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the story about the cat

Ever since moving to Seattle, I've been thinking about and occasionally talking about getting a cat. I've always liked cats a lot, I've enjoyed playing with my friends' cats, and I was thinking it'd be nice to have a cat around in the apartment to offset the occasional loneliness of my new home on my own. My idea to get a cat was met with A LOT of enthusiasm by most of my Seattle friends, as well as my younger sister, and that was actually a bit off-putting. After all, I was just settling into my own place in a new city, and I'm a very neat and organized person so I wasn't sure a cat would fit in with me, and I've never had a cat before... it was a big step for me that I wasn't sure I was ready to take.

Well, about a week before Christmas, the neighbors (Sharon and Rich) of my friends TonyD and Orkgrrl lost their cat - I think it was an outdoor cat, I'm not sure, but in any case it disappeared outside. A couple days later, Sharon heard a cat mewing outside their door, so she opened it, and in ran a strange white cat. Sharon took the cat around the neighborhood - I found out from Orkgrrl she spent five hours going around with the cat, so she must've covered quite a large area, not just the houses in the immediate block - but no one claimed the cat. She then sent out some kind of email about the cat to the "Madrona Moms" mailing list, which Orkgrrl is also on, so Orkgrrl learned Sharon had a stray kitty in need of a home.

I got a call at work from Orkgrrl, who asked in her chirpy, "I'm up to something!" voice, if I wanted to come over for dinner that evening. I agreed, but I knew there was something odd going on. When I got there, Orkgrrl immediately asked if I wanted to go see the new kitty her friend Sharon got. At first I thought she meant just that, but then I realized she was up to something - it was a plot to get me to get a cat! We went over to Sharon's, and sure enough, they had a cute white kitty that turned out to be a stray. The kitty was cute, and seemed fairly friendly, and needed a home - Sharon and Rich were fostering two basset hounds, and still hoped their cat would return, and preferred to see this cat go to a good home., So I said well, sure, I'd like to try having a cat, and I agreed to take the cat home on Friday, which was Christmas Eve. I was busy Wednesday and Thursday, but I had Friday through Monday off for the holidays so I thought that'd be a good time to let the cat and I get to know each other.

Friday I was anxious all day, wondering if this was a good idea and wondering whether I really wanted a cat or if it was just that everyone else wanted me to have a cat. I also had to do some last-minute running around to pick up kitty litter and cat food - fortunately TonyD and Orkgrrl had a spare litter box and food dishes - and that made me realize just how little I knew about having a cat - what kind of food is good, what litter should I buy, and so on. But then, when I actually arrived to pick up the cat, I found myself charmed by her, moreso than I had been on Wednesday. She went into the cat carrier with no fuss, she was quiet for the whole trip, she even sat quietly in the carrier while I finished bringing in her stuff and set up her litter box. When I let her out, she calmly checked out the apartment and settled right in, proving to be affectionate and playful.

I've been very happy ever since taking her in. My only concern has been that she must've belonged to someone, but Sharon couldn't find anyone who'd claim her, there haven't been any "missing cat" posters up in the neighborhood, and when I took her to the vet, they had no notice on file either and also did not find a microchip when they scanned her. So, it seems safe to say I'm now the proud owner of a wonderful cat. The vet says she's about a year to a year-and-a-half old and healthy.

Being a big geek, I decided I should name her in (Tolkien's) Elvish. After some searching through my Tolkien Dictionary (like I said, big geek), and with some help from my friend Christine, I settled on Nimiel, which means "white maiden". In my mind her name's really Nimloriel, "golden white maiden," reflecting the hints and highlights of orange in her mostly-white fur, but Nimloriel just sounds too long and heavy.

Orkgrrl took some pictures when she was over yesterday, you can view them in this Shutterfly album. Unfortunately Orkgrrl wasn't able to get a good photo of Nimiel's bright blue eyes - another time, when the flash isn't needed, perhaps.



( 6 have written — Write )
Jan. 4th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC)
What a cutie! And such a suiting name, too... She just *looks* like a Nimiel, even without knowing what it means. :)

I'm glad you've found each other... Cats lower the blood pressure, you know! :)
Jan. 4th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC)
No, I most certainly do not know anything about cats lowering blood pressure. My blood pressure was certainly not going down this morning from 6 AM to 7:30 AM, when I wanted to continue sleeping and she wanted to play and root noisily among the boxes in my closet. :-/
Jan. 4th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Okay, well... science says they lower blood pressure. :) I am definitely with you in that sometimes they do raise the stress level, especially since they tend to be most active when you are trying to sleep.

Just wait til she decides she wants to play and root noisily amongst the blankets. By your head. Or just your head.

Sometimes in the morning, ours will come in, walk right up the James' body to his chest and stand there (on his chest) staring at him intently. When he does not move, she will meow once to let him know she is there. *grin*
Jan. 4th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, she's already decided the real action is to burrow under the blankets so she can get at my feet. Her early morning moves are to attack the feet from above, outside the blanket, or burrow under if possible. She'll also sit by my head, purring loudly, and then start biting my hand. When I chase her off, she goes and bats at the window blinds, or roots in the closet - I can't figure out what it is she's scratching at in the closet, must be one of the boxes, and I don't know why. I had to use much suppressive fire from the water sprayer this morning. And then I was so tense I couldn't lie on my side or stomach anymore, I had to lie on my back, but that meant when I needed the water sprayer I had to flip over.

At the moment I feel surprisingly alert and not-tired, considering. I'm sure the day's going to drag a lot, though.
Jan. 5th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
karma used to chew on jen's hair in the morning. one morning i caught him trying to chew her hair, so i poked him. he just looked at me. then i started to fall asleep and i heard little munching sounds. sure enough, he was at it again. i poked him. we stared at each other for a bit. then i pretended to fall asleep and out of my half-shut eyes i saw him make a move for her hair, so i opened my eyes. he suddenly pretended he was interested in something else entirely. we played this game several more times: staring, me pretending to fall asleep, he tries to chew on jen's hair, i open my eyes, he pretends to look at the wall or whatever, etc. finally, i just ousted him from the bed.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
three Rs
By the way, Orkgrrrl has 3 Rs, not 2! Important distinction there.
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