Most people find it hard enough to handle one pet, but Senior Katarina Lendl currently takes care of eleven cats along with two dogs. As an animal lover, Lendl has also had a wide assortment of different animals as pets such as turtles, horses, and chickens, according to Lendl.
Lendl, who prefers to be called Kat, developed a particular fondness for cats when she received her first cat, Baby, at age seven. Since then, her family and she have taken in stray cats to help them, and they even had fourteen cats over the summer, Lendl said.
“My family and I take in the strays, because their owners have abandoned them and left them to fend for themselves, Lendl said. “If we don’t help them, then who will? If not now, then when? We have the ability to help them and the love to share, and so we do.”
It is expensive to take in strays and keep them healthy and fed, Lendl said. “With every new stray, we have to rent cages from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to catch them, take them to the vet to gauge their health, and pay to have them sprayed or neutered,” Lendl added. Even daily food gets expensive, but it’s worth it to keep them happy and healthy.”
Out of the eleven cats, three stay indoors, and eight stay outdoors, according to Lendl. There are seven boys named Zander, Frodo, Cole, Emu, Angel, Aiden, and Harry, and there are four girls named Bella, Xena, Heather, and Grace, Lendl said. Her cats like to lounge around, eat all of their food, and keep them company, Lendl continued.
“Almost each cat has a story behind their name, Lendl said. Frodo’s is from The Lord of the Rings, Xena’s is from Xena the Warrior Princess, and Angel’s and Zander’s are from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Emu looks like an Egyptian cat, so we named him after an Egyptian pharaoh’s high priest named Imhotet. Harry hisses a lot, so we named him after Harry Potter, who speaks parsel tongue. Bella is named after the Twilight character, and Cole’s is from the show Charmed, Lendl continued.”
Her favorite cats are Frodo, Aiden, and Zander, according to Lendl. She has a soft spot for Frodo, because he is the most interactive and spends the most time with her. She likes Aiden, because he is the most attached to her and sleeps with her most nights. She also prefers Zander, because he is the prettiest and has been warming up to her, Lendl said.
“Frodo’s favorite toys are any toys that have crinkly foil in them, Lendl said. He plays catch with most of his toys, with us throwing toys to him, him catching them, then knocking them to the floor. They all love when we bring the catnip out, too,” Lendl continued.
Lendl enjoys spending time with her cats. She loves to play with her cats; they are very interactive and can play for hours, Lendl said. They also like to take their indoor cats on walks with a harness and leash, Lendl added.
There are many aspects about cats that Lendl is drawn to. “I love cats, because they are soft and loving; they are independent and do not need as much attention as other animals,” Lendl said. They are smart, and they make you earn their love. Each cat has a unique personality, and their personality develops with the amount of attention you give them,” Lendl added.
Her favorite aspect about cats is when she finally earns their love, according to Lendl. It feels like a big accomplishment especially when the cat dislikes everyone else, Lendl said.
A misconception about cats that Lendl particularly dislikes is that cats require less love and attention than dogs, according to Lendl. “I hate when people buy cats thinking they take no energy, neglect them, and then get tired of them, because the cat is disinterested in the owner,” Lendl said. Cats are like any creature: you get out of them only what you put in. If you love them, they will love you back.”
One of Lendl’s favorite memories with a cat was during this fall, Lendl said. Her family and she took in a stray that had white fur, one blue eye, and one green eye, and they nursed him back to to health, according to Lendl. The stray was scared and timid at first, but he became one of her sweetest cats; unfortunately, he was hit by a car after a month of staying with them, Lendl added.