The phrase “man’s best friend” primarily describes the unique relationship enjoyed by dogs and their owners. Given that, would you be surprised to learn that cats are actually the world’s most popular pets? Cats outnumber dogs by as many as three to one. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 25 percent of all U.S. households have these fluffy felines as a live-in friend.
Of course, cats are often mischievous; mine enjoy lying across my keyboard when I’m trying to work, or smacking things off my table for no particular reason. But funnily enough, after living with cats for the better part of twelve years, I’ve discovered that’s entirely part of their charm! I’ve learned that cats are equally affectionate and self-reliant. They need virtually no training, they graciously groom themselves, they potty without needing to be let outside, and they can essentially be left alone for days at a time without requiring any help from anyone. Overall, they are fiercely independent, curious, and loyal—making them a fantastic option for a family friendly companion.
I didn’t grow up in a family that owned pets. It just wasn’t our thing. But when I got married, I instantly became a “cat dad” to my wife’s two cats, Charlie and Lady. I would be lying if I said I was overly thrilled about it at the time. But through the years, I have grown to understand and appreciate the impact that they have had on our lives. It’s a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship that has had a positive influence on the health and wellbeing of our family and our cats.
After the heartbreaking passing of both Charlie and Lady in early January 2020, our home just didn’t feel complete without some furry friends in the fold. In less than a month my wife fell in love with a picture of a cat on Facebook from a Northwest Arkansas based business called The Artemis Project. They are dedicated to the rescue and rehab of all homeless animals. It just so happened that the Project had two (tuxedo) cat brothers that needed to be ours. By the end of January, we had welcomed D’Artagnan and Phillippe to our home.
Even though I didn’t grow up with animals in my home, I now can’t envision my house without them. Whether it’s dogs, cats, fish, birds, lizards, snakes, ferrets, gerbils—you name it, they aren’t just pets, they are family! That is why this issue features the theme, “Have a Doggone Good Year,” as we highlight some of our locally-owned and operated pet-friendly facilities. Your town. Your life. Your magazine.