Most of my life I didn’t like cats. Growing up, we were a dog family. Cats were scary, unpredictable and made us sneeze and itch.

Dogs, on the other hand, were loyal, dependable and made us laugh. We could count on them to enthusiastically greet us when we arrived home. They followed us around from room to room like planets orbiting the sun. They could joyfully play games for hours as long as we played, too. Their devotion and love was apparent. I had no need for cats.

In my match.com profile, I was asked about cats. I chose the responses: “I don’t have cats; I don’t like cats.” I’m grateful Dale didn’t let that stop him from emailing me. Eight years and four cats later, I adore cats. I’ve been delighted to discover how unique they are from each other, and how much love and laughter they bring.

We adopted our boy cat, Sam, from “Caring for Cats,” a shelter in North St. Paul. Sam had been rescued on the streets of the University of Minnesota during a severe winter cold spell. He likely would not have survived.

From the moment we brought Sam home, we began noticing rather un-cat-like behaviors. Like my former dogs, Sam follows me around from room to room; I have to be careful not to trip over him when I make a quick reverse. When I arrive home, most often he’s sitting on the desk looking out the front window as if anticipating my return. He promptly comes downstairs to greet me as I enter the garage door.

Like both dogs and cats, Sam loves to play. His favorite toys are little coiled ribbons of plastic we’ve named “twirlies.” He bats the twirlies with his paws and chases after them as they go spinning down the hall. He looks like a talented hockey or soccer player. Recently Sam added another talent to his repertoire. After batting the twirlie around awhile, he picks it up in his mouth, carries it to me, and drops it so I’ll throw it for him again. Much to our amazement, we have a cat who plays fetch.

Sam is very attached to me, his human mother. Recently I was out-of-town for a full week. On the morning of the day I was returning home, Dale and I spoke by phone. He told me that Sam knew I was coming home that day.

I keep my heart monitor watch on the lower level of the house. Sam had gone downstairs, picked the watch up in his mouth and carried it up two flights of stairs. He dropped it on the rug in the middle of the doorway. Sam was saying, “It’s time for Mom to come home.”

I was really taken by the intuitive and love bond this cat has with me, a desired trait I had previously reserved for dogs only.

Sam has been sleeping on the chair next to me as I’ve written his story. He wants me to tell you that everyone should have a cat because it makes life so much better. I wholeheartedly agree.

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