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Relationships Match: Love of cats brings Vancouver couple together

Gina Marino and Hunter Marmon.

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For Gina Marino, "must love cats" was a requirement for her partner. Enter Hunter Marmon, a Southern gentleman whose capacity for cat love made him a purr-fect match.

Who: Gina Marino, 31, bike courier. Hunter Marmon, 27, stay-at-home cat dad

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Location: Vancouver.

Relationship status: Married since 2017.

Purr-fect meeting

Gina: Every year, the bike-messenger community holds a race in a different American city. In 2015, it was in Denver. I drove down with a bunch of girlfriends.

Hunter: I came from Houston, which is where I am from. There are 300 people racing, but we ended up staying at the same house. For me, it was love at first sight.

Gina: He's the romantic one. I thought he was attractive. He had that Southern charm. After, we started talking online and on the phone, and when I found out that he was a cat guy, I was intrigued. From there it was pretty fast.

Hunter: I asked her to marry me with my grandma's wedding ring.

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Gina: Even before he moved here, we decided to adopt a cat together. The kitten arrived a week before Hunter did.

Feline fanatics

Gina: For me it, is "must love cats." In the past I've had relationships that have broken up over that.

Hunter: I have always been a cat person, but I've definitely become more of a cat person.

Gina: I swear we bring it out in each other. He's literally wearing cat socks right now.

I don't plan on having children, so …

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Hunter: Our cats pretty much are our kids. We have Leonardo, Esther and Frida. We treat each one as an individual, we organize our household according to their needs.

Gina: We call it "catifying" our apartment.

Hunter: We celebrate all of the birthdays and the adopt-iversaries. We have cat costumes for all the holidays.

Gina: We're kind of obsessed. We want to start a cat ranch one day.

Cat-rimony

Gina: We got married last year on Valentine's Day at a big pop-up wedding in Robson Square. I liked the idea of sharing the day with 75 other couples, so it wasn't just about us, but more about love.

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Hunter: It was an amazing day. And, of course, we had a cat.

Gina: My 14-year-old cat, Precious, had died just a few weeks earlier, so that was hard. The cat in the photo is actually her sister, whose owner I am close with. I know maybe that sounds creepy, but it made me feel like Precious was there with us.

Hunter: After the wedding, we tried to go on a honeymoon.

Gina: It was horrible! I never want to go away without my cats again. I'm joking, but I really did miss them a lot. Now I'm trying to figure out how we can get a fourth.

Hunter: We have to wait until we get a bigger apartment.

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