Thursday, September 1, 2022

Seven Reasons I Love Carmine: Ginger Cat Appreciation Day

Young Carmine

"Look, there's an orange one," my friend Mariah says as we stand at the window looking into the PetSmart Adoption Center. 

"Aww. I want to see him," I say. I am legally blind and cannot see more than a few inches in front of me.

Mariah finds a store employee and asks if we can see the orange kitten. 

I sit in the chair by the cats' cages while the employee gets the kitten out of his cage. She hands me the kitten, and I put him in my lap. I knew instantly that I was supposed to take this little bundle of fur home with me. 

What I didn't know was how much this orange kitten would impact my life.

Seven Reasons I Love Carmine

I've always liked orange cats, but it wasn't until Carmine claimed me as his human that I understood how truly special they are. 


He's Adorable: Let's start with the obvious. How can you not fall in love with this cute orange face with his little freckles?

He's Protective: "Protective" probably isn't the first word that comes to mind when you think of a cat, but Carmine is protective of the humans and feline housemates he loves. 

I learned how protective Carmine was early on. One day, Lita escaped into the hallway of our apartment building without me noticing. Carmine immediately went and sat by the door and kept meowing at me. I had no idea what his problem was. After a few minutes I realized Lita wasn't in the apartment with us, so I went out into the building's hallway and found her in the stairwell. Needless to say, Carmine got a lot of praise for letting me know that Lita was in trouble.

I don't know what Carmine would do if an intruder ever broke into our place, but he has slept with me his entire life. I feel like Carmine watches over me when I'm sleeping. 

He is a Caretaker: Carmine has always been a caretaker. Whenever someone - human or feline housemate - feels bad, Carmine sticks close by. When Angel Jewel was with us and getting subcutaneous fluids, Carmine supervised every single subcutaneous fluid session up until a few days before we helped Jewel to the Rainbow Bridge. In fact, the day Carmine stopped supervising her sessions, I knew Jewel wouldn't be with us much longer.

I always knew when Lita felt particularly bad because Carmine would hang out near her. Sometimes when Lita felt bad, she'd actually seek Carmine out and hanging out near him. Carmine provided comfort for her when she didn't feel well. 

Carmine and Lita

Carmine has also taken good care of me over the years. When Carmine was young, I developed a horrible sinus infection - one like I'd never had before. This sinus infection knocked me down for nearly a week. I was in bed nearly that entire week because I felt so terrible. During that time, Carmine stuck to my side nearly non-stop. He would leave my side to eat or use his litter box, but otherwise, he was a constant presence, watching over me. 

In 2009, I severely injured my foot. For the five months before the surgery I had to fix the issues, Carmine would curl up on my foot and purr. Though his weight really hurt my foot, I often let him stay where he was because I knew he was trying to heal me. 

He's an Excellent Judge of Character: Carmine is an excellent judge of character, and his reactions to other people have provided me invaluable information over the years. 

Carmine makes his own judgements about people regardless of how I feel about them. Once, Carmine made it very clear he didn't approve of someone I liked. Carmine actually stood on me and stared this person down. Carmine's reaction to this person clued me in that something wasn't quite right. Carmine ended up being right - this person did not treat me well. 

Since that experience, I tell new friends who want to come visit me that they must first pass, "The Carmine Test." 

We Understand Each Other: I believe Carmine and I understand each other in a unique way. I've suffered with chronic pain since 2005. So, when Carmine developed arthritis pain when he was only six years old in 2011, I had a unique understanding of how he was feeling. I believe my own struggle with chronic pain has made me especially sensitive to Carmine's struggles. I feel I'm able to catch Carmine's pain much earlier than other cat parents might simply because I can tell when he's not feeling his best.

I've been legally blind most of my life. My vision is very poor and continues to decline as I age and my optic nerve continues to die. Our vet told me Carmine has a cataract on his right eye when he was six years old. He eventually developed a cataract on his left eye as well. As Carmine has aged, his cataracts have caused his vision to become progressively worse. 


