was the most beautiful all white cat with pale green eyes and his two fangs were crooked and stuck put of his mouth. I miss him so much i don’t know what I’m going to do. Hubby and I are heartbroken. I hope some day that we can love again, but it will be hard.

    • Liz M. says:

      I’m so sorry. RIP.

    • Liz M. says:

      And it’s so hard but when my girl almost passed years ago, the thing that kept me going was I just adopted a kitty. So I had her to come home to while my girl was at the vet. Friends of ours just lost their beloved 18 yr old & couldn’t take the lonely house. They rescued 2 from the pound, and they’re thrilled. In some way, it’s like when you rescue a life, it’s a comforting thought in grieving for your baby. My heart goes out to you.

  40. m says:

    I love the photos of you and Tabs together. What a sweet stripy face! btw I think you’ve looked great and so happy in your photos this week.

  41. musical says:

    Aweeeee! Sweet kisses and sniffs to Tabs! You both look so cozy in the first picture.

    I am a cat lady! Don’t have any pets right now-but often go and see Simbad, my gal-pal’s cat and he’s my fur-sweetheart at the moment :).

  42. Valerie says:

    I’ve only ever had one pet, a parrot that flew in from our window and which escaped, by itself again, a few months later. As my friend says, “Easy come, easy go” ;)

    Tabs seem to be a very good natured cat… I think having a cat companion is a great idea, but I’ll have to move to an apartment complex that allows pets before I can really understand that idea, I think. Anyway, I though that picture of the silhouettes of you and Tabs against the screen is gorgeous. Somehow, Karen, you remind me of a samurai and Tabs is your trusty feline sidekick. :)

  43. nekosan says:

    I’ve always been a cat person. It took YEARS of begging before my parents finally relented and we got our cat (from a neighbor cat who had kittens). My parents were astonished that we didn’t lose interest in him after a few month. =)

    In college, people were allowed to keep cats in the dorms; I am allergic so i didn’t have one – until i found out that there was a cat that nobody wanted because she was “too stupid”.

    When she got old and very ill, she needed a blood transfusion, and I adopted blood donor kitty after she passed away.

    My current cats all came from the backyard – one longhair calico which someone abondoned, and two cats which were born to an unspayed (but owned) siamese cat. They all seem VERY happy to be owned indoor kitties!

  44. Phyrra says:

    I love the picture of you holding Tabs. It’s so sweet! I always thought I was a cat person until I got Phaedra. Now I know I’m a standard poodle person. Her personality and breed are a perfect fit for me.
    Phyrra recently posted … Makeup Wars $20 Makeup Challenge

  45. Sue Lin says:

    “When people come over, Tabs likes to talk current events with them and entertainment (“Have you seen Cat Avengers?”).”- ROFL
    Cat ladies unite! I just started reading Sundays with TAB. Oh Karen, you got me hooked at issue 199. I very much enjoyed reading your cat-lady evolution.
    Isn’t it nice to have a dog-cat? I have two kittens —Chokes and Chi, both which I flew halfway across the globe from the cold of Canada down to the heart of the topics. They were ill-adjusted at first, panting like dogs but are completely assimilated. Now they prefer the outdoorsy air rather than the air-conditioning.
    Just like Tabs, Chokes is the dog-cat who could play fetch. She somehow lost that ability after the move. Chi is a demure lady, shy with others but chats with me like an old pal. There was Pino (R.I.P) and many others of various species (even mini lobster, Moses). My childhood resembled a zoo too!
    Sue Lin recently posted … How to add Colour to your Makeup Palette

  46. Liz M. says:

    Love that. I always say, anyone who doesn’t love cats has never lived with one. There is the occasional catty cat, but they are dogs in a catsuit. I rescued my girl nearly 18 yrs ago & she’s the joy of our life.

  47. Brooke says:

    I have always had cats. People would always dump them off at our house when I was little because they knew my mom would take care of them – at one time, I remember walking out on our porch and a swarm would come to be loved and fed. Luckily, we lived in the sticks where they were able to roam freely and safely.
    Now that I’m on my own, I have 2 cats, Lucy and Cali….Cali was rescued from a sweltering hot pet store window and now believes she owns the house with a diva swag. Lucy, who is also a rescue and only has one kidney, enjoys tasty treats and nap time. When my husband and I first got together, he was an “eh” cat guy. Now, he is obsessed and we have to go to Petsmart weekly to pet the adoptable cats and donate to the organization that runs the adoption center there. I kind of think of myself as a cat advocate. I think they get a bad reputation because people don’t give them a chance. I will forever be a crazy cat lady!

  48. Alexandra says:

    I have always been a crazy cat lady.The first cat i remember was ziggy stardust.He was a black cat,who lost his tail as he swung on doors to open it and got caught. He got poorly and had to be put down, we were told he had gone to live at a farm in new zealand.Why we didnt think this was strange as we live in england,i’ll never know. For years afterwards we would talk about him at the farm. Then we got arthur or king arthur daly as his full name. He was another black cat.
    I remember my parents driving up to the school when we were walking home and him being in the back of the car. He was wonderful,my sister and i dressed him in a dolls dress and put him in the dolls pram.He was as good as gold. Arthur was a funny cat he used to get into our neighbours cars,walk into the middle of the road. He even used to follow me to my school bus stop. He knew when you were upset and would come and sit with you. When my son was born he got called fur fur,and again was paitent when my son was a little rough with him.
    He eventually got so sick he had to be put down.We went round to say our goodbyes and the next day he went off to the vet. A few days after the vet wrote my mum a lovely letter saying how sorry he was for our loss. I could go on about all the other cats over the years but i wont.

  49. Alexandra says:

    Oh yes one more think. I read that black cats are usually the hardest to adopt and alot get killed because no one will adopt them. If you are thinking of getting a cat please make it a black one.

  50. Azucar! says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your love for Tabs! As a kid I always loved animals and I’m definitely a dog person (sorry, Tabs lol). The photos of you and your favorite furry person are adorable! :)

  51. Natasha says:

    What a sweet story about Tabs! You are both lucky!

    I’ve always been a cat lady — even as a kid, I had an uncanny knack for finding strays and of course, I brought them home! We managed to find homes for most of them.

    I currently share my life, spouse and house with 2 cats: Princess Java was a breeder’s reject b/c her purebred Lynx-point siamese mother escaped at a crucial time and they couldn’t determine paternity so the whole litter was dumped. Java was the most tabby-looking kitten in the bunch — with the most amazing lavender eyes. She is a benevolent ruler, prefering the velvet paw approach to management — and we’ve been happy under her reign for the past 10 years.

    Miss Sahara is a wild child. Named after a desert b/c of her sandy color (with taupey stripes), she is the one who can’t resist a box, must be right there with you and can’t bear to be on the other side of the door. She also is very good at finding the container of dry food and is the reason it’s now kept on the top shelf of a cabinet with a door…. she came to us when we went to PetSmart to pick up some wet food for her Highness, and there was an adoption event. “Let’s look at the kittens,” I said to the spouse… and this little ball of fur jumped onto my shoulder from the top of the cage where she had escaped and spent the day surveying the rest of the caged kittens. Since I was chosen, she had to come home with us…our lives have been much more lively ever since. The Princess was not amused, but they have forged a peace treaty which is followed most of the time.

  52. Make-up-Deer says:

    I was really a sad child who didn’t have a lot of love for herself until my mother gave up and took me a cat.. Kiki, my beloved little boy, has really changed my life and now he is 15 years old!! I really love him… all my family love him although is a crazy (and sometimes evil) cat ahahahah uhh and he loves us of course… oddly enough he loves my boyfriend too.. probably those two are plotting something against me hihi… now it’s late night and of course he still wants to play… kikiiiiiii come sleep!! (and e says prrrrrrrrrrr meowwwwwww.. but finally falls asleep with me.. so sweet
    Make-up-Deer recently posted … LUSH EMOTIONAL BRILLIANCE

  53. Make-up-Deer says:

    uhh I forgot to say Kiki looks a lot like Tabs!!! Maybe he is a tabby too ^^

  54. Umapuma says:

    Hi! I’m a crazy cat lady 1st, makeup freak a close 2nd. I got a cat, Pedro, about 8 years ago. He changed me from a dog person to a cat person. He’s gone now and I miss him everyday but I have Jack and Uma and hopefully another soon! Uma likes when I gently rub my MAC 224 across her nose, snort snort, shadow smells good!

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