For Steven Sczekan and Diane Seeber, it really was a case of animal attraction.
The Philadelphia-area couple met about 10 months ago through animalattraction.com, a Web site for people who love pets.
They and the Web site's founder, Dan Cohen, appeared Wednesday on TODAY to talk about a match made in, well, animal kingdom. On the show, Steve also asked Diane to marry him, and she agreed.
Steve, 50, a biochemist who teaches at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania, said he posted his profile on animalattraction.com about 10 months ago. The profile mentioned that he volunteered in an animal shelter and talked about his love of animals. Diane, 45, a nurse from northern New Jersey, liked what she read and they started corresponding.
“His profile was very, witty. He had this really great poem [called] 'A Cat's Psalm' on there. He just had a very unique sense of humor which I am very, very attracted to — and his picture was cute too," said Diane.
Steve described "A Cat's Psalm" as the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is My Shepherd," written from a cat's perspective.
The poem began:
The human is my servant, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down on fuzzy pillows, He leadeth me beside bowls of Fancy Feast, He restoreth my catnip mouse.
He leadeth me on the path to the litter box (for his nose' sake)...
Yea, though I walk through his papers
and over his keyboard
and on his face,
I will fear no evil,
For I am Cat.
"We both have a pretty wicked sense of humor," Steve said.
The couple hasn't settled on a wedding date yet, but they do plan to combine all their pets under one roof. Steve has four cats and Diane has three.
Cohen said animalattraction.com is full of “happy tails” of couples who were brought together through their love of animals. The site is a place for people to chat about their pets, share information, learn how to care for them, find homes for abandoned or stray pets, etc.
Cohen said he got the idea to start the site a couple of years ago when he was walking along a street in Washington. "I came across a restaurant with a patio and people with dogs having a great time and I thought, 'Wow, wouldn’t it be great to replicate this on a Web site!'" he said.
The site now has thousands of members who create profiles of themselves and can communicate via e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms and message boards.
"They can make friends, they can make pet pals, and sometimes they can even find love," Cohen said.
Cohen, the owner of a part German shepherd, part Rottweiler dog named Buddy, offers these statistics from a BizRate Research survey of pet owners on why someone who loves animals is a good choice for a mate:
- 73 percent of female pet owners report they are more likely to date or marry someone who also has a pet.
- 56 percent of women feel their pets are more affectionate than their partner.
- 90 percent of women agree that their dog or cat has at least one endearing quality that they'd like to see in their significant other.
- 84 percent of respondents consider pets to be a member of their family.
- 48 percent let pets sleep in the bed with them.
- 31 percent of women admit that they spend more time with their pet than their spouse.