Introducing... Shep!

For those of you who are already even slightly a part of my life, or even if you just follow me on Instagram, you know know that I have a cat. A cat who is, to put it bluntly, very strange. Adorable and perfect, but strange. He acts like a dog, but has a few tendencies that are distinctly feline. He's chatty and snuggly, and can recognize commands, but also lives for tuna and knocking things off of shelves.

Let me explain: I always grew up around pets - we had newts, hamsters, fish, frogs, a bird, and dogs. My brother even had a guinea pig at one point. But, for some reason, we never had cats. I suspect it's because my dad thinks all cats are inherently assholes (which, in his defense, is right - at least a part of the time). Mainly, though, we had dogs. And I'm not talking about itty bitty chihuahuas or tea cup yorkies, or even funny little lap dogs, I mean BIG dogs. Dogs that could knock you down if they wanted to. Dogs that should never live in a teeny 1 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

When I got Shep over two years ago, he was nothing but a little nugget of fur. My friend knew I had been looking to rescue a cat for a while, but she also knew I was looking for something very... specific, since I was more of a dog person. She e-mailed me and said, "I have one I think you belong with." And so, I jumped on a bus and headed into the suburbs of Queens. I found myself at a quaint little white-picket-fence-looking house after a 2 hour bus and subway venture, knocked on the door, and was immediately greeted by a huge yellow lab. The family was more than nice, and took me into the back of the garage, where the kitten was in a cage with his four or five of his brothers and sisters. They explained to me that there was a stray momma cat in the neighborhood who had given birth a few times, but they were never able to catch her to try to help her. So, they decided to rescue the litter instead.

Shep was the runt - nothing but striped fur, a little round belly, and enormous bat-like ears. I picked him up and he instantly started kneading me with his paws, and I fell. Hard. He was mine and I was his. Ever since then, Shep and I have been inseparable. So, since I know you'll be seeing him from time to time - here he is! Shephard, or Shep.

Name: Shep
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Describe yourself in three words: Furry, cuddly, unimpressed.

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a cat, so I lounge around, mostly. I also take pride in destroying things - that takes up a hefty 15 to 20% of my day when I'm not napping. I have been known to enjoy laying on my back, kneading anything that's even mildly squishy, and finding a way to get behind the AC unit and / or refrigerator. I guard Molly's apartment with an iron paw, and I will scream at you if you get in the shower. I take it really personally when anything - even you - gets wet.

What is your favorite thing(s) in life? Being held, mostly. I love to be snuggled at all times of the day (and I will yell at you if you don't - my mother always taught me to use my words). I also really enjoy sticking my head all the way inside of old, used shoes - they just smell so good. Oh, and I live for any kind of box or bag that I can crawl inside and hide, waiting for an unsuspecting person to walk by so I can pounce on their toes (another favorite pastime).

How/where do you picture yourself in the next five years? Maybe I'll finally find a way to open the cabinet door so I can get into the trash can again. That would be nice.

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