One day while sitting in our living room I voiced a thought to Lara, "I think our next dog should be a cat."
"Where did that come from?" She asked in absolute shock.
I didn't always like cats. In fact when I first started pet sitting I flat out refused to take care of cats. I no longer quite understand my aversion to them but it could have something to do with how my sister's cat used to attack the family dog via acts of treachery. Her cat would leave a trail of food into the laundry room where she lived and would wait for our dog to follow it and then when he reached the last bit of food she'd wack him right on the nose with her claws. I don't know if that left that much of an impression on me or if it was just that I didn't understand the way cats love and viewed them as standoffish creatures. Either way when I first started pet sitting I wouldn't do cats.
It didn't take long however for me to start wanting to do cats. I can't even recall who my first cat client was or if it was a house that had dogs an cats and caring for the cats as well as the dogs started to soften me. One of my first dog walking clients had two large, intact German Shepards. The cats were just kind of their for the dog walking visits but when they traveled out of town they had four visits a day and the cats required feeding and litter box clean. But my first cat only client I can't recall.
I do, however, recall one cat that seemed to justify my opinion. Before I even started to service the cat I had two or three meet and greets t get the cat to warm up to me. It never did happen, but cats don't have to like you for you to take care of them. I've had several cats hide from me the entire visit or sit in a corner hissing. This cat didn't sit in corners hissing though. This cat wanted to make it known your did not belong in its home. I walked in that first visit and she sat their blocking my way into the kitchen where her food was and made what ca only be described as demonic noises. Perhaps if I had splashed holy water on the cat I'd have fixed all the issues but I did not. Luckily the kitchen had a second entrance off the living room and I went around to that and put the cat's food down. That did nothing to calm her temper as it would for many cats. I am now best friends with several cats for the sole reason that I am the bringer of food, but this cat was different. It would have none of it and none of me. After I got home and told Lara of my ordeal and how the cat had trapped me in the laundry room after I had cleaned her litter Lara called me silly and wondered how I could be scared of a little cat. Lara then went to the home with me and heard the demon inside this cat and witnessed her fury for herself. After that we teamed up on the care of this cat and one of us would distract her as the other would sneak around and take care of the tasks.
This is not the only aggressive or hissy cat we've cared for but it was by far the worse unless you count Scamper, but Scamper was only bad because he required medicine. Scamper was a large cat that wanted nothing more than to lay on the floor and be left alone. He even was friendly with me the first time I met him but our job wasn't to just pet him and be his friend. It was to pry his mouth open, shove a syringe down his throat, and squirt heart medicine into him. After the first time doing this he decided we were no longer friends and Lara had to go in gloved and jean jacketed up to make certain he got his medicine.
I still think I'd rather be faced with an aggressive dog than an aggressive cat but I am now far more comfortable with cats and have many many cat friends. This past Christmas I had mostly cats and I came to feel that being home by 3:00 PM having done 10-12 visits already was not a bad thing at all. There are many advantages to caring for cats over dogs and I find myself now wanting more cat clients to the point that when it comes time for me to step away from actively pet sitting myself I may keep only a mid-day dog walking route and cat clients. That time is still several years away but the thought now exists in the back of my mind and I am wondering if I have become a cat person.