“I’ve been a cat person for as long as I can remember, I had the childhood companionship of the most regal and temperamental Burmese cat since I was a baby and have never really felt complete without a feline friend in my life. I like to think that I was a cat in a past life, I’ve always been drawn to them and am always that person at the party who’d rather hang out with the host’s cat than make the effort to interact with people. My three cats are all kind of reflections of me and represent the full spectrum of my personality and phases in my life. I’m an artist, natural introvert, and love creating a comforting and colorful home environment and these three eccentric furballs with their superfluous names and strong personalities are essential to it.
I adopted my cat Tigger Oscar Wilde about seven years ago and he’s probably been the longest male relationship in my life. I was in my early twenties and just moved out of my mom’s place to live with an ex and was ready for the responsibility of a pet and it had to be a cat. Tigger was up for adoption at the ASPCA, and while I initially had my eyes on another cat, Tigger seized an opportunity to lock eyes with me and let out one of his loud, high pitched feminine meows that make your heart melt. I immediately fell in love with this large beast of a cat and didn’t realize just how huge he was until I had him in the carrier over my shoulder headed home and it felt like my shoulder was going to fall off. He’s my main man, my companion through thick and thin, he’s been with me through multiple apartments, deaths, toxic romances, crazy roommates, and my own past struggles with depression and anxiety. He can be a grumpy guy and prone to random acts of violence but he loves being the center of attention and following you everywhere. Especially the bathroom! And when he decides to be loving it’s some of the sweetest and most demanding love and cuddle time you can get from a cat. I can’t imagine life without him.
Xena Warrior Princess is definitely my baby princess but queen of the household and psychologically dominates her much larger “brothers”. I like to call her “Queen Sheba, the Man Eater”. I got her about three years ago through a Facebook group in which someone had put up a post saying they found a tiny stray chasing after some children. I saw a pic and immediately fell in love. I had been thinking of getting a companion for Tigger and knew that a kitten would provide a lot of joy and life to the household. She literally fit in the palm of my hand when the rescuer handed her to me and was so young that I had to bottle feed her for a few weeks. With that we bonded in a way I never bonded with a pet before- she is actually my “furry child”. She taught me so much about what it means to care for another living being and exceptionally vulnerable thing. While she can be aloof and prone to doing her own thing most of the time, she loves to find time alone with me and lie on my chest and stare into my eyes purring deeply while drooling like a kitten as I pet her. Xena makes my heart feel warm every time I see her.
Alexander the Great (Alex) is a funny one. He’s usually a gorgeous long-haired, black, furry fluffball—but he’s recently been groomed for the summer heat and looks alternatively like an alien or a lion. Surprisingly I found him on the streets of Red Hook over a year ago hanging with some feral cats at an abandoned car lot. I would pass him on my way home from work over a few weeks and he was always unusually friendly and eager for attention and way too beautiful to have been on the streets for long. A local feeder of the cat colony eventually told me that she saw his previous owner abandon him and encouraged me to take him home, which I promptly did. Alex is constantly a source of laughter and confusion. He has a long deep meow and the funniest awkward stride, he lets me pick him up and carry him like a baby which brings me much joy and is the most active of the cats and continually demands to be played with and does impressive back flips to catch his toys. One moment you look into his eyes and it doesn’t seem like much is there but the next he’s surprising you with genius methods of getting into cabinets and choosing the heaviest books to knock off of the shelf to wake me up for breakfast time. His cat “siblings” have a love-hate relationship with him and seem to still not completely have a grasp on him. Alex is not one to always seek affection but doesn’t mind when you force it upon him and likes to sleep right on top of my feet at night. I like to think of him as a “dog cat”. I love this unique little man so much and am so grateful he came into my life.”
Aisha identifies as a black feminist artist, model, and doula in training. She’s a single lady who resides in Red Hook, Brooklyn with her three amazingly eccentric cat babies. She currently works as an artist assistant at Dustin Yellin Studio.