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Jan 16 2010

Why I want a cat in grad school

To help me do all of my lab work:Though in all seriousness, I am looking forward to getting a cat in grad school. Finding a pet friendly apartment is going to be important to me, because I’m pretty dead set on adopting. I’ve had cats my whole life, and undergrad has just felt empty without some feline love. My good friend literally invites me over for what we call “Kitty Therapy” where I basically get to cuddle with his lovable cats for a couple of hours. I think they do wonders for my mental health, which is something I’m going to need to try extra hard to preserve while working towards my PhD*.

Oh, and I’m excited at the added bonus of picking delightfully nerdy names. Darwin is, unsurprisingly, very high on the list.

Don’t worry though; I’m a single cat kind of girl. The risk of me becoming a crazy cat lady is fairly low. …Maybe.

*And before someone lectures me on the responsibilities of owning a cat: Yes, I know. I’m the one who had to clean litter, feed them, play with them, groom them. I realize they take time and money – but to me, it’s worth it.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    Joé McKen

    So now, you will have your own Demon Kitty from Hell!!!11! *thunderclap*

    Just be sure to tell your mother that, no, you haven’t been climbing barbed fences or jumping through windows. *hint obvious hint*

  2. 2
    Joé McKen

    So now, you will have your own Demon Kitty from Hell!!!11! *thunderclap*Just be sure to tell your mother that, no, you haven’t been climbing barbed fences or jumping through windows. *hint obvious hint*

  3. 3
    Jaki

    Having a cat is a really truly amazing addition while you are stressed with homework and life. My cat, odd is just about my favorite thing in the world. If you happen to go to school around here, I'll help you adopt. :)

  4. 4
    Jaki

    Having a cat is a really truly amazing addition while you are stressed with homework and life. My cat, odd is just about my favorite thing in the world. If you happen to go to school around here, I’ll help you adopt. :)

  5. 5
    Hannah

    Hooray! But may I suggest, get two instead of one! This is important if they're kittens, since they develop better if they've got another kitty friend to fight and play and cuddle with. Plus, it's even cuter, and it's really not much more effort than having one.

    I might be biased, I'm sitting next to Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace right now, all curled up together. Got them as soon as I had my own place out of university. We call them the tiny scientists.

    And no, you don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for a while now and I like it a lot!

  6. 6
    Hannah

    Hooray! But may I suggest, get two instead of one! This is important if they’re kittens, since they develop better if they’ve got another kitty friend to fight and play and cuddle with. Plus, it’s even cuter, and it’s really not much more effort than having one.I might be biased, I’m sitting next to Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace right now, all curled up together. Got them as soon as I had my own place out of university. We call them the tiny scientists.And no, you don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I like it a lot!

  7. 7
    Andre Vienne

    I love cats. I just can't afford one.

    Which is why I convinced my roommate to adopt one.

    Now I get all the benefits of a cat with none of the drawbacks!

  8. 8
    Andre Vienne

    I love cats. I just can’t afford one.Which is why I convinced my roommate to adopt one.Now I get all the benefits of a cat with none of the drawbacks!

  9. 9
    Sili

    Have cat, will travel.

  10. 10
    Sili

    Have cat, will travel.

  11. 11
    Erp

    If you go for Stanford, on-campus housing does prohibit pets; however, the Stanford Cat Network might be able to help http://catnet.stanford.edu/students_housing.html

  12. 12
    Erp

    If you go for Stanford, on-campus housing does prohibit pets; however, the Stanford Cat Network might be able to help http://catnet.stanford.edu/stu

  13. 13
    Claire V

    Your mention of kitty therapy reminded me of something my alma mater, UW-Madison would always do before finals – animal therapy. During finals week they would literally just bring dogs to Library Mall for students to play with. Of course, it wasn't much good for me 'cause I'm a cat person through and through, but I understand the logistical difficulty of bringing a bunch of cats to an open area (they'd escape). And I gather dog-people got a huge advantage.

  14. 14
    Julie

    I also recommend getting two, but for a different reason than Hannah. I used to work in a shelter, and we had a lot of instances of an owner surrendering their cats together because they "are moving/can't give them the attention they deserve/insert inane, thinly-veiled excuse here." Or sometimes an owner would die and the family couldn't or didn't want to care for the cats. So we'd get cats coming in who have lived their whole lives up until that point (sometimes as long as 10+ years) and then suddenly thrust into a scary, new environment and potentially separated. We would try to do our best to keep them together in those cases, but a lot of times people wouldn't even give cats that had to be adopted together a second glance. So we'd have really awesome cats being passed over because someone wasn't "looking" for more than one.

