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Rich DeSisto

Every Saturday, we celebrate “Caturday” here on Magic 98.3.  But every February 20th it’s time to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day!

According to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare, the total household pet population (measured in dogs and cats) in the state of New Jersey is close to 2,878,037.  Sorry dog lovers but New Jersey pet lovers prefer Cats over dogs.  (Cats = 1,495,161 / Dogs = 1,382,876).  The same applies with Middlesex and Somerset counties.

Just think about what that number is when it comes to strays.  What about those in shelters looking to for homes? says the pandemic has increased the amount of pet adoptions in New Jersey.  Pre-Covid19 adoption rates were at 58% compared to current rates at 85%.  I love that increase.  But remember if you’re going to adopt a dog or cat, it’s for life.

Welcoming a furry friend into your life is a privilege and comes with great responsibilities.  They’re members of the family, which is why it is so hard when that dreadful day comes when you have to say goodbye.

  • Pet owners understand what these animals bring to our lives, and conversely what we bring to theirs. 

  • I don’t ever take my “putty cat” for granted.

    Ziggy has been by my side for 13 years and is loyal to the core. He waits for me, cries for me when I’m gone, greets me at the door when come home, and cuddles up with me at night.  He gives great hugs too!  I am not saying he is a special cat because he’s mine.  Since the first day we met, I’ve been HIS person.

  • I was looking to adopt an adult cat at my local animal “no-kill” shelter.

    A kitten was out of the question.  Too much work and destruction.  J  Well, the adult cat to which I was interested in giving a home had his own set of issues that unfortunately I couldn’t have taken on.  So with the persistence of the staff, before I left with disappointment, I walked into the kitten room.

    Dozens of cute cuddly kittens were bouncing around the room, playing and hanging on whatever they wanted to within their reach.  As I scanned the room, I noticed this one in particular was heading my way.  He locked on to my presence and slowly made his way towards where I was standing.  Just as the rest of the kittens were ignoring my presence, he was ignoring theirs.

    Eventually he made it to my feet then proceeded to claw his way up my pant leg, creating a natural response of mine to then cradle him in my arms, as he began to purr with joy and love.  You would think, between that and his squinting loving eyes was enough to make his point, no.  As I eventually left the room to begin signing the adoption papers, my back was to the door that had a window.  The shelter staff pointed behind me and said “look”.  Westley, which was his shelter giving name, climbed his way up the shelf parallel to the door to watch me through the window.

  • Ziggy (as I named him) was the kitten I never wanted. 

    He was as destructive as kittens are.  He even had his own room when he was too much.  He was given many Kitten time outs, until about 4 years old.  Then finally, he became the lap cat I was looking for.

  • To this day, Ziggy looks at me the same way he did as he pranced across that kitten room into my lap. He chose me and I am forever grateful he did!