On March 25, 2011, I fell in love. Or I realized I had fallen in love long before. Probably the first time I saw the tiny black cat out on the sidewalk, or later in my garden, or outside the basement door silently communicating with Kelly, or a dozen other times before that day, certainly the day that Lucy, in memory, asked me to rescue her mom. As for Mimi, I’m sure she also had the same experience. But that day, and this moment pictured above, was the one Mimi and I realized that she wasn’t just the mother of the kittens who were so easy to love and so fun to play with, and I wasn’t just the human who brought her and her kittens to safety. You can see it in her face, and I’m sure she could see it in mine.
So for today’s rescue story, in 2013 as Mimi literally sits on my right hand after a busy morning of chasing me around and talking to me, checking out my breakfast and lunch (both unsatisfactory to her), organizing her grown children and cleaning them up and observing the neighborhood outside each door and window, we quietly celebrate our anniversary.
. . . . . . . .
Surely, when kittens are tiny, momcat doesn’t mind if her babies get the spotlight, a friend was interested in adopting Mimi when the kittens were weaned, and I think Mimi was not of the mind to have her heart broken again by a human. When Mimi arrived with her babies on July 29, 2007 we had a history, and weren’t sure we had a future. But we looked at each other that morning and realized we had forever.
It’s not any special day, just a nice sunny morning on a day I get to stay home all day to work.
Mimi follows me all around the first floor of my house, up and down the steps a few times, then settles into the bathroom as I take my shower and get ready for the day, talking to me in her little “eep!” and “meee…” noises. Mimi is petite and beautiful, but her voice is kind of an afterthought.
Sometimes you just love a kitty at first sight, but sometimes it sneaks up on you later. That would be Mimi and me.
At every opportunity, I reach out to pet her, pull playfully on the end of her tail, answer her comments and invite her to come along with me in what I’m doing. She hardly needs the invitation as she stops to wrap herself around my legs, jumps up on a counter and reaches out to touch me, give me head butts me wherever she can and rubs her face on me, making full, extended, direct eye contact whenever possible. Later she settles on my keyboard shelf nestling her little bottom against my right wrist, stubbornly refusing to adjust her position for my typing comfort, meaning that half of what I type must be deleted and retyped.
Prior to her coming to my house she and I had actually had a few conflicts as she constantly hunted in my back yard to take live kill to her endless kittens, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I carried her and her kittens in a box to the cage in my studio that day. I admit I gave nearly all my attention to them—and who wouldn’t, seeing four perfect little black kittens…especially after having recently lost one of her other perfect black kittens?
But though I interacted with the kittens more often than Mimi, I didn’t insist that she stay with her babies and let her wander the house at will. She quietly and carefully explored, having no conflict with my other four cats though she was barely more than a kitten and they all seniors, settling on the floor by the front door where it was cooler that August to rest her belly after nursing. Then she’d gracefully jump onto the end of my desk and tiptoe to the center where I was, carefully walking among Namir, Cookie, Peaches and Kelly, and finding a tiny spot for herself, rolling herself into a compact black ball, not to sleep, but to spend time with us as I worked.
What a nice kitty, I remember thinking, though she rarely interacted with me directly. For a formerly mostly outdoor cat who’d borne six litters of kittens to never be in any way aggressive—no growls, no swats, no dominance, no grandstanding, only just plain nice all the time, and affectionate and deeply caring to her adopted feline family, was not at all what I’d expected. Her former owner had told me she had been kind of distant, and this is what I saw of her, and thought perhaps she just liked other cats better than people. A friend was interested in adopting her when the kittens were weaned so I kept note of her personality to tell her future person, and not to be concerned if she wasn’t a lap cat.
As time has passed, I guess Mimi had the same realization as Cookie years ago, that she wasn’t going to be tossed back out, that she actually belonged here, and she began spending more time with me, and I continued to admire her petite figure and natural grace and encouraged her to join me. Then she began to seriously play and I realized that she’d begun having kittens at such a young age that she’d hardly had time for play in her short life, and watching her play with her kittens, and playing with her myself, was a great joy for both of us. She then began to assist me in daily tasks, following me, talking to me, and now and then sitting on my lap, though with three senior kitties those opportunities were few and far between. After raising six litters of kittens, Mimi is nothing if not patient.
When Peaches was still here, Mimi joined the senior girls to eat and hang out, though she was hardly a senior with the need of extra meals, but to let me know she was “special”, and I apparently agreed with her. She became one of my ladies in waiting along with Cookie and Kelly, and always sleeps next to me on the bed every night. She’s had time and space to develop her personality, learn to be a fun kitty, and trust a human, and though she’s still petite and quiet, that’s about all that remains of the kitty who came in the box with her babies.
I have found homes for dozens of kittens and cats over the years. After a certain period of time, over a year perhaps, foster kitties stop being foster kitties for me and end up being permanent kitties unless I am fostering them for someone who will be taking them back. I love and care for them before that, but end up falling in love with all my kitties at some point, fosters or not.
So Mimi and I decided this is a serious thing, and that we really “more than like each other”. I know that kitty look that says, “thank you,” and the one that says, “I love you.” Does it balance out the losses suffered from living with so many cats? Perhaps, but it also adds another unique gem on the strand of the feline loves in my life.
In 2012: Love at first sight is sweet, but sometimes realizing a perfect love has been there all along is much sweeter and long-lasting. This morning, Mimi sits on my keyboard shelf with her little fanny on my right wrist making it difficult to type well, but this is our thing. You know how it is when you’re in love.
In 2013: I’m fairly certain Cookie convinced Mimi it was okay to love the human, and then went on to invite to Mimi serve as an understudy, teaching her how to take care of me, a task which Mimi has done admirably well.
July is Mimi month in the Compositions in Black and Green Calendar 2013—even though that room is typically associated with the Fantastic four, Mimi spends her time there too and looks just as lovely. July 29 is her “homecoming day” and as well as July 26 the Four’s birthday, so that month is a natural to feature Mimi.
Click the link above or the image at left to read more about these calendars, and get the 2013 version while there are still some left!
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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