Whether I was on the east or west coast or briefly in the mid-west, I always had a cat as a pet to keep me company.
I can remember way back in the late 1970s having a cat named Jasmine with three roommates in a basement apartment when I was going to Indiana University.
Jasmine was my first cat. I got her when I moved off campus in Bloomington, Ind. I can’t remember where we got her. One of my roommates at the time (Hi, Dina) loved her to pieces. Jasmine was a tiger striped cat and very sweet and unassuming.
Fast forward to 1980 and one of my professors’ cat had kittens. As soon as I saw the calico kitten, I picked her up and named her “Emily” on the spot. She lived until 1992 and went through a number of my boyfriends and cross-country moves with me. She subsequently did not have that much of a loving spirit, or perhaps she did and I was too involved in my own crises to notice.
I don’t think I turned into a good cat owner until I got Sam in 1996. I truly bonded with him and he has been very affectionate in return. He has been pretty tolerant of being an indoor kitty after starting out as an outdoor cat (although if he gets the chance to sneak out and explore on occasion, he will do so.)
His birthday was April 6 and he turned 11. I honestly don’t understand people who don’t research the birthdays of their pets. I traditionally treat them to a tuna fish party. Sally, my newest feline addition to the family, came along in 2002. It was great fun having a kitten again. Her birthday is May 7 and she will be turning 5.
Sally is climbing over my computer as I write this and I remember Sam used to love to lay sprawled over my monitor before I had a flat screen.
As a screen saver at the time that I had the bigger monitor, I had a goldfish swimming in a bowl and Sam would swat at the fish as if he could actually get it. It was hilarious to watch.
To complete my menagerie, I now have Moxie the Dalmatian as well. Moxie is my first dog ever, and I have to say it’s been a great experience, though I still have to call myself a die-hard cat person. Moxie’s birthday is September 7 and she will turn 11 then, as Sam just did.
When I was pursuing my acting career out in Los Angeles, astrological signs were a big deal. So for the record, although I never thought about it until now, my pet’s zodiac signs are: Sam is an Aries (as I am), Sally is a Taurus and Moxie is a Virgo.
(Since I’m including the whole family, Herman is an Aquarius. I don’t even know if that sign is compatible with mine, but we seem to get along.)
So, after years of chasing a dream of acting, the one constant was my love of cats. Wherever I went, I always remembered that a “house is not a home without a cat.”