Connor’s Corner

Everything changed the night a friend entered my room cradling a furry-little feline fresh off the mean streets of Erie and into my home.

Ash, the completely gray kitten with a series of lightened gray rings on his tail resembling a baby raccoon, has changed my outlook on pets.

Growing up with a parent who is allergic to most animal fur and dander rendered me companionless for the first 20 years of my life.

Due to my misfortune, I always thought of pets as somewhat of a financial burden, and never understood the connection that individuals had with their animals.

Interacting with my friends’ pets was difficult growing up. Common petting rituals and how to pick up animals seemed like a foreign practice.

I’m not trying to say that I didn’t have a love for animals as a child because going to the zoo was one of my favorite pastimes. I had always wanted a black Labrador retriever or a kitten, but my circumstances led me to merely distrust creatures that I had little knowledge about.

It’s apparent when viewing how certain people handle Ash that they have owned a cat during their life, and I am looking forward to this new bond and learning experience.

The soft green-eyed kitten and new member of my family has changed these preconceived notions of distrust.

Ash is one of the most well-mannered kittens that I have had the pleasure to know, and he remarkably remains calm even when accompanied by large groups of people, as long someone makes sure to rub behind his ears.

Above the cuteness factor, Ash has become a companion. Whether he is lying in bed with me while watching “Dexter” or following me around the house, the kitten is only a faint “meow” away.

Living with three other people makes for enjoyable and interesting times, but most of us have busy, conflicting schedules.  It is refreshing to have a reliable constant in the house of turmoil.

Some critics have mentioned that a fraternity house isn’t the best home for a kitten, but with all the constant love and affection Ash receives from so many different people, I think he would disagree.

The kitten commonly referred to as the “frat cat” has been beloved by every member of the fraternity and by all of the friends who come by to hang out.

Ash does get into a bit of trouble when he swipes at the many fish that make up our house’s aquarium, but for now, we have learned the fish room is off limits for Ash. He has yet to learn our motto: Fish are friends, not food.

The underlying distrust and fear of animals has disappeared, and made way for a new chapter of pet companionship.  The Erie-street-stray-turned-frat-cat has not only brought smiles into my life, but love into a home.

It is hard to imagine life without the tiny fur-ball running around, and I’m very pleased that my friend was able to save the struggling kitten.

The first 20 years of my life may have been pet-free, but after getting to know this kitten, I know the next 20 years will be filled with furry friends.



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