My own struggles with low vision have allowed me to help Carmine in a way that other cat parents may not be able to. Sure, you can research how to help a blind cat on Google, but having experience is invaluable when it comes to truly understanding the struggles a pet is having. I understand the importance of leaving Carmine's things in the same places, always feeding him and Tylan in the same spots, and the helpfulness of contrasting objects in his environment. 

He Taught Me What Love Really Is: It wasn't until Carmine came to live with me that I really began to understand what love really is. Growing up, people claimed to love me, but the "love" they gave me left me feeling worthless and unwanted. Carmine showed me that being put down, belittled, and being compared to others aren't actually loving actions. He showed me that real unconditional love is forgiveness, being kind, and accepting someone for who they are. The unconditional love Carmine gives me every day is priceless. Not only has Carmine's love helped me understand what love actually is, it has also helped me become a better and more loving person to the people I care about. 

Carmine in blue bed

He Saved My Life: Sadly, this has almost become a cliche in today's world, but I truly believe that I would not be here right now if Carmine hadn't come into my life. 

When I adopted Carmine in 2005, I struggled with an eating disorder and self-harm. My self-harm and disordered eating were out of control. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't engage in self-destructive behaviors. 

Carmine began being instrumental in my recovery right away by "helping" me eat my dinner each night. With his constant support, I was able to put food into my body without so much guilt. Carmine doesn't care how much I weigh. He cares about how I treat him. Logically, I've always known that a person's heart is what really matters, but Carmine really drove that point home. I no longer care so much about my appearance. Instead, my focus is on how I treat others, how I make others feel, and growing as a person with each passing day. 

Though it took longer for me to stop self-harming, Carmine eventually helped me stop. I could not bear to harm myself in front of Carmine, and he would get upset if I closed the door to hurt myself. It was Carmine's constant presence that helped me start using healthier coping skills. 

Though I am absolutely terrified of the day I lose my loving, orange mancat, I know that I will be okay now because Carmine has helped me get - and stay - in recovery. 

Carmine is my heart cat, and I cannot imagine what my life would be like if he hadn't claimed me that June day back in 2005 in the PetSmart Adoption Center. There are so many reasons I love my sweet guy; these are just a few of them. I know that Carmine will continue to teach me invaluable lessons during the rest of our time together - lessons I'll always cherish. 

Do you have an orange cat? Please tell me what you love about him or her in the comments. 


  1. What a beautiful post about yours and Carmine's life together, and your love for each other.

  2. Your experiences with Carmine are meaningful ... Cats have a way of giving us what we need. We had an Orangie many years ago; we called him Orange Cat. He had the sunniest disposition ever!

  3. Great post. Carmen is a special boy. You are blessed to have him. XO

  4. This is a wonderful post for a very special guy. Our Angel Tamir was Mom's "healing cat" and would immediately hang out when Mom didn't feel good or go sit and purr on her if she had aches or pains somewhere.

  5. Sending you and Carmine (and Tynan too) purrayers and Power of the Paw for sharing so much love.
    There is physical evidence that a cat's purr cycles at the same frequency as the vibrations used to encourage healing in bones and tissue, so he really was helping your foot !

  6. Such a wonderfully loving story about you and handsome Carmine. He absolutely is a special dude and you two are a match made in heaven.

  7. You are so lucky to have Carmine…and he’s lucky to have you.

  8. What a great story. He's so handsome. Kind of sounds like me and Tubby.

  9. We have not had any orange kitties, but when we were newly wed and 'catless', the neighbor's cat, a big orangey whom we nicknamed Mr Lion, strolled right into our house, made a complete inspection round and meowed and strutted back outside, tail straight up, he we knew we had to get our own cat(s)!

  10. So wonderful to read how Carmine became yours and you became his. Now at 17 and with cataracts it has to be difficult for you both. But oh, how we love our cats here and here after.

  11. ทางเข้าเล่น m98bet สล็อต เครดิตฟรี เตรียมความสนุกสนานและความตื่นเต้นให้กับผู้เล่นอย่างมากมายด้วยโปรโมชั่นและการแจกของรางวัลที่หนักหน่วง PG ซึ่งเป็นที่รู้จักในวงการเกมออนไลน์