I came across Tamar Arslanian’s blog, ihavecat.com, a few weeks ago. She had featured a post titled, “Cold Weather Comfort Food” and I liked it so much that I made the dish. When I reached out to Tamar for an interview, she was game. So here’s what I asked and here’s what she said:
1. How old were you when you had your first cat?
34 years old. It’s ironic actually. My ex-boyfriend is the reason I got my first cat. We were dating long distance and while I pined for him all alone in NYC, he would go on and on about the latest antics of Ian and Shelly, his two sibling cats. When we broke up, my mom actually asked me if that meant he would be taking Kip.
2. How’d you come up with the ihavecat name?
As a single woman having a cat seems equivalent to having a disease or embarrassing condition.
“I have diabetes.”
“I have crabs.”
“Cat” is the new “C” word to be spoken of in hushed tones and never in mixed company.
I want to bring cat owning singles (men and woman) out of the closet.
I HAVE CAT is a rallying cry. A proclamation.
3. What was the reason for ihavecat? Why did you start it?
When I started this blog at age 38, the realization that my life wasn’t what I thought it would be was unavoidable. Never did I think I’d find myself struggling with an ornery tabby cat on a late Saturday night. Children – sure? But cats? I wasn’t unhappy but I hadn’t planned for things to be they way they were.
Starting the blog was a way for me to feel productive while unemployed, and a way to bring creativity back into my life. Growing up I’d played violin, loved drawing, danced ballet, and acted in the theater. As an adult I’d allowed those to go by the way side.
I’ve never considered myself a writer – in fact I have terrible grammar and can’t spell to save my life. A good friend of mine, who just published her first novel, has been a great mentor to me. Pushing me to find greater meaning in what I write and not just turn it into a diary or series of rants or random thoughts.
4. How often do you write for ihavecat? Do you try to do 3 posts a week for example?
I wanted to post once a week but I haven’t been so good about that. It’s a goal. Goals are good to have right? I think it’s a combination of having a full time job and laziness.
5. Are you ever in the mood not to write for ihavecat?
All the time. Sadly I’ve been allowing that mood to win out. Writing is definitely something you have to work at (or at least I do) and the more I force myself to write, the easier it becomes. It’s the thought of writing that’s harder than the actual process of writing itself. The biggest challenge for me is to come up with ideas for my posts.
6. You have two cats, right? Petie and Kip? Do you plan on getting any more?
Funny you should ask. I have two cats and I also foster when I can (cats who need a place to stay during the week when they aren’t at PetCo on the weekends trying to get adopted). For over a year I’ve had a permanent foster, Haddie. I’ve been hesitant to adopt a third cat. It seems that three is the tipping point from a girl with cats to a cat lady. But she (or her nose at least) made it on to my Christmas card this year so she is basically official (please don’t’ tell my Mom!).
7. What do you feed your kitties?
I’ve not been as conscientious of what I feed them as I should. I purchase the more expensive brands but haven’t necessarily done all the research. I probably should. I have one rather hefty kitty, Petie, and have switched to primarily wet food. So far I haven’t noticed a difference but I’m trying.
7. What kind of litter do you use?
World’s Best Cat Litter– the multiple cat kind. First I tried the regular kind but this works much better if you have more than one cat.
I used to use Feline Pine (non-clumping) and I liked it a lot but am not able to use it in my Litter Robot.
8. I know you are flirting with being a Vegan. Do you have a problem with your cats being carnivores or pescatarians as you call them?
Well I am the pescatarian, not the kitties. The cats do eat meat. It’s my understanding that cats are obligate carnivores. I should be much better and understanding where my cat’s food comes from. I guess there is only so much I can absorb and deal with at one time!