January 7, 2023
Lifestyle Influences Your Petstyle
First shared in Petcetra magazine, Summer 2018
I’ve always been a dog and cat lover. At age five, dad brought home an Old English Sheepdog puppy, which I named Buffy. Later, we had two black Labrador Retrievers. Like most children, I asked for a kitten (along with the reoccurring request for a pony). My parents’ remedy was I should have the most purr-fect grey kitty repeat pattern bedding complete with matching sheets, pillows, and curtains. At age eleven, I learned we were dog people who appreciate cats.
In my twenties, my first rescue cat, Spencer found me—we quickly bonded. Happily greeting me anytime I arrived home—never tapping his paw or looking at his cat watch. He did not the mind my long work hours or week-long trips to NYC and CA. We had our routine—he slept in the sun, followed by all the love and attention he needed. The same routine applied with another rescue, Bailey, with whom I shared sixteen years of endless fur love.
Since Bailey’s passing, I’ve been wondering if I’m ready for a puppy or another kitty. So, I offered to pet-sit my Mom’s dog during her twelve-day vacation. Maggie, my fur-sister, a 75 pound Labradoodle arrives with all her gear and a detailed schedule. Sheesh Mom… I need all this stuff?
The first few hours are easy we settle into our routine. I work at home though Maggie doesn’t quite get the concept of conference calls and wanted to be a part of the conversation. I make her stay on her blanket in the living room and continue the call. After the call, I think wow this is going well…she’s so quiet. I peak around the corner to find her on the sofa on her back, paws up in the air—ever so comfy. I wake her and make her return to the blanket.
Our first day ends with a walk, a treat, and a snuggle on her blanket next to my bed. I settled in, turned off the light and was immediately pounced upon, her head onto my pillow wanting to sleep in my bed. Nope! On to the floor…on your blanket! This is a problem because she always sleeps with Mom. I’m so tired that I consider letting her, but I just cannot, I’m not a pet-in-the-bed person.
Morning arrived with several inches of snow. I dress putting on my parka, snow boots, hat and gloves, way earlier than normal. We go into the snow, doing our doggie business, returning to the house with snow caked paws. Maggie looks patiently at me with her huge puppy-like brown eyes. I look at her with groggy eyes asking for her next paw gently removing the caked snow and carefully drying each paw, thinking…okay, okay we can do this, just eleven more mornings before mom returns.
Now I know that I am most definitely a cat person who appreciates an occasional dog visit.
Since writing this short story for Petcetra, I adopted a tabby with mackerel markings in late fall of 2019. London adores lounging upon fur throws and afternoon perches high atop the curio cabinet. He is also quite vocal on conference calls and full of mischief. His monkey-like mischief has caused me to forego a once favorite tradition of decorating my Christmas tree full of gilded glass ornaments. Despite his mischief, he has been a time-saving influencer in disguise. I thought I’d miss this decorating tradition, although after designing and styling for clients during an already busy time of year— I can now come home and relax in my living room with a cup of coffee in hand and admire my nouveau Christmas tree composed of three apothecary jars (that go right back in storage “as is” in minutes). I’d say I’m winning and thankful for my lifestyle influencer—here to stay till death do us part mischief-maker.