NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – It happens more times than Nathan Kehn would like to admit.
He’d get ready for a date, things would go well until Kehn would mention one little detail and the conversation would go something like this:
Kehn: “I have a cat.”
Kehn’s date: “Oh, how many?”
Kehn’s date: “Oh. And they live with you?”
Kehn, who lives in North Hollywood, is the proud dad of Princess, Ginger, Pickles, and Annie.
They’re not just his pets, they’re also his costars.
“When I came out to L.A., I ended up getting one cat and then another cat needed a home and then we found Annie on the side of the road and got Annie and kind of one thing lead to another,” Kehn said.
The felines have made him famous on social media, where he is known as "Nathan the Cat Lady" to his more than 600,000 followers.
He’s always had a soft spot for cats. But his dates? That’s a whole other story.
“I’ve been rejected multiple times for having cats, I had a relationship end because I had cats,” he said.
A new study by Colorado State University found that women were less likely to swipe right on men if they posed with their cats in their dating profiles.
This is why Kehn recently partnered with a new dating app called “Tabby,” exclusively dedicated to cat lovers. The app allows users to spotlight not just themselves but also their furry little friends.
“They’re going to be with me for a long time," Kehn said. "So, if you can’t get along with my cats it’s not going to work.”
On a warm August evening, Kehn headed out on a first date with Elena Talan, a woman he met on the app.
“I think there [are] a little bit of butterflies,” he said. “You kind of just have to roll the dice and see how it turns out.”
They decided to meet at the Cat Cafe Lounge in West Los Angeles. The cafe, part coffee shop, part animal rescue, has been struggling since the pandemic began. So, Kehn and Talan volunteered to help build a COVID-friendly outdoor space, called a “catio.”
Like most first dates, it gets off to an awkward start. But then, the conversation turned to their four-legged friends. And that, according to Talan, made all the difference.
“We can speak the same language because they wouldn’t think that I’m crazy,” Talan said.
To check out the "catio," visit the Cat Cafe Lounge website.