By: Nao Mitsutomi
Hello! Today, I would like to share with you all how I became a huge animal lover--particularly to dogs and cats!
I have had quite the interesting journey with dogs and cats. When I was little, I had a little incident where I got chased by my neighbor’s dog. In retrospect, the dog probably just wanted to play with me, and was playfully chasing me around. Before this happened, I hadn’t had many interactions with dogs, so I had no idea what to expect out of dogs. Because of this, I interpreted the dogs’ playful behavior as scary and viscous, and I became terrified of dogs, and would avoid them at all costs.
This all changed when I met my friend’s uncle’s dog, Maya. Maya was a beautiful yellow lab who was incredibly sweet and patient. Unlike other dogs that I had interacted with before, Maya never tried to jump on me, bark at me, and chase me around--all behaviors that made me extremely scared of dogs at the time. As I spent more time with Maya, I became more used to being around dogs, and eventually became a huge dog lover--so much that I would beg my parents to get a dog everyday! Unfortunately, my parents did not let me get a dog, as they thought it would be too much work to take care of one. It’s okay though, because now I get to spend lots of time with dogs through CUP, and I hope to get my own dog one day!
When I was around ten years old, I met my now beloved cat, Hana! My parents and I had just gotten home, and our next door neighbor poked her head out of the window, holding up a kitten. She told us to come in and see the kitten. Hana was just around one month old, and was the cutest little thing I had ever seen! Our neighbor explained to us how she was born at a nursing home, where her mom lives, and was about to be taken away to be put down because the nursing home didn’t want to take care of the new kitten. My neighbor, not being able to accept this, decided to take the kitten home. However, she could not take care of it, as she already had a cat and a dog. She asked us if we would want to take in the kitten. My parents decided on having a three-day trial with the kitten to see how things would go with her, which basically meant yes. After the first day, we fell completely in love with the kitten. My dad named her “Hana”, which means flower in Japanese. You can tell he really loves her, right?
I never really had an interest in cats before meeting Hana, mainly because I really had no interactions with them before. Through Hana, I have learned how wonderful cats are, with all their weird quirks and mannerisms. Like a lot of cats, Hana can be moody, and you can really only be affectionate with her if she’s in the mood for it--but I think that’s what makes cats so interesting and fun! Despite me wanting dogs so badly before, I became a complete cat person since having Hana. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs very much, but I am a little biased when it comes to cats.
Hana is now fourteen years old, and is still just as sassy as she was before! She loves to eat, sleep, and get neck scratches (but only when she’s in the mood for them)!
So there you have it, my journey to becoming a dog and cat lover! How did you come to love dogs and cats?