I'm married to Rich, a red bearded man who makes people laugh. In December 2014, we adopted a little black cat we named Mikita. Rich and I decided to feed him REAL food and make it a point to help him live an enriched, thriving life.
A lot of cat parents want to find better ways to care for their cats, but many people just don't know where to start. I'm helping cats live their best lives by giving fur parents the tools to think outside the box! Still curious? Read on!
WHAT'S THIS WEBSITE ALL ABOUT?
I'm super passionate about cats and learning about all the things I can do to help Mikita (and your cats!) live a long, healthy life. If there's something I can do to improve the quality and length of Mikita's life, I take it seriously. I have an open mind and am always considering new ways to become a better pet parent. It's the serious stuff like food, vaccines, adoption, enrichment and preventative care that I feel especially passionate about.
Through Mikita's Instagram @chicagoblackcat I've connected with many cat parents who are interested in improving their cat's diet, among other things. That's what we did! And we're still learning. There's a lot of information out there and its easy to get overwhelmed. Unfortunately, our veterinarians aren't always offering us the best nutritional advice and we often leave the office feeling like yearly vaccines and canned and kibble diets are the only way to go. Many of you are questioning this and know there must be better answers out there. And there are!
I decided to start this website where I can blog, provide recommendations, review products, design products and create guides to address some burning cat questions. And of course share more Mikita moments! I'm an artist and designer, constantly inspired by Mikita. Both Rich and I are always thinking of fun cat sayings and ideas for videos, blog posts and the Chicagoblackcat Shop!
There are so many ways to care for cats. One approach might work for someone while for someone else it won't. But I hope to shed some light, provide resources, support like-minded people, and even open up the minds of pet parents who are just learning about the better options out there. My goal is to empower other pet parents with some new knowledge, topics to think about and ways we can come together and share the methods that work for our cats! The more open minded we are, the more we'll learn. The more we learn, the better pet parents we can be!
I grew up with a tuxedo cat named Buster. He was awesome. I was the only one in the family that let him sleep on my bed. I welcomed the fur! I always loved animals and before we got Buster, I begged my parents for a dog at least 100 times. I've still never had a dog but one day we might adopt one.
I've always been a curious person. I like to do research and figure out more efficient ways of doing things. So, when we adopted Mikita we discussed transitioning him to a raw diet. Rich suggested we feed him mice. That sounded slightly difficult in our small space. So we settled on a prepared raw diet for cats which helps Mikita thrive! I'd love to make my own cat food but I want to do it right. It's a goal of mine I'm working on. I learn new things all the time, from people who make their own food to tips and tricks from cat experts in the industry.
Creativity runs through my veins! I went to fashion design school and continue to sew, dive into craft projects and graphic design. Mikita finds my hobbies very interesting to watch. He has quite an appreciation for art. Recently Rich and I received a camera as a wedding gift so I guess we're also professional photographers now. I spend a lot of my time trying to find somewhat Instagram worthy backgrounds in our apartment but more often than not, our lovely wall to wall carpet photobombs most shots. We have an incredible view though so for now, it makes up for the lack of hardwood floors.
Rich grew up with a Golden Retriever named Admiral. He loved to escape the yard and explore. Admiral that is, not Rich. Although Rich did enjoy exploring his tree filled neighborhood. Mikita is quite the opposite. An adventure for him is stepping out into the hallways of our apartment building. Rich never grew up with a cat but it was actually his idea to adopt one. Mikita's adoption story here!
Eating healthy isn't just for Mikita. In fact, when we started researching raw diets for cats, Rich was in the process of losing weight and getting healthy himself. We learned a lot from researching pet food. And it inspired us to improve our diet too!
Rich is obsessed with coffee. He didn't used to be this way. Before he made some health changes he loved sugary pop and hated coffee. Then, one day he put a shot of espresso in his hot chocolate and never looked back. He drinks black coffee these days and gets up every morning to make us coffee from different roasters around Chicago. It's amazing.
There's no shortage of creativity in our world! Rich didn't go to fashion school but he did go to school for comedy at iO and The Second City in Chicago. He has a lot of notebooks where he writes jokes and all sorts of things. He loves acting in the tough but exciting industry, doing sketch shows, going on auditions, working on small film projects and getting up on stage to do some stand up at open mics around Chicago. Rich has always loved making people laugh.