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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Curiouser and curiouser

Good morning friends!

This is my morning view. Also how do people take photos before eating their treats? It is almost impossible for me.

My cat (who is in stealth mode in the above picture) is currently tearing about our home (which sadly means she is also tearing up our carpet each time she reaches both the top and bottom of our stairs.)

If I wasn’t so madly in love with her, there would be repercussions.

When she gets into these scamp moods of hers we like to say that she’s “riding her little horse” because of the way she gallops about the house (and the way her gait sounds like that of a young steed racing around a track.)

We adopted Ms. Nymeria from the SPCA a little over four years ago.

I had been badgering M forever to let us get a cat.

She is giving you five.

Being a remarkably patient, and loving man, he withstood this constant bombardment quite well (and with much grace at that.)

Because seriously, anytime he inquired about gifts, I would immediately, without thinking, blurt out: “A CAT.”

Hey Ethel, he’d say. What do you want for Christmas this year?

A CAT, I’d respond.

Hey Ethel, what would you like for your birthday this year?

A CAH! I’d say, not bothering to swallow that bite of my sandwich before taking the time to respond.

Hey Ethel, what do we need to pick up at the grocery store tonight?

A CAT! I’d answer. And milk, bread and cheese. But mostly though, a cat.

(That joke was always a laugh and a half for me, but obnoxious as heck for him. Still, I couldn’t stop myself.)

Lovers in a dangerous time.

Come February 2008, M ever so nonchalantly asked me to come over to his computer. He picked me up, sat me in his lap, and together we looking through the pictures of the kittens that were currently available for adoption over at our local SPCA shelter.

Now, I don’t know about you folks, but there is a very limited time frame in which I can stay on one of those websites and remain a functioning, coherent human being.

Just looking at all the little ones that need homes thrusts me into sensory overload, and I become overwhelmed between two very conflicting reactions.

These are: MUST SAVE ALL THE KITTIES – and – OH NO THERE ARE TOO MANY KITTIES TO SAVE I AM POWERLESS IN THIS FIGHT.

It’s like all of my life force swells to epic proportions but is simultaneously sucked out of me. Like I turn into a superhero just before being administered a Dementor’s kiss.

Luckily, it wasn’t before long that we saw Nymeria’s picture and we both fell head over heels in love.

A go-to pose.

At the time she wasn’t Nymeria. She was Faye, who – “didn’t play well with others.”

We knew immediately that she had a touch of both Rhoyne and direwolf inside her.

The next day we went to the shelter, and along with the help of two stellar friends of ours, adopted the little Miss into our arms, heart and home.

And she’s been there ever since. Snuggling, purring, meowing (she talks, like, all the darn time), furring up furniture, ripping up carpets, going absolutely bat shit crazy when she sees other cats, sleeping on my feet, and sailing 1,000 ships to Dorne (just like her namesake of course.)

The beauty cat. And M's hair pants.

I always joke that Nymeria is my daughter – and while there is a healthy dose of both tongue and cheek in this statement – she is a dear, dear part of my family.

She was with us during our engagement, our marriage, both of our post-grads; she forgave us for going to England without her (that one took a while, let me assure you).

She is with us when we wake up, and when we sleep.

And I love her. (Even if at the moment she is scoping out my lemon bar.)

So what about you dear readers? Who are the furry friends in your life?

Nymeria and I would love to know.