February hasn’t gone well in Mandaland. I had the one, brief spurt of energy on the second, and tried to keep up the momentum, but some health issues got the better of me. I’m in the process of working with a doctor on them, but for about a week, I was unable to do yoga or any exercise due to this particular ailment. Coupled with some rollercoaster temps and the general fug of sluggishness that comes from being unable to move much, I’ve been feeling far more depressed than usual. I admit, I huge chunk of my brain just threw up my hands when it comes to February and said, “I’ll start again after I’m home from vacation.”
One part of my brain rebelled, though, and said it wanted a small bit of happiness. That part started looking at cats. Yes, I already have two cats, but 18 months ago, when Gavroche entered our lives, he became an integral part of my therapy process. I knew I wanted a third cat to complete our family, a cat that I could smother in love, and a cat that would become a playmate for Gavroche so that Ash wasn’t being harassed all the time. I figured I’d wait until after vacation to get that kitty, but then Jason took me out for Valentine’s this past weekend, and we fell in love with Nimi.
Nimi was a stray of unknown age, though the vet estimates around two years. She was recently spayed and just became available for adoption this past week. We watched her in the social-cat room, and saw a few necessary things. First, she didn’t mind other cats at all. Second, she didn’t mind not being the cat in charge, which is good since Ash is definitely our alpha-cat. Third, she didn’t let other cats push her around, either. Fourth, when she warned other cats, she didn’t use her claws, just gave them a warning paw. And fifth, when we had to carry her for fifteen minutes while we filled out paperwork, she obviously didn’t like being held still, and wiggled a lot to try to get free, but never lashed out at us with teeth or claws. I’m not sure how a cat goes through two years of living on the streets and becomes this people- and cat-friendly, but hey, I’m not complaining!
We decided to foster-to-adopt, to make sure things didn’t go crazy when we brought her home. Ash, of course, would take some time to get used to her, and Gavroche maybe a little, but you never know how these things will go. We predicted fairly correctly, though. Ash hissed and growled for a day, then took to mewing uncomfortably whenever she came too close. Nimi didn’t let him intimidate her, but also didn’t challenge him. She gave him a wide berth but never backed away. Gavroche sniffed curiously and tried some intimidation tactics, but Nimi just kept lying in her spot looking up at him like he was weird, not in the least bit scared. By the time a day had passed, we were able to let Nimi walk around the house without an escort, though the other kitties kept a bit of an eye on her:
We did have one incident the day after Nimi came home. Right around lunchtime, she disappeared. We spent two hours looking for her, and I was terrified that she’d managed to escape while we brought in groceries, despite us being very careful. I was teary and panicking by the time she finally showed herself again. She’d crawled into the plumbing behind my shower and into the rim of the bathtub. !!! Crazy girl. Obviously we need to work on getting a decent access panel in place so we don’t lose her like that again!
It didn’t take a week to know she was perfect for our home. Nimi officially became part of our family yesterday.
She is such a pretty girl. Mostly tortoiseshell, part whatever-else, she’s full of color splotches all over, some big, some small. As we brought her home, Jason told her a story. He said that he thought she had been a cat many times, hundreds of times, and that each of her little colorful patches with the history of another cat she’d once been, so that she carried the wisdom of lifetimes of kitties with her in her skin.