Ann Pirvu

Get to know this rising star and her beloved senior cat

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

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We love featuring people and their cats. Cats are harder to take pictures of, but capturing a good one is so rewarding, because these animals tell a vastly different story than dogs do. Cats are observers much more than active participants in our everyday lives and those who love them know that it’s a completely different, soulful and special love.

Ann Pirvu has that special love with her cat, PJ (Puma Jello, more formally). For some special medical reasons, PJ has a unique and utterly beautiful story behind his eyes. He’s a stunning old cat and because of this, we agreed to shoot Ann while her new home (congrats!) is under renovation. Ann wanted to have a special memory documented of her friend and we were more than happy to give her an excuse to write about him. So while we don’t have as many images for Ann’s home “style,” we were able to take the time to capture her gorgeous cat and their special bond. We’re positive, however, that this thespian and her partner will have a wonderfully decorated home in the near future, so maybe she’ll invite us back! If so, we very much hope that PJ the exceptional cat is still around to greet us.

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Please tell us about yourself:

I’m an actress, currently based in Toronto. I assume other people’s identities for a living. The job involves observing and analyzing the human condition, which never ceases to peek my curiosity, as well as personal emotional connections to the story you’re telling and physical commitment to doing it. Every day is a new challenge, always different and creatively engaging, and this opportunity to explore various facets of life in the process is one of my favorite parts of the job. You can be anything. You can do anything. It’s not easy, but if you love it and you’re dedicated to the work, the possibilities are endless — and that’s so much fun! I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit, always curious, happy to try new things and put myself out there. My family moved to Canada from Romania when I was 12, so I’m no stranger to change and have a more unique perspective on life because of that: keep working hard, stay positive, and laugh it up are basically the pillar aspects of my personality. I wish I had a daily routine sometimes but the fact that I can carve out my own destiny every day makes me enormously happy.

A bit about your pet:

PJ (Puma Jello, more formally) is my handsome 16-year-old black tabby cat! He’s been in my life for about 9 years and we happily inherited him from family. I’ve always had cats growing up, so when I moved to Toronto I jumped on the opportunity to have this beautiful little soul in my life. He’s VERY independent… never shy about speaking his mind (especially at 6 o’clock in the morning, every day without fail…) and always eager to be where the action is, just like mommy) add a zip tie or a plastic bag in the mix and it REALLY gets fun!

As the only actor in a family of engineers, I’ve always been the black sheep of the family so to speak, so my little black Puma and I always got along great.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

Staying active (yoga/pilates/jogging), catching a movie with friends and fam, binge-watching TV shows I miss out on during the week (pretty much everything HBO, lol, for example).

Reading out in the backyard with a yummy cup of tea or coffee (it’s beautiful back there in the summer,) or barbecuing. PJ loves frolicking in the sunshine. He goes topsy-turvy-sprawly in any sun filled spot, it’s hilarious, and he always wants to be where you are.

Also reading books or scripts on a bench in Hilcrest Park or Christie Pitts.

Describe your personal style:

I’d say my style is sort of classic Euro chic, with a splash of color. I love flowy dresses and shirts, fitted pants/jeans, and absolutely adore wearing vibrant colors!

What inspires you?

-People. Interesting, hard-working, positive thinking go-getters inspire me. I’m a naturally outgoing person so I need to be around people. I’m always my best self in a teamwork environment, and I love to learn and grow at every opportunity. (I never assume I’m the smartest person in a room, there’s always something someone can teach you.)

-Watching someone attempt something extraordinary, courageously, whether they succeed or not. That’s always inspiring to me.

– Potential. Dream big, never lose hope, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way.

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How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

A work in progress. Cozy and bright.

A story about PJ:

Being a working actor is not the easiest career path. There’s lots of unpredictability, lots that’s out of your control regardless of how hard you work or how determined you are. Staying the course is often the most difficult thing to do, as any artist probably knows, but having little Puma in my life makes a huge difference. He’s gotten me out of many emotional funks over the years. His sassy personality always manages to put a smile on my face, and I’m convinced that kitty hugs (sometimes forced hugs when he’s being a stingy little rascal with ‘em) have healing capabilities. I love this little guy.

Last year was a very hard year for us, and he gave us quite the scare. Getting older has its challenges and, even though PJ has always been a very active, stealthy cat, at sixteen, his body doesn’t process things like it once did. He got severely backed-up over the summer and couldn’t go to the bathroom anymore, which affected his food intake because he couldn’t hold anything down for a while. We were being told to possibly prepare for the worst… (unimaginable to me!) because he’s part of life. It was awful.

A few hospital stays later, they managed to remove the blockage and now he’s on a brand new high-fiber diet.

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For the last 4 months he’s been taking a daily dose of a drug called Cisapride to help his system move things along, as well as kitty laxatives with his food. He’s not happy about it, lol, but he’s also not being difficult—it’s like he understands that he needs it. He’s also more affectionate as of late, which has been lovely to see because he’s always been more of the independent type. And I appreciate that.

This year, miraculously, he’s back to his stealthy, Puma self. He’s strong, agile, high-energy (like the rest of the fam) jumping up and down all over the place. He loves spending time outdoors and exploring the backyard again.

He no longer needs the medication but we’re sticking with the high-fiber diet and keeping a close eye. He’s been such a healthy boy most of his life that it’s been heartbreaking to see him need some extra help. It’s hard to have to face the fact that your pet is getting older… you don’t really see it coming, but that’s the beauty of life. I’m going to love him and take care of him no matter what stage he’s at. We’re family.

You can catch Ann in the upcoming feature, The Masked Saint, out in theaters on January 22nd!