Animals I Live With: Joshua Errett and his friend Boston
Animals I Live With is an occasional series in which we profile people and their pets. Want to be featured? Get in touch here.
Joshua is a cofounder of Because Animals. He’s been a lifelong cat person, and today he’s talking about his cat Boston.
How many animals do you live with?
I live with three cats, but today I’m only talking about Boston, a senior, Medium Short Hair Cat who is all black except for a great white tip at the end of his tail. Boston is a wonderful guy but in my house, he gets the least amount of attention of anyone, which is why I wanted to pay tribute to him here.
Boston used to be called Austin. That was when we found him abandoned on the street, on the coldest night of an extremely cold winter. He was in rough shape, unfixed, and when I took him to the vet, they found he had a microchip, which is how I know he used to be called Austin.
I wanted to keep that name as a reminder of his past – specifically how he overcame the odds. However, a little boy across the street also has the name Austin so it became confusing for everyone involved. So we switched it to another state capital, based on the phonetic similarities and an autocorrect of his name once from a cat sitter.
Long answer to this question, eh?
How long have you known each other?
How did you meet?
He came to our front door. When I saw him, this cool looking guy with a white tip on the tail, I thought for sure he was someone’s cat. But after a couple visits to our door, it was clear he was abandoned. We tracked down his owner, who had moved and left him behind.
What’s really sad is this cat was originally in a shelter. That’s where the previous owner got him.
So he was homeless, got adopted, and then found himself homeless again. What a rough life – no animal deserves that. Humans failed him not once, but twice.
Knowing that, anything Boston wants, I do my best to get him.
Was it love at first site or do you recall the moment when you knew it was love?
Boston was pretty wild when we took him in. He was very very scared to be inside, and the vet said he likely was on the street for some time. I was off work at the time and spent a lot of time with him.
At that time, I thought I had enough cats in my house and I would be fostering Boston for a short time. I learned a couple lessons:
1) You can never have enough cats (as long as they all get along moderately well and it’s not a symptom of mental distress/hoarding, which is no joke).
2) I could never let Boston leave again.
How do you guys best like to spend time together?
He likes cuddling – a lot. He sleeps on my pillow.
What’s the funniest habit your pet has?
He just walks around the house grumbling. It’s not chattering or meowing. It’s honestly grumbling.
What’s their most annoying habit?
To build a bit on the last answer, he is generally a very loud cat – grumbling, snoring, yawning, licking, scratching. Endless noise disturbances from this guy.
What is your pet’s current state of mind?
He’s still a stressball. Always worried if we’ll feed him or if someone will hurt him. It’s post-traumatic, I think, from being abandoned twice.
What makes your pet happiest?
He just likes to be near me. He goes to bed when I go to bed – not because he’s tired, he sleeps all day, but just to be next to me. But I suppose he’s also food-motivated if we’re being honest.
What things do you do to keep your pet healthy or to optimize their health?
Boston struggles with his weight. I think it’s from years of malnourishment or the effects of abandonment, but he is almost always looking to eat. It’s very hard to keep his weight down because he’s getting so old, and the diet food from the vet has horrible ingredients so we don’t feed that stuff to him.
What does your morning routine with pet look like?
Grumbling starts around 6 am, and then he eats and goes out on the back porch to lie down.
And what about the bedtime routine?
He’ll lie on the couch or somewhere else. Then when he hears me go to bed, he’ll make his way up to sleep directly next to my head.
When you look deep into your pet’s eyes, what do you think he/she is really thinking?
Sadly, I see fear. He needed a lot of love and care to be who he is today, but I can tell he is always wondering whether he will have to go back to living on the street. (He never, ever will.)
What does your pet dream about?
Probably about this blanket he loves in our living room. And food. I think he also has nightmares.