Animal Scene - - CONTENTS - Text and pho­tos by STEF DELA CRUZ, MD

writes about how she tran­si­tioned from dog lover to dog and cat lover

For thirty long years, I was a dog per­son. I grew up with dogs ac­com­pa­ny­ing me to and from my pi­ano classes. I grew quite fa­mil­iar with dogs’ beg­ging tac­tics come din­ner­time—they al­ways tried to guilt me into sneak­ing them a few bites, thanks to their ef­fec­tive puppy-dog faces. I loved dogs so much that I be­came closer to ca­nine friends than to hu­man ones. As an in­tro­vert with at­ten­tion deficit and hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der (ADHD), I found it so much eas­ier to be­friend dogs than kids my age.

All that changed when seven years ago, a grumpy cat purred its way into my dog-dom­i­nated life. Just like that, I be­came a “cat con­vert.” I had an epiphany: Be­cause I loved dogs, loving cats some­how came nat­u­rally.

Wait, what? Is it re­ally nat­u­ral for dog lovers to be­come cat peo­ple?

Be­fore you shake your head in dis­agree­ment, let me share with you a few things I learned in the past seven

ALL IT TAKES IS ONE CAT. When this black cat named Merlin came into Stef’s life, he made her re­al­ize that she loved cats de­spite her be­ing a self-pro­fessed dog per­son.

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