    Anyway, the condensed version: keep an open mind about adopting more than one cat, and of all ages. Some of the best cats sit in shelters for years because people don't want one that's too old, or has to be adopted with another cat. If you're dead set on a kitten, consider adopting a senior cat along with it. :)

  15. 15
    Julie

    I also recommend getting two, but for a different reason than Hannah. I used to work in a shelter, and we had a lot of instances of an owner surrendering their cats together because they “are moving/can’t give them the attention they deserve/insert inane, thinly-veiled excuse here.” Or sometimes an owner would die and the family couldn’t or didn’t want to care for the cats. So we’d get cats coming in who have lived their whole lives up until that point (sometimes as long as 10+ years) and then suddenly thrust into a scary, new environment and potentially separated. We would try to do our best to keep them together in those cases, but a lot of times people wouldn’t even give cats that had to be adopted together a second glance. So we’d have really awesome cats being passed over because someone wasn’t “looking” for more than one.Anyway, the condensed version: keep an open mind about adopting more than one cat, and of all ages. Some of the best cats sit in shelters for years because people don’t want one that’s too old, or has to be adopted with another cat. If you’re dead set on a kitten, consider adopting a senior cat along with it. :)

  16. 16
    biodork

    I agree with Julie and Hannah – two cats are better (for all the reasons mentioned), and really aren't that much more trouble than one (assuming healthy cats) and then you get twice as much kitteh love!

  17. 17
    biodork

    I agree with Julie and Hannah – two cats are better (for all the reasons mentioned), and really aren’t that much more trouble than one (assuming healthy cats) and then you get twice as much kitteh love!

  18. 18
    Ruby Leigh

    You are doing a good thing. I volunteer at a Cat shelter, and you would not believe how difficult it is to find good "cat people" to take home adult cats. Though it takes some work – cats are surprisingly easy to take care of and quite loveable.

  19. 19
    Ruby Leigh

    You are doing a good thing. I volunteer at a Cat shelter, and you would not believe how difficult it is to find good “cat people” to take home adult cats. Though it takes some work – cats are surprisingly easy to take care of and quite loveable.

  20. 20
    Brittany

    Sounds like a good idea to me. I was lucky when I was at Purdue because my sister lived nearby and I was just as attached to her pets as I am to the pets that were at my parents' house.

    My old roomie and I would also go to mall to the puppy place just for some type of pet therapy (though they were dogs, and not cats).

    But like what others have said- I'd think about two, especially if they're kittens. However, I would say to be careful about if you go for the older cat/kitten combination like someone else suggested.

    Older female cats typically dislike any other cats if they've been alone for the majority of their life. Sometimes, male cats will get along with kittens, but it's usually only that way if they're neutered (which they should be if you adopt from a shelter).

  21. 21
    Brittany

    Sounds like a good idea to me. I was lucky when I was at Purdue because my sister lived nearby and I was just as attached to her pets as I am to the pets that were at my parents’ house. My old roomie and I would also go to mall to the puppy place just for some type of pet therapy (though they were dogs, and not cats).But like what others have said- I’d think about two, especially if they’re kittens. However, I would say to be careful about if you go for the older cat/kitten combination like someone else suggested. Older female cats typically dislike any other cats if they’ve been alone for the majority of their life. Sometimes, male cats will get along with kittens, but it’s usually only that way if they’re neutered (which they should be if you adopt from a shelter).

  22. 22
    Daniel Sprockett

    "Darwin" is way to obvious. How about something a little more obscure, yet equally nerdy. I'm thinking…"Huxley"

  23. 23
    Dan!

    “Darwin” is way to obvious. How about something a little more obscure, yet equally nerdy. I’m thinking…”Huxley”

  24. 24
    Julie

    Brittany: Any shelter will test two animals together for any signs of aggression before they're cleared for adoption into the same home.

  25. 25
    Julie

    Brittany: Any shelter will test two animals together for any signs of aggression before they’re cleared for adoption into the same home.

  26. 26
    Cycle Ninja

    A year ago, I took in the cat belonging to my nephew and his family. They'd recently brought home baby #3 and puppy dog #1, and the cat was, shall we say, suing for breach of contract (read, biting people on the ankles and hissing at the baby). I hadn't fully appreciated just how much you miss the little furballs when you don't have one around. Best decision I made. Good luck with both school and kitteh.

  27. 27
    Cycle Ninja

    A year ago, I took in the cat belonging to my nephew and his family. They’d recently brought home baby #3 and puppy dog #1, and the cat was, shall we say, suing for breach of contract (read, biting people on the ankles and hissing at the baby). I hadn’t fully appreciated just how much you miss the little furballs when you don’t have one around. Best decision I made. Good luck with both school and kitteh.

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