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I was reading the People Who Don't Like Cats Thread and it made me think of when exactly did I begin to love cats. I recall my first exposure to cats was when I was 7 years old. My mom sent me to stay with some relatives and they had a female cat, who was constantly going into heat. She was the meanest and nastiest cat ever. I was so afraid of her and she attacked me a few times, even while I was sleeping. At that point, I was afraid and very distrusting of cats.

When I was older, about 13, I had a stray follow me on my way to school, and I ended up bringing him home. I could immediately tell he was emaciated and he eventually became such a sweet loving pet that he turned things around for me as far as felines were concerned. I grew to appreciate and respect them as loving and wonderful companions.

Do you recall when you began your own ongoing fascination with cats?
 

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I live out in the countryside, so always had cats around. When I was younger, I had "pet" cats... really just tame barn cats that would put up with me holding and handling them. My mom had dogs as the household pets, and while I didn't dislike them, I just seemed to favor the kitties.

My first official pet cat, was a feral kitten I rescued. Paizly's story here! That was way back in 2001...she was my only cat for a while. Then when I got married, my husband had cats too. Then when I got divorced, I started volunteering for a rescue group and did fostering. Nebbie is my first (and only) foster... she got so scared and "cranky" in the cages at adoption events that the supervisor and I decided I might as well quit bothering to get her adopted with somebody else (of course at home, she loves me!).

This summer I started taking care of a feral colony. Just got back from feeding them. Poor things had to leave their shelters while it's snowing!
 

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Prior to adopting Muffs and Abby, I liked cats...as long as they lived with someone else...but I didn't have any desire to have a cat of my own. Part of the reason for that was practical, since I used to travel a lot on business, and it didn't make sense to have pets given my travel schedule.

A little over a year ago, my daughter adopted Neko, and she would email me daily "Neko stories". Her stories, plus the fact that I now travel a lot less, made me think about getting a cat of my own. Long story short, I adopted Muffin, and she's the reason I now love cats. Abby came along a little while later, but by then I was already hooked!
 

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When I was little I remember trying to hug the feral cats that lived in the barn. Sitting for hours behind a bale of hay waiting for on to creep out (they always out waited me) so I cuddle it. We had an indoor/outdoor cat but her job was catching mice and while she was patient to let me pet her sometimes she'd never let me hold her or anything.

Ex husband's cat (25 years later) was a feral cat out of the same barn that we hand raised. I liked that little monster but he was definitely my ex's cat. He tolerated me petting him and even holding him but when I let him go he'd run right to my ex.

Mow made me *love* cats. :) He lets me hug him and hold him and kiss him and....call him George.... He's the only cat I've ever had contact with that actively seeks out attention and wants to be held and kissed. I thought he was unique until I joined the forum last month. It seems there are LOTS of cats like that. I just never got to meet one before.

Dumb thread made me sentimental, now I have to crawl back in bed with him and cuddle him some more.
 

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I always thought I was a dog person...my family relatives had cats and I did like to spend time with them stroking the cats. When I moved with my husband to our flat with a garden we felt we needed to get a pet. We found Loona and when we saw her it was a love from the first side!
 

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I live out in the countryside, so always had cats around. When I was younger, I had "pet" cats... really just tame barn cats that would put up with me holding and handling them. My mom had dogs as the household pets, and while I didn't dislike them, I just seemed to favor the kitties.

Funny, I actually started out similarly; though we had the neighbors' strays and abandoned cats. We had a 50-acre farm with a huge barn, so apparently people thought they could just drop the poor things off with us. About a week after every Easter and every Christmas since I was 2, we had a new pregnant cat dropped off at the end of our driveway ):
My parents favored big dogs, we always had either a Rottweilier, a German Shepherd, or an Alaskan Malamute in the house. I didn't really like the big, slobbery dogs, at least not as much as the cute cats outside, so I spent a lot of time outside with the cats. My mom was amazed by it, because after awhile most of the cats would only let me pick them up and hold them. I handled and played with the kittens, I took care of the mommies by bringing them food to the boxes we set up for them, I brushed them, I wiped away their "eye-snot" when they had a URI, and I set up a little shack for them with hay in it because the winters in NY are brutal and my parents never let me bring them inside. I devoted most of my childhood to our "outdoor pets", it's no surprise that the fluffy little kitties are my favourite animal <3

(This only led to more worries, actually, because they were "wild animals" and they let me play with them, so when I was 3 or 4 I assumed other wild animals would let me, too. So, I started walking up to the geese, lol. They let me pet them, and they never hurt me, but it made my mom cringe - I just wanted to play with the pretty birds :love2)
 

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I've always loved any kind of animal, and my first pet was a Siamese cat when I was about 6. His name was Zachias, and because he refused to stay inside (and started bringing home rabbits to take apart on the porch or in the garage, my family agreed he'd be better off at my grandmother's house (she had 2 other Siamese and lived out in the country). Zachias was allowed to be a true outdoor kitty and never ate cat food. He only came home about twice a week if the weather was really bad. He lived to be about thirteen.

It was my grandmother's cat Henry that really cinched my love for cats, though. If you sat in 'Henry's chair' he'd jump on your lap, put his front paws on your chest, then give the tip of your nose one lick and then pretend to give it a little bite with his teeth but it never hurt -- he really just put his open mouth around the tip of your nose, then he'd hop off your lap and walk away. It was such a funny thing to do, I realized cats have distinct personalities and could be very funny.

Now with my two kittens (4 months) I am really loving them so much. They are loaded with personality and do so many cute things. I feel very privileged that I was able to rescue them from a shelter situation. Just last night I was tooling around the internet and stopped at a picture that I first thought were about ten small tables with cats curled up on the tops of them. But when I enlarged the photo a chill ran through my body as I realized they were barrels of dead cats that had been euthanized. Hundreds of them.


So along with the love of my 2 new buddies, I was able to keep 2 very bonded kittens together and help with the severe over-crowding at the shelters.

It's hard now to imagine my life without them, and I've only had them for 2 months!
 

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This is so horrible...How a person could do such a things is unbelievable !
6-8 million a year.

Until lawmakers create very strict LAWS (with serious fines) about spaying and neutering pets and put a stop to puppy mills and irresponsible breeders, it will continue.

I don't know what it will take to get it through peoples minds that a dog or cat doesn't 'need' to have a litter before being fixed, and the 'fun' of having a litter keeps unwanted animals from finding a home. There are just far too many unwanted pets in dire need of home for those kinds of luxuries, and it'll be that way for a very long time.

But you mean who could actually DO the euthanizing itself, day after day, I have no clue. The same types of people who can butcher animals for food, I guess. It's just a job to them.

For pets you do have, make sure you leave instructions about WHO will take your pets if you should suddenly die or become incapacitated (pet Godparents) so that your beloved pet won't end up in a shelter, or worse.

When my grandmother died, she left a 4-year old cat she loved very much, Reggie. After the funeral, I called my mother to see about what happened to Reggie, and was told that my aunt had him put to sleep because he was 'freaked out'. Well, of course he was! She didn't make a single attempt to ask anyone if they could take the cat, not even my cousin who gave him as a present. I know my grandmother would have been horrified to see that happen, and would have given instructions to prevent it -- but she didn't. I learned from that and not only have 'Godparents' for my 2 kittens, but have left written instructions and told my family what to do if something happens to me. Everyone should! Don't assume your family will do what you want if you never tell them.
 

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There isn't much of a story to tell - I've always loved cats. I've had a cat in the family since I was five. They've always been awesome in my books! Sane with dogs, They've been in the family since I was born.
 

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I just like moderately intelligent and up mammals in general since I was a little McMuffin, but two indoor horses didn't fit my lifestyle as well as two indoor cats. ;)

Grew up around farms in Germany, and even jacked some milk straight from a cow heheh!

I should find my little "bawwww" pic of when I was a subadult hugging a puppy and upload it, heh.

Not a big fan of animals I can't really relate much to like reptiles, fish, and most species of bird though (exception to really smart birds like budgies, african greys, ravens, and birds of prey, but I'm not sure they are the best pets since I'm sure they would like to fly around).
 

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Not until we have our own cats 4 months ago :)

Didn't grow up with pets, felt indifferent about them. Husband grew up with pets, and said he'd regret it if he never had cats again (he's allergic to dogs and is okay to not have one). After being married for 6 years, I gave in. Now we have 3. Some days I miss my pre-pet days (personal space mostly), but I can't imagine giving them back, especially since the girl has adopted me as her person (the 2 boys like husband slightly more.)

And seeing how happy my husband is with the cats made it all worthwhile.
 

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I first fell in love with cats my freshman year of college. I didn't have a human roommate, so I got a kitten to fill in. Example: When I'd order pizza I'd feed Booger his cat food on my coffee table so we could both eat in front of the TV. Booger's companionship through college and afterward completely changed my life. I have a fairly severe social disorder that makes a lot of "normal" interactions with people difficult, but I can relate to animals, especially cats. Booger's been great therapy and a heck of an eye-opener -- to the point that I plan to pursue vet medicine next year.
 

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Seeing other people's friendly cats taught me to not be as nervous around them. Finally getting one of my own taught me to love them.

All it took was seeing how affectionate and friendly they could be, and I was hooked!
 

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I've loved cats since my Gran handed me a slivery grey kitten with little black hairs scattered through his coat whom I gave the name Gravy after Peppered gravy.I didn't own him long due to my mom getting pregnant with my lil sister who I refused to like til she was 8 months due to Gravy going away(I was five LoL).
 

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Its Mrs. Healy's fault. We lived next door to her and she had tons of indoor/outdoor cats. I used to go over to her house and play with them and talk to them. I especially loved the ones with "extra" toes.

We moved away when I was twelve and I was heart broken since my mother hated cats. I tried to make friends with the barn cats that lived down the road, but they weren't having any of that!

I pretty much have had cats since becoming an adult and having my own place to live.
 

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In my first marriage my dh worked nights and I was very lonesome after coming home from work to an empty apartment. My brother and I were hanging out and driving around one afternoon and we wound up at an animal shelter. Sounds odd but my bro is a hugh dog lover and used to haunt shelters to do what he could for the animals/shelters. I digress. He bought me my first kitten. Week later my Dad came over with another. I had no idea until then how much I love cats. I grew up with dogs but they were my mother and brother's pets, they were a pita to me.
Cats are lovely lovely creatures.
 
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