Allison Broder, Playbill & Gus

I adopted a tuxie named Playbill when she was 8 years old from Anjellicle Cats Rescue. She was living at the now-closed Petco on Columbus and 99th Street. One of the volunteers introduced me to her and she stuck her paw out of the cage at me, and my then-boyfriend said she was definitely the one. Her age was never a concern for me, but I found out later about how hard it is for older cats to be adopted, especially older black cats, so I was really happy I was able to give her the spoiled happy life she deserves. She’d been given up by her past guardian because of the guardian’s declining health, so Playbill was very depressed to lose her human and her home in one fell swoop. I couldn’t wait to have her home with me. The entire process took about a week. As soon as the ACR volunteer opened her carrier, she ran out and immediately jumped on my bed, tail high in the air. She turned around and looked at me as if to say, “You can stay, too, if you want.” She’s not a lap cat and she doesn’t like treats. She howls in the morning and is 100% a total diva and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

About 10 months after I rescued her, I turned to Anjellicle again to adopt a friend for her. At this point, she still very much liked to hang out on her own so I thought another cat who was shy and wouldn’t bother her would be a great fit. I went down to Koneko Cat Café to meet one cat in particular, but when I got there, he already had an adoption application filled out, so I was introduced to Gus (ne Ares) who was 4 years old at the time. Gus was definitely a wallflower, hanging out by himself on a cat perch. He loved eating treats though and gave my hand a good bath after, too, with his sandpaper tongue. He also had a permanently grumpy look on his face, so I fell for him. I let Playbill smell him while he was still in the carrier and she hissed.

As soon as she saw him, it turned out that she actually just wanted to play. However, Gus was still a wallflower, so he ran, and she took this as an invitation to chase him. It took about 3 months before I could leave them in the same room together alone, but now they get along. They play and chase each other and sometimes I catch Gus licking Playbill’s forehead. It’s adorable.

Gus is a complete food monster and will eat anything you put in front of him. So, he’s on a diet for the foreseeable future. He loves to lick and bite my face to wake me up in the morning, too, while Playbill will just sit in my doorway and yell until I get up to watch her eat.

We have a morning ritual that includes my alarm going off at 6am (if Gus has decided not to wake me before then), feeding them immediately, and then sitting for my morning meditation. Sometimes Playbill will sit next to me, or I’ll meditate to the sounds of them chasing each other around the apartment. Later on, when I’m journaling, Gus will usually come over to knead on me the entire time and then it’s time for his inhaler. He has asthma and yes, they make inhalers for cats. He’s pretty easygoing about this because he knows he gets treats afterward.

Gus loves sitting on his long cat scratcher or on the base of the cat tree that they share. Playbill loves sleeping on my pillows during the day and on top of a cat bed (that is supposed to be a tent, but they both just sit on top of it instead).

Playbill and I are both divas, and Gus and I both appreciate a good meal (we also both appreciate our alone time). My favorite thing about Playbill is that she won’t give strangers the time of day and I love when she sits next to me when I read in bed at night. My favorite thing about Gus has got to be his permanently grumpy face and that he’ll give you kisses. He’s also the absolute opposite of his sister when it comes to strangers. He greets EVERYONE (probably because he hopes one of them will give him treats).

Gus can also hear a can of food being opened from two rooms away. It doesn’t matter how quietly I try to open the can, after I take the lid off, he comes running.

Being a catmom has made me more of a homebody, or at least, it’s given me an excuse to be more of a homebody. I left the world of “going out” after college (for the most part) and having cats at home gives me the perfect excuse to stay in, especially in the winter. I was always a morning person though, so for that reason alone, I was born to be a catmom.

Allison Broder handles operations for a small financial services start-up called KBB Partners during the day and in her spare time, you can find her at the theatre, on her yoga mat, or training for a half marathon. She also writes a travel blog called That Girl Away which is her online scrapbook to document her love of international travel. 


Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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