There Are Crazy Cat Moms — and Then There's the Type Who Gets a Paw-Print Tattoo
Do you already think I'm crazy? You probably won't even give me the benefit of the doubt now that I've told you I have a tattoo of my cat's paw print. But maybe if you have a cat, or any pet for that matter, you'll hear me out. Trish the Tabby came into my life at a time when I was suffering from severe anxiety and debilitating panic attacks that disrupted entire days at a time. When my future husband adopted her as a surprise gift, plopping her in my lap on Christmas morning (I'm sure he was trying to think of anything that would distract me from my own all-consuming thoughts), we became inseparable. A little more than three years later, I was DMing Trudy Lines, who's an extremely talented artist at Bang Bang in New York City, begging her to ink Trish's paw print onto my arm.
I love tattoos, but tattoos are art, so everyone has their own opinion about what looks nice. Maybe for some people, paw prints are not tattoo material. Personally, I like to think long and hard before settling on a new design to add to my growing collection, and this one was a no-brainer for me — as were the meaningful tattoos I've gotten for my sister.
Why am I trying so hard to convince you that my relationship with my cat is solid enough to justify a permanent paw print on my arm? I know it is!
I have a book called When You Love a Cat that I read often, and there's a line that reads, "When you love a cat, you speak a language of little sounds and gestures (It's a secret language, but you both know what it means)." Every time I read those words, I tear up. Because that's me and my cat, and probably you and your cat, too, if you're still reading this. Every time I turn around, Trish is right at my heels, sometimes clawing at them, but never hard, trying to get me to play with her. No matter what I'm doing; whatever project of the day I'm hyperfocused on, I always stop to give her my full attention — and I'm a Type A person, so that's saying a lot.
But why am I trying so hard to convince you that my relationship with my cat is solid enough to justify a permanent paw print on my arm? I know it is! So when Trudy agreed to tattoo me, I took all the necessary precautions and booked an exclusive appointment with her. While I promise I'll dive into the details and share plenty of close-ups ahead, you may be wondering — just out of curiosity, or for a personal tattoo of your own down the line — how Trudy drew up such a realistic portrait of Trish's paw. You probably want to know how she matched each and every detail, every little line and marking, to my cat's actual paw pads.
So, I'm breaking it down and outlining the steps I took to make sure my tattoo wasn't just any old paw, but Trish's paw. Spoiler: you only need two things to start the process, and that's a scanner and a cat (or dog!) who is so damn loved, they don't even know what hit them.