“I’ve always been a cat person — I grew up with cats. First there was Sassy, who I named after the cat in Homeward Bound. She had a mean streak, but we had a bond. Then my parents adopted mother and daughter kitties Pandora and Waffle. They were inseparable. But one day someone left the door open and Pandora escaped. After searching for her for hours on the coldest night since 1920, we resigned to the fact that she wasn’t coming back. Not long after, my parents adopted my anxiety-ridden brother Bagel. He’s a bit afraid of everything and constantly anxious, so though we don’t hang out much, I like to say that we bond over our anxiety disorder.
My love for cats has been unwavering apart from my upbringing. When I lived in Greenpoint, my roommate had moved out with her cat Mitzi who I had grown inseparable with over the course of three years. I would cry randomly because I missed the lil furball so much when she moved out. I scoured Pet Finder every day and figured I’d know once I saw my cat. And I did. I saw a chubby wide-eyed cat named Tabby who was living in the Hamptons. I called the shelter quite a few times before they got back to me, and when they did, they said they were going to be 30 minutes outside of New York City that weekend. I took it as a sign. I met “Tabby” who I could barely hold, but immediately knew she was the one for me. Her owner apparently had three other cats just like her (we’ve figured out she’s part Scottish Fold/munchkin cat/tabby). Unfortunately the owner passed away and “Tabby” was found in a garage abandoned. I knew I wanted to name my next cat Pancake because my parents have two cats named Bagel and Waffle. I was going for a Breakfast Club theme of sorts. The thing is Pancake looks like a pancake. Well, she has a pancake face. She’s the nicest cat I’ve ever owned; she doesn’t bite or claw, she quacks and doesn’t meow and she loves to loaf on your chest and spoon. Sadly she does not like to be held, but we’re working on it (two years later). At 5-years-old, she’s a perma-kitten. She literally still looks and acts like a sweet baby. She dips her paw daintily into her water instead of putting her face in a bowl. We have conversations. Last year when life got tough, Pancake was always there to give me a snuggle or a nose lick when I needed it. She’s my furry BFF.”
Ilana Kaplan is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY with her daughter Pancake. Every time she sees a cute cat she wants to take it home and has to restrain herself.