Buddy, Recent Feral Rehab (June 2021)
I've had cats for my entire life. My family already had four of them by the time I came along, and they were all rescues. My stubborn German granddad fell in love with a stray at work and brought her home - and she had kittens.
My first pet that was "mine" came from my older sister. After she got married, she adopted a long-haired black cat she named Cinder. Cinder also had kittens, and her single black baby couldn't find a home. My sister gave her to me as an early birthday present (to the annoyance of my parents).
Cricket turned out to be the best cat a six-year-old kid could have had as a first pet.
I remember her being VERY talkative, and she loved to play tag. No joke - I would chase her, tap her on the tail, and then turn and run for her to chase me. I'd stop so she could tag me on my foot, and then she would run the other way. We had a lot of fun. I think she had some Bombay in her genetics.
Not long after that, ferals and strays began to show up around town. My grandma had a huge soft spot for cats, so she started to feed them. I often went outside to help her, and they soon let me pet and play with them.
My mom has said I have the patience of Job - which I acquired while standing still for hours to coax squirrels to eat peanuts out of my hands. That patience helped me befriend the outdoor kitties, and it wasn't long before we started bringing them inside and away from the road.
I can't even begin to count how many cats I've socialized and adopted over the years. The ones who couldn't adjust to other people stayed with me, while the others found great forever homes with other people. Whenever new ones showed up outside, I would start the cycle of socializing and adopting them all over again.
Then I discovered My Cat From Hell.
My Path Towards Cat Behavior
I used to think I understood why cats behaved a certain way - and for the most part, I did. But that show opened my eyes to just how much more I DIDN'T know. My Cat From Hell proved to be very educational, and while all my kitties generally got along, we did experience some fighting. I learned from Jackson and, by applying structure and routine, was able to greatly minimize how often my cats went after each other. I also corrected a few other issues that I didn't realize were issues at the time.
Now my pets live in a more harmonious household and are much happier. It's also become much easier to socialize ferals.
In the years before this, my career interest leaned toward criminal justice and crime scene investigation. But mere months before I finished my degree, I was laid off from my security job. Neither have I since been able to find work in line with my college training. For a few years, I jumped around various low-wage jobs that really did nothing for me.
I finally found steady work in the automotive industry - another strong interest of mine - as a commercial driver in 2019. While out on a delivery a few months later, I spotted a kitten who had been hit lying on the side of the road.
I'd seen this many times before. It always bothered me, but I did my best to put it out of my mind. But for some reason, this one made me realize my true passion. I wanted to work with cats and rescue the ones that I could. I'd already been doing it since childhood. Why not make a career out of it?
I still work part-time in automotive, but my real focus has been on putting together my consultation business. Eventually, I would like to branch out to include boarding and rehabilitation for cats. My ultimate goal is to open a cat-only rescue. For now, I continue to work with the ferals who live in my backyard and help other people with their cats' behavioral problems.
This isn't where I thought life would take me, but my degree hasn't completely gone to waste. I still consider myself a CSI (cat scene investigator).
Pet Psychology; Pet Nutrition; Pet Sitting; Dog Grooming (New Skills Academy)
Feline Behavior and Psychology (Centre of Excellence)
Help Me Open My Rescue!
In order to start a rescue, I need to buy a house in the country with space to build and plan. If you'd like to help me achieve this, please consider donating. No amount it too small. Thanks so much for your support!