Tamar Arslanian didn’t want to be a walking stereotype. She was a single woman, in her 30s, living in New York City – the last thing she needed was a cat.
But the man she was dating, who lived in Chicago, had two cats that he adored, and Arslanian kept thinking she needed one, too. So in 2004, she adopted her first cat, Kip, a 4-year-old rescue from Brooklyn. The guy isn’t around anymore, but Kip stayed.
“When we broke up, my mother was so upset,” Arslanian tells PEOPLEPets.com. “She thought I had given up all hope. She actually asked if he was going to take the cat with him.”
Two years later, she walked into a PETCO store to buy some litter when she walked through an adoption drive and saw a gray-and-white tuxedo cat. She had just broken up with another boyfriend and the thought of adopting another cat induced a panic attack.
“I can’t do two cats – that’s really crazy cat lady,” she thought.
The next day, she went back to adopt him. She named him Petie.
In September 2009, Arslanian, who works in advertising, was briefly unemployed and used her spare time to start a blog, called I Have Cat. She had been going on dates with men who pretended to like cats, and she had other funny stories about all the times her cats would be perched on a side table staring at her make out with a new guy. Encouraged by a writer friend, Arslanian started to tell people about her life, with her cats as the vehicle for her storytelling.
“I railed against being the crazy cat lady, this person who doesn’t have any social skills and has given up on life and has cat hair embedded in their clothes,” Arslanian says. “My friends think that I am and that I’m just in denial, but I don’t go places because of my cats. I do not go for cat tsotchkes. I need to change people’s view.”
She wrote about how she learned from her cats how to be better around men. “I would chase my cats and they would run away. I would try to force my love on them,” Arslanian says. “Then I realized, if I just ignored them, they would come to me.”
But she tries to keep the blog a secret from any new prospects. The cats, she’ll mention after a few dates, but the blog – she’ll keep that to herself.
Click here to become friends with Tamar, Petie and Kip on PEOPLEPets.com!
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