I realized as I was walking this afternoon, my posts have been very canine focused, I love dogs! I have to admit, as a child I was rather afraid of cats. My Pet sitting jobs started at a very young age, I think I was ten when my Aunt entrusted me to feed and watch out for their cat Tippy. Tippy was a beautiful looking boy, grey and white with an upside down question mark on his face, and man, was he big. I went over to feed him one day and couldn’t find him, I began searching through the house and had no luck uncovering him, and then out of nowhere he came running at me, startled I slipped on the tile floor and landed on Tippy, which he didn’t appreciate. This resulted in him taking a claw to my hand and slicing it from top to bottom, and thus began my fear of cats. I continued feeding him for years and years when my Aunt would go away, but never ever did I trust him or try to pet him. When I would encounter a cat, I would smile and talk to it, but I would admire it from a safe distance. It took Samantha, a sweet five month old stray to change my mind. I found her in Brockville and rescued her from getting hit by a car on Canada Day. I brought her home , and I will admit, I was a nervous wreck. She’d attack my feet when I was sleeping and she’d race around the room chasing tin foil balls and she would stare at me while I was in the bath tub. Rarely did I ever pick her up, she’d curl up near me on the bed or on the couch, and that was cool. She convinced me that cats could be trusted! My bond with her encouraged me to rescue Missy, a feral cat that could ward off coyotes and Smoky, a sweet little kitten frozen to the ground on a -40 evening in Hay River. I found each of them homes, but one cat was good enough for me. That was until I met Holly , a gorgeous black and white Manx, she was such a character, she’d sleep in our sink and lay by my head when I slept and really helped me gain an understanding of cats. Samantha got very sick at 16 and we had to say good bye, and Hollie died shortly after. We got Nishka, the cat eating Husky, and decided no more cats for us for awhile. Then one day I heard an ad on the radio about a rescue organization called Kitty Kare, they were looking for Foster families. Up to that point in my life, every animal that had lived under my roof, was of the female persuasion. When the rescue ladies brought over this scruffy, male cat I remember thinking “perfect, I will not be a foster fail.” Romeo, very aptly named, was their first save and what a blessing that was! Romeo has taken me to a new plateau in cat appreciation! I do think, he has ruined me for all other cats. He is the most loving, gentle and tolerant creature I’ve ever met. He’s a Maine Coon, but on the small spectrum for his breed, I could go on and on and on, about my love for my boy. Suffice to say, as much as I like to talk about my canine friends, I am now a cat lover and when I look back to my days of caring for Tippy, I realize he taught me that cats need introspection and finesse when getting to know them. With a little time and mutual understanding, cats can be mans best friend too!