Albert Schepis has spent 8,395 days without a day off from his cats. Is there anybody who can beat this? Is there anybody who can say that they have never gone away, not even for a day, without their cat or cat companions, for a period longer than 23 years? Albert is a regular and much valued visitor to PoC. He is a very knowledgeable cat guardian.
Below is a picture (uploaded) of one of Albert’s cats:
Below is the comment by Albert Schepis which gave me the material for the title and which got me thinking. He was commenting on a post about choosing between a cat sitter or a boarding cattery (the cat sitter is better usually). I prefer neither and have not gone away…
“Yeah, my preference has been to never go away, and I haven’t for about 23 years since I’ve had cats. Not one day. I don’t really trust anyone enough to do it. Not a friend, not some girl, certainly not a kennel (jail) and I have no family, though my brother wouldn’t do it for anything. Approximately 8,395 days without a day off from my cats and I don’t regret a minute of it.
In my comment, I had said that I had not been away for about 12 years, not even for a day, so I’ve been with my cat, who is more than four years of age, throughout his entire life. Never has there been a day when I have not been with him. This makes it even harder to go away!
However, this pales into insignificance compared to Albert’s consistency.
Obviously it depends upon one’s lifestyle. Some people never go away anyway out of choice anyway and they are, therefore, potentially ideal human caretakers for their domestic cat. And there are people who live a very consistent and unchanging lifestyle which also gives them a head start in terms of the quality of their cat caretaking. Although it does not mean that they are automatically excellent cat caretakers. Although Albert very definitely is!
This discussion brings to mind the obvious conclusion that the lifestyles of some people are unsuited to domestic cat guardianship. It’s something which should be reflected on before a person adopts a cat companion. They should ask themselves whether their lifestyle is suited because if they travel a lot and are away a lot they are clearly unsuited. The decision to adopt a cat should be altruistic if there is any doubt about it. The decision should be made in favour of the cat’s welfare.
However, in my case I have not gone away because I did not want to leave my cat with either a cat sitter or put him into a boarding cattery. I am sort of trapped but in a nice way (although I’d like to go away sometimes). I think the same mentality is why Albert has not gone away for 23 years. No doubt he’ll make a comment to explain things to us. It’s a remarkable number.