Whiskers on kittens

I have a cat.

Her name is Nymeria.

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This is not news to veteran readers of Rant and Roll.

But for all you newbies (WELCOME MY LOVES!) please let this post serve as a wee introduction to this little creature who takes up major real estate within the confines of my heart.

We adopted the little miss in February of 2008.

This was after five years of constant badgering on my part, to my brilliant (though long-suffering) partner Marc.

Writer’s note: Marc is now my brilliant (and longer-suffering) husband.

Seriously, I was unrelenting in vocalizing my desire to adopt a pet.

The first animal for whom I had ever before cared was a grey and white kitty named Sophie (named after the famed Sophie’s Cosmic Café here in Vancouver) who ruled my family’s roost for a number of years before she succumbed to her heart murmur at the relatively young age of eight.

Her death (which took place just before Christmas in my second year of my undergrad) was one of the most crushing blows I had suffered up until that point in my life.

I received the phone call mid-holiday party, and as I collapsed into a fit of tears, Marc ushered our well-meaning, though slightly confused guests out the door.

Wrapped up in his arms, I cried myself to sleep that night.

And the next.

My mum has since adopted two other cats – brothers Rufus and Simon who are as adorable as they are bonkers.

Simon is so sketchy, I often refer to him as a beetle, because anytime he is spooked, he will scuttle under the nearest couch, table, or bed.

Rufus is a consummate lounger – too cool for school, and utterly fabulous. Whenever I put on makeup in the bathroom, he’s right there in the sink, trying to massage his cheeks up again my blush brush.

And I love both of them, truly.

Like her cousins back east, Nymeria is also completely mad.

A calico, she speaks all the time, but especially as feeding hour approaches.

Sometimes I feel a little nuts, because I start to make noises in response her to mewls and meows, and before I really know what is happening, I’m engaged in a very strange conversation, without any idea of what it is I am hearing (or in fact saying.)

This is very similar to when I speak Russian with anyone beyond proficiency level 1.

(Babushkas man. They just love the chance to talk to anyone!)

Nymeria’s brilliant for the fact that she doesn’t destroy our furniture, but less so because she does a fabulous job of managing her stress on the carpet that covers our stairs.

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She will sleep with me up until Marc gets into bed (he always retires much later than I) but then will return around 4 a.m. to sleep on my legs.

She loves to be brushed.

A giant ‘fraidy-cat, she will hunker out on our balcony, until she scares herself, and runs back inside.

She has such tiny feet, that more often than not, I will refer to her as Little Paws.

Other nicknames include: Beauty Cat, Big Eyes, Little One, Kitten, Douce Baggins (only used after a very, very stinky bathroom break), Duck (because when she sits a certain way, she looks like a duck riding the waves), and Dragon Cat.

I really, really like it when she’s Dragon Cat.

Anytime she hears a bag opening she will immediately run to the kitchen in hopes of a treat.

Anytime we come home from a trip she will shower us with the softest of kitten kisses.

Anytime I think about her, my little heart smiles.

Because she is, quite simply, our little gal.

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