Namaste from India! Thank you so much for taking out the time to talk to Creature Companion Bureau. The first thing we would like to know is if you were into cats from a young age? What prompted you to become a full-time feline behaviourist at a time when this term was unheard of?
Actually, I grew up with a dog. I never really had cats in my life, at least not in a very meaningful way. My girlfriend had a cat in college and I lived with a few cats on and off, but it wasn’t until I started working in an animal shelter that I began my relationship with cats. The cats would just gather around me and at the time the idea was if these cats are picking me and we are being tasked with saving their lives then who am I to say no? That’s really what led me to take this position on in life. I was the cat guy in the first shelter, then I became the cat guy in a number of shelters, and then I started going into people’s homes to stop them from surrendering their cats, and one thing led to another to get me where I am today.
How have the societal perceptions and attitudes towards cats changed since you first started working as a feline behaviour consultant in the 1990s?
Let’s not even focus on just cats, let’s take a look at companion animals in general! At the time I started working in the shelter system, we were killing between 10-12 million cats and dogs every year and we are now finally down to under a