Katie Minchak & Napoleon

XJ8A3396aNapoleon and I grew up together. My mom adopted him in Ohio when I was 8 years old. Our old childhood cat, Tat, was sick and my mom wanted to soften the blow for us kids (and I think for herself as well). She typically loved grey cats, but Napoleon’s affectionate personality and huge ears sealed the deal. They always had a special bond. He was a total mama’s boy.

My mom, Joan, passed away from cancer two years ago. I cared for Napoleon and his brother Louie while she was sick, and eventually ended up inheriting them. They were huge sources of comfort during the most stressful, heart-wrenching time of my life. While she was sick, I spent most days going back and forth between hospitals and work. At the end of the day, I’d come home a complete emotional wreck. I think the cats could sense how sad and scared I was because they became especially affectionate at this time. Louie would sit on my chest and purr while Napoleon nuzzled my head. It became a very comforting nightly ritual.XJ8A3453aOur lives have changed a lot over the past couple years. Louie ended up passing this spring, and I can tell that the losses have impacted Napoleon. He requires a lot more attention and has separation anxiety, he’s not a low-maintenance pet anymore. Caring for an elderly cat has definitely impacted my lifestyle. I have to be much more thoughtful and spend quality time with him every day.

XJ8A3314aNapoleon is 18 years old. He has strong bone structure, a silky ginger coat, jade eyes, and lentigo (cute little freckles in his mouth). For a senior cat, he’s in great shape. Despite mild deafness and dementia, he’s still relatively playful.

I would describe Napoleon as an extrovert through and through. He’s sweet, outgoing, friendly and approachable. He thrives in social situations and loves making new friends. Even “dog people” find him charming and lovable.

Napoleon’s passions include attention, homemade roasted chicken, loud talking, plants, long naps on the couch, sitting on my head, sniffing the refrigerator, face massages, people watching, wet food, and eating feathers on toys.XJ8A3427aWe recently moved in with my boyfriend, Josh. Our new space features lots of windows for Napoleon to sit in and people watch. We’ve filled it with plants, which he loves to sniff.

Every morning, Napoleon follows me around the apartment while I get ready. He curls up on the toilet seat while I do my makeup. When I come home from work, he enthusiastically greets me with loud meows and head-butts. Finally, the typical night ends with a few hours of sweet cuddles.XJ8A3424a

Katie Minchak is a graphic designer and art director at Billie, a female first shave and body care brand. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and their cat Napoleon.


Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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