Path to purr-chase: How brands helped a Pinployee adopt a kitten

cat

Animal shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area (and almost everywhere else) have been cleaned out as people have sought the comfort of furry friends. To find a little cat companion, I’d need to first establish my preferences, then cast a wide net and hope for the best. As a Pinterest employee, I decided to put our platform to the test. Equipped with a board full of cat inspiration, I was ready to take action–and was curious how Pinterest would guide my decisions along the way.

To increase my chances for something fluffy, Purina’s cat breed filter taught me I should focus on Domestic Longhairs, Ragdolls or Maine Coon breeds. But I also learned that Maine Coons can supersize–so watch out! As my search kicked off, it felt like a highly selective job interview loop. No photos of the cats or kittens until I’d passed a rigorous screening process. Shelters wanted written applications, adoptive parent interviews and video tours of my apartment.

the search icon “Best apartment cats”

the search icon “Fluffy cat breeds”

 

 

 

Only a handful of my 60-plus applications resulted in call-backs. Each was an emotional roller coaster. Some cats had crippling medical issues that tugged at my heart. I fell for a photo of a kitten I later learned was a full-grown cat (literally, CATfished) and pulled out of the process before the video introduction. It was more of a roller coaster than my introduction to pandemic dating.

the search icon “Home dangers kitten”

the search icon “Ideal home set up for cat”

the search icon“Care required for special needs cat”

Then I met Fig (née Sophie). She had eyeliner markings the envy of beauty bloggers, some fluffy tufts and basically fit into a hand. Her foster mom sent me photos of her asleep on her shoulder. I was smitten. After our (successful) video chat, I quickly submitted my deposit and remaining paperwork. Only a few weeks old, she was still being bottle trained, which meant I had 2 weeks to get everything ready for her arrival.

With this fluffball on her way, I’d need to upgrade my cleaning tools. Dyson’s V11 animal vacuum seemed to be a strong favorite among Pinners. As I agonized over how to safely keep my bay windows open, Home Depot’s adjustable window screen provided a solve. And it arrived just in time for a heatwave.

 

the search icon“How to tell if a kitten will be fluffy”

the search icon"Best animal vacuum"

the search icon"Bay window screen for pet"

 

And of course the fun things. I spent a lot of time on the Miacara shop and the Topo toy was the first kitty accessory I bought her. The leather is now gnawed raw, but it’s still one of the more beautiful cat toys I've seen.

 

the search icon “Foods as pet names”

the search icon “Can I use existing ceramic bowls for cats”

the search icon“Scandinavian minimalist cat furniture”

 

Fig weighed under 2lbs when I brought her home. Minuscule compared to all that had weighed on her arrival. She adapted quickly, getting comfortable with her new home. A cat mom friend with great taste had recommended a Modkat litter box, which was optimistically set up for immediate use. I quickly realized it loomed like a 15 storey building over Fig. Fortunately I found I could use a Target scratch pad gifted from a sweet friend as the perfect step up.

As we settle in and we test our bounds, my searches (and new pet parent anxiety) continue. 

 

 

the search icon “Foods poisonous to cats”

the search icon “Cat travel carrier safe”

the search icon “Does my cat hate me"

And then of course there was the yogurt incident, when she leapt head-first into my breakfast bowl.

 

the search icon“How to remove blueberry stains from sofa”

the search icon the search icon“Should I use soap on a cat”

I’ve learned Fig can be a bit of a terror in the mornings. The scratches and bite marks on my arm are proof. Fig treats my Peloton, my other prized quarantine acquisition, as a play structure. And every morning, I try to get creative to keep her at a safe distance. Luckily a laser toy from my brother arrived for my birthday for the days I feel bad locking her out of the room.

 

the search icon“Chew toys for kittens”

the search icon “Distract your kitten so she doesn't hang up on work calls”

the search icon “DIY cat gates”

But as she blessedly chills out in the evenings and licks said scratches and purrs in my arms, I can’t help but think about how she’ll cope once I’m at home less. I catch myself searching again.

 

the search icon “Introducing a second kitten to a home”

We’re feeling this one out. One search at a time.

My experience is just one example of many pet journeys on Pinterest. Even if your brand isn’t in the pet space, my journey with Fig shows that many brands’ products and services can help pet parents move from inspiration to action. They sure did for me.

 

–Talia Parnass, currently saving to CAT CALL

 

Talia and Fig