I’d always considered myself a “dog person’ (and in fact have two—Pork and Sal), and the thought of being a cat-mom never crossed my mind. My boyfriend, however, had wanted to adopt one, as he’d lost his a few years back and thought it was the right moment for another. I was hesitant but played along as we visited shelters, but I’d always end up looking at dogs and trying to sway him towards another.
As the weeks passed and the idea of a cat fizzled, I was walking home and out of nowhere I spotted a free-roaming fur-ball on our block in the East Village. While strays are commonly seen in other neighborhoods, I’d yet to see one in ours and I was a bit surprised. Suddenly I started seeing this cat nearly every day just lounging around. Was it a sign? The next time I passed by she was sunbathing on the sidewalk and seemed pretty relaxed as I approached, so I went in for a belly rub. I wouldn’t have thought a feral cat would let me do this, so I thought there was no way she was a stray. I looked around to see where she could be coming from, and found a small bowl of food tucked by the entrance to a real estate company. That’s when I found out Ozzy’s story.
She was found in an abandoned home with her litter of kittens by one of the realtors, who then took her and the little ones in. The realtor was quick to find homes for the kittens but not so for Ozzy, and couldn’t keep her at home any longer. So, she took her to her real-estate office until she could find a permanent solution, and Ozzy made a home out of the basement of the building.
Upon learning this, I told myself she was mine! Unfortunately getting her home was not all that easy as I never knew when she’d be around, and some moments were just not the best of circumstances; like when I went down into the basement of that building ready to take her, only to find her standing over a dead mouse. That was certainly not the day. But finally, after a couple of weeks of this waiting game, she came to me and I swooped her up and took her home. My boyfriend Nico was a little upset because he was concerned with unknown health issues and how a stray cat would adjust living indoors and with a dog. It took him a good month before he accepted the fact that she was staying. Ozzy and Pork had met on the street before and they greeted each other with a few sniffs, neither reacted negatively. So when I brought Ozzy home I thought it would be fine. It took Pork a few weeks to get used to a cat living in the apartment. They only had two major blow outs where Pork would chase Ozzy, Ozzy would hiss, and I would be screaming in fear that one of them was hurt. Now they are buds. The other day Pork was using Ozzy’s bum as a pillow.
Ozzy was so sweet, despite being unsure of humans and having some feral tendencies. A tough little cookie, considering all the pain and discomfort from severe gum disease and a bad ear infection she’d had for who knows how long. And now, with only four teeth, she enjoys taking over the couch with the dogs, silent meows, demanding laser play, and of course she has an endless craving for treats. Most importantly, I know she feels loved and taken care of.Now that we are a family of five, we all sleep on the bed which means it can be crammed at times. We have a system, a specific place where each animal lays, kind of like a puzzle. Ozzy usually gets annoyed with everyone tossing and turning and eventually moves to the couch. Treat time is a family activity. Ozzy has picked up bad habits from her dog siblings. She begs for human food and demands her meals. We started taking Ozzy on walks. She’s still getting used to it but we are hopeful one day we will go for a walk with two dogs and a cat.
Hannah Kinser resides in East Village with her partner Nico, two dogs and cat Ozzy. She keeps busy as the Senior Visual Merchandising Manager at Agent Provocateur. On her off time she volunteers for True North Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society.