Could a cat lover from Pasadena and a dog lover from Mar Vista ever find long-lasting love? I was about to investigate this not-so-proverbial question as I zeroed in on my soon-to-be new love on my computer screen.
Freshly divorced and 20 years away from the dating scene, I hesitatingly found myself searching for a match again. I'd heard horror stories from my single friends about online dating, which was an entirely new thing for me, so I did some research. Match.com was just too overwhelming, EHarmony too serious, Christian Singles too Christian, JDate too Jewish, Gluten Free Singles too flour-less and VeggieDate too meatless.
Finally, I finally found a perfect noncommittal dating site: Date My Pet.
At first glance, I wondered whether Date My Pet was some sort of deviant dating site that might be not only illegal but also way out of my comfort zone. Or maybe it was a site where one could find a perfect "mate" — a stud service for breeding purposes only. I was definitely not interested in that.
But after perusing the site, I was relieved to find that it seemed to be an easy and comfortable way to meet people who shared a common interest and affection for their pets. Perfect! I could meet people just by chatting about my adorable dog.
As I created my profile, I hesitated about posting a picture of my own eager, smiling face. But as it turned out, I didn't have to. I could create a profile and put up my cute dog's eager, smiling face. I did just that, and that's how I met my love, Brian. Well, first I met Tucker, a sweet, smiling Siamese cat.
Would Tucker the Siamese and Mister Bigg, my 9-pound terrier mix, be a match? More important, would their humans?
Granted, it was an unlikely match, both geographically (Pasadena and Mar Vista) and animalistically (feline and canine). Nevertheless, we made a date to meet for kibbles, er, lunch.
Planning our first meeting in Santa Monica became a strategic, carefully choreographed and timed mission. Would the cat lover battle the 110 to the 10 or would the dog lover take on the 405 and the 134? How would I know who Brian was if I'd seen only a picture of his cat Tucker? Would Brian have bright blue eyes, gray whiskers, a sleek, muscular body and cute, fuzzy ears too?
Many questions, but fortunately, all were easily answered. Traffic was no problem. And as Brian walked into the restaurant, he looked taller than I had imagined, but he actually did have bright blue eyes, gray whiskers and cute, fuzzy ears. As for the sleek muscular body — not so much. He was more like a sweet teddy bear. Perfect for my taste.
He didn't order a plate of tuna, and I, in turn, didn't order chopped steak. The hour's worth of change I'd put in the parking meter didn't seem to last an hour, which I saw as a good sign. We discovered we had so much more to talk about than scratch posts, flea treatments and brands of pet food.
He confessed to me that, besides Tucker the Siamese, he also provided a home for five other wayward cats. A crazy cat man! But clearly, he was also a loving and caring crazy cat man. Our friendship began that day, ripened into love, and 7 1/2 years later, we're still going strong.
Although Tucker and Mister Bigg never got the chance to compare profiles and have moved on to cross the rainbow bridge, we love to imagine that they're sharing adventures, slobbery chew toys and naptime on the other side.
Brian and I continue our Pasadena-Mar Vista relationship and now have even more to discuss. Traffic patterns, Sigalerts, high-speed chases, road closures and the Expo line are still topics, but so are our adult children, their weddings, grandchildren, vacations and, at some point fairly soon, our own wedding plans, preferably on a perfect day in our favorite paradise, Kauai.