My husband came pre-installed with a cat. He named her Kali, after the Hindu goddess often associated with violence (Sanskrit: "She Who Is Death") because even as a kitten, it was painfully clear she would destroy everything he ever loved. Living with her has been my first immersive cat experience and she never fails to surprise me. Kali very quickly learned all the things that worry me most and performs them on what I believe is a meticulously-planned schedule, tailored for optimal frustration. Favorites include:
- Munching on house plants
- Parading around on the dining room table
- Traipsing across forbidden furniture, despite having numerous comfortable & safe resting places. (I'm allergic to cats so we try to keep her off furniture I sit on. YES I KNOW, UTTER FUTILITY.)
- Luring me in with coy mews & playful twirls and then viciously attacking my feet
It really is a wonder she's single, amiright?
We adopted Maggie before John & I started living together. Once we bought a house, I was eager* for Mags & Kali to cohab in harmony so John & I met with a trainer from the Humane Society to get advice for introducing them. She told us that cats are height seekers, so we needed to create elevated spaces for Kali that Mags couldn't get to. We bought a ladder and window hammock, which she loves for bird watching or screaming insults at her staff. She also has a nearby ottoman, a pied-à-terre, if you will, for when she wants to gaze upon the back yard but can't be bothered to climb into her hammock. By our front windows is a chair where she loves to supervise & hold court. And she has free run of John's study.
The trainer also shared advice for introducing the girls, which we followed closely. It took several weeks and multiple doses of sedatives & mood stabilizers (for me) but they eventually landed upon an uneasy truce.
Mags is a rescue, we think some kind of retriever, but also an instinctual chaser. She truly cannot help herself so Kali gets quite a lot of cardio being herded up onto her high spots.
Where Maggie is anxious & uncertain, Kali is bold & brazen. Kali's constantly testing boundaries and making mischief, while Mags comes to us for comfort at the slightest wiff of uncertainty.
Despite the long list of Kali's special talents, her best asset is her paws. She's polydactyl, which I believe Kanye West described as "TOES ON TOES ON TOES." Watching her strut, preen, and maneuver is truly adorable. No matter how ornery she is, those adorable giant paws render me aquiver.
As you can see, our critters completely run our lives. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the twice-daily ceremony of distributing medicine to them, which is nothing short of a spectacle.
*Please note that John disputes my level of eagerness.