Love Letter to a Kitten

Sophia grown up

Sophia came into my life 18 months ago – as a shock to the system…  I genuinely thought for a long time that we were really incompatible. But then I accepted her and of course in doing so, more of myself. We have now grown up together, and she has taught me so much in that short time.  Here is a post I wrote several months after she arrived in my life… And I’m delighted to say, that now I love this little, maddening madam – to bits!

Hey little Pipsqueak

Well here you are… an idea made flesh and fur… Quite simply you are a squeaker, a looker – kitten and button cute; maddening, emboldened and a feline force of nature.  You are a complete and composite cat joining the Peachey Pride, so that our litter grew from two, to three.

I had wondered dreamily, about bringing in a third cat for years… I looked, I missed, I forgot – as life is…  Already I have two cat companions, both middle-aged male meowlers, and I wanted to bring female kitten energy in to my life and to the mix; to greedily create the next generation of company and purring and responsibility.  Yes, that was the idea…

So what Universal Law of Laughter decreed that when I said, no NOW is not the time for the next leonine instalment, did someone literally turn up on my doorstep with a kitten in cage???

Was it simply Sophia’s time and nothing to do with me?  You see, many cat people I know, (yes, even the pragmatic ones), tell me that the cat always, mystically, chooses you

And she came with her name – discovered as she was, with her mum and siblings in an old sofa in someone’s garden.  And Sophia, definitely suits her…

My visitors are fascinated by her multicoloured coat – she is grey, with patches of peach and dark stripes down her spine.  She has a Tortoiseshell mum, along with one Black and one Ginger brother – and somehow, all these genetic colour ways conspired into one pussy package.  And who ever saw a peach coloured cat??? Surely she was pre-destined for little old Peachey me!

Well here she was, in my life.  The cage was opened and the cat was out of the bag and into my life – immediately at home, skittering around, only 8 weeks old; new to this living dimension, yet facing it with such catlike confidence and an almost terrifying temerity.

I was simultaneously enraptured and in shock!  Within minutes there was mayhem – a squeaking, skittering creature on the loose in the house.  The adult cats were distinctly and hostilely not impressed.  A growl would mean George was in the vicinity, and a hiss would herald that Taz was within range of the grey furry force that was the tiny ‘Sophie Kitten’.

Sofia was no respecter of boundaries, too young to understand commands and to be fully house trained.  She literally tore through the house: ruining the curtains, crapping in crap places and shredding my skin.  She had a particularly horrid habit of running over my bare feet, with her claws embedding themselves deep into my pink flesh – my poor appendages looked like they had been run over by motorised a cheese grater…  And when ever I wore thick protective socks she would leave them well alone – oh she knew – the little madam!  And next I would find soil flung out of plant pots and onto my carefully manicured cream coloured carpets.

The most intense periods of naughtiness are first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  There is a distinctly wicked glint in those greeny grey eyes, and she switches into a terrifying, troubling trance; ignoring every one and everything in her wide awake wake; and skeetering and careering and trashing everything she meets along her tail trail.

