I have long feared our feline companions. This lasting fear stemmed from a sleepover I had when I was 5, where I awoke to my friend’s cat directly in my face hissing at me. Cats always seemed a little too sneaky, a little too conniving. In turn, I have done my best to avoid them in my 27 years. When I moved to New York by way of Tennessee six months ago (yes, I’m a newbie), I found myself crossing opposite sides of the street to avoid the many stray cats wandering around Brooklyn. It was only when I came across the friendly stray cat at my neighborhood coffee shop, Kava Shteeble, that I began to embrace one particular furry creature. She was saved by one of the baristas who found her under a car. She later recalled that my cat was a mere skin and bones and screaming for help. They began to feed her and the cat lived in the backyard and basement of the coffee shop. She became a staple there and was well-known as the Kava Kitty.
Her sweet temperament earned the hearts of the many people that hung out there. When the backyard of the coffee shop was unexpectedly and permanently closed down in early October, the staff desperately wanted to find a home for the beloved coffee shop cat. I found myself toying with the idea of taking her, but those Libra scales of mine were toiling back and forth. For weeks, I would ask my favorite barista, Harmeet, about the cat. He would smile and ask if I wanted to take her and I would always have some excuse. “Well, she’s not vaccinated so how much will that be?” “I heard that she meows a lot, and I can’t deal with that.” And rather secretly, I knew that I did not want to be known as the cat lady.
One day, as my scales were dwindling yet again, Harmeet said, “‘Go get some cat food and you’re taking her.” My eyes widened as I said yes with nervousness but very little reluctance. Since that day, my heart has been opened. It sounds cliché but I needed her as much as she needed me. I’ve struggled with living on my own in New York while my family is 890 miles away in TN. As I learn to navigate the concrete jungle and make new friends, I know that Momma will be there for all the ups and downs of the ride.
Taelor Olive is a 27-year-old who audits doctors for a living. She moved to NYC six months ago for the sole purpose of discovering her passion and to be exposed to everything that New York City has to offer. Stay tuned. Her Instagram handle is @mstae_olive.