Stripey Love

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a cat person. It's been this way since I was five and I played with the Maine Coon across the street from my house. This is how long I've wanted a cat, something my mom wouldn't allow because she claimed allergies.*

When I moved out on my own at 25, I figured this would be a perfect time for a cat. Of course, the only cheap apartment we found didn't allow pets. This still didn't stop me. To mark my one year of dating now-Hubby, he told me he would get me a cat. While, the cat would stay with him, I'd get to sneak it in every so often.

The Search
Stripey Then, 3 Months Old
For six months, we looked for a cat. I stalked, looking for the perfect cat. (Perfect cat = orange marmalade kitten. This goes back to some picture book I read as a child that had said cat.) The number of kittens matching description was zero. Pet stores didn't carry cats, and at the time, I didn't know that places like Petco and PetSmart had adoption days.

We ended up at a pet store in Natick where I found a kitten. He was small and gray and the only kitten in a store full of tomcats. The woman at the store refused to let us adopt him. She said we needed to have another cat. Hubs cited that our roommate had one.** She still wouldn't let us adopt giving us bullshit answer after bullshit answer. After thirty minutes, I left the place in tears. I was never going to get a cat.

A Bite
Finally, in September, we made some headway through Petfinder. Animal Rescue League of Boston listed a cat named Snickers. This was a definite sign because the cat Hubby's roommate had was named SweetTart.

When we got to ARL to see Snickers, we found this mammoth cat with a permanent scowl. When the volunteer opened the cage so we could visit, Snickers bolted across the room. Straight towards the area of caged birds.

Stripey at Age 3, In Your Face
"This isn't going to work," Hubs said.

That's when we saw the cage with a pair of 3 month old stripey kittens. One was asleep and the other wide awake. The volunteered pulled out Jennifer. She fit into Hubby's hand and had a large head. She nuzzled up to him immediately. The volunteer led us to the play area where Jennifer proceeded to attack my shoelace, something she would continue once she moved in with me.

The Name Game
We got the cat, despite her so not being orange, but we hated the name. Jennifer sounded too generic for a generic tabby cat. Hubby and I couldn't agree on a name for two days.*** Fortunately, then-Jennifer was still at the shelter getting fixed and microchipped. Hubby wanted "Gir" and no matter how much I love the robot from Invader Zim, I couldn't image calling a cat that. Hubby finally said we should call her "Cheyenne," after the main character in my WIP. I liked the name, so I didn't mind.

Stripey Now, Suffering with Dignity
The Greatest Present Ever
It's been almost 5 years and 9 months with The Stripey One. I've loved every second of it. She's bitchy and stand-offish, but in the last few years has softened up as she matured into a full blown cat. She's spent hours scaring the crap out of me with her sneaky little cat routines and has comforted me with her insta-purr when I needed it.

She's a very people-ish cat and I can't even begin to list the neat things she does or the destructive things, for that matter. She is the evil genius of the household, and has been for five years.

So tomorrow, to celebrate Stripey's birthday, I'll spoil her. She'll have a dinner of salmon and a dessert of vanilla yogurt that, for once, I won't begrudingly share.

*It's only within the last two years I've realized that it's not allergies, but an irrational fear of kitty creepiness.
**Actually, his roommate did. Mine had fish.
***If this is any indication how we're going to be when deciding children names, it's a good thing we have almost a year.

______ hit of the day: Wayfaring Stranger by Ego Likeness