How It All Started…

My entire life I have loved animals. From infancy–when my black and white cat, Mittens, used to stand over my crib and protect me–through college–when I smuggled in 6+ hamsters to keep me company since I couldn’t have cats–animals have always played a significant role in my life. Of course, I wanted to be a vet as a kid, but I talked myself out of it because I didn’t think I could handle euthanasia (surprise, turns out I can, but that is another story for another time). Instead of becoming a vet, I just surrounded myself with pets and spent eleven years doing miscellaneous jobs in the animal field. I really put my B.A. in Psychology to good use, huh?

I am a lover of all animals, but the crazy cat lady in me started to surface in my sophomore year of college when my mom and I adopted Nemo. Nemo was three months old and at our local humane society–a place I would spend two years and discover that euthanasia wasn’t always a bad thing (like I said, another story). We got there before the doors opened for the day, but we could peek down the aisles while we waited for adoptions to open. Nemo’s cage was right by the door and mom always said she wanted this cat when we first saw him because when she peered at his cage through the small glass window of the door, he had his paws on the glass staring right at her.

What I remember is that when we were in the room with him and the adoption counselor, they told us that he (named Kevin Loudermeow at the time–a play on a staff member’s name) was brought in as a female kitten. Look, cat genitalia is not the easiest to decipher when they’re young, okay? I also remember him diving into my mom’s purse and digging out her scrunchies. If you’re wondering the year, the answer may surprise you. This was 2006 and yes, my mom still wore scrunchies.

We met a few other cats that day, but Nemo stole our hearts, so he came home with us. My boyfriend at the time, who would later become my very tolerant husband, came over when we got home and we began the struggle of picking out a name. “Let’s call him Kitten Nugget” was the boyfriend’s response after a good hour of I’ll-fitted names. Nugget may not have been the best name for him since the cat was big enough to cover my boyfriend’s forearm and then some. He was a giant pile of fluff.

Massive baby boy at 3 months old.

It took us nearly an entire day to officially have no name (I think Hitler cat was actually at the top of the list at one point, but we decided it was in poor taste). And then it dawned on me. How do you say ‘no name’ in other languages? Well, ‘nobody’ in latin is Nemo…

So, meet Nemo, our little nobody. But that’s a lie. Nemo was my everything. This cat and I shared this weird bond (only to be topped 6 years later by my heart cat, Moose) that not even I understood. A bond so strong that led my perfectly box trained cat to shit on the floor when I went back to school because he missed me. I just loved this cat who was so perfectly snuggly, affectionate, playful and intuitive. Needless to say, when I moved in with my boyfriend, turned fiance, my mom was more than willing to send Sir Shits on the Floor along with me. And because my fiance said we could have 2 cats and a dog (you’ll know why I’m laughing so hard right now in a bit), Nemo was the first of our small fur-family together!

Soon after we settled in with Nemo, we added our first dog, Tippy! Luckily for us Nemo was too stupid to hate anything and Tippy was too stupid to do anything much other than eat, sleep and wag, leading to an amazing dog/cat bond. The two got along together so well, we quickly added another cat. Gidget (hubby’s cat, for sure). And then another dog, Twiggy. And another dog, Trapper, and another cat, Ace, and a new house, and another dog, Tanka, etc. etc. etc.

Basically, I found out how much I loved animals and now that I could have my own I went a little crazy–beating down my husband every single time with pleading eyes and promises of all kinds of wifely favors…

The joy I get from surrounding myself with animals is like none other. They are non-judgmental (well save for the looks my boxer gives me when I won’t let her on the chair), comical, and their healing powers are beyond this world. And while I love animals–a love that spans across 6 dogs, 7 cats, 2 ferrets, 4 guinea pigs, a hamster and some snails–cats are just at the top of the list. A cat’s love is not easy like a dog. You have to earn it. And when you earn a cat’s love, it is a magical feeling.

Nemo’s love was easy to earn. That’s why he kick-started it all. I’d learn over the years that not all cats love the same, but all of their love is just as magical. The cats have healed me from dark times, heartache, sadness and loss. Cats grow old, too quick, though. We lost our sweet Nemo–my Squishy–last summer to saddle thrombus.

But, in typical cat magic, Nemo came back to us, in the form of Butters (or Buddha, or Trash Cat). Nemo 2.0 is moody, but so sweet–like a Sour Patch Kid. He was found under a bush in our yard and I know Nemo sent him to us to make me heal from losing him. Buddha healed my broken heart and put our little (err-giant) furry family back together again. The power of cats.

Yet, I’ve found strength in other things–mainly expressing myself through my unique sense of style. It’s not easy being a plus-sized girl with a desire to wear clothing as loud as her personality. But I’ve managed to make it happen and it brings me such a sense of confidence and fulfillment–especially when I can share that blessing with others.

And that brings us here: Cats & Couture. You’ll follow my adventures as a crazy cat lady, a curvy fashionista, a Magnabilities Independent Consultant, an administrative “peofessional”, and a huge nerd. A little something for everyone with a lot (a lot, a lot, a lot) of cat posts.

Don’t worry if you’re a dog lover… Remember, I do have 6, so you’ll get posts about them, too!

❤ Lindsay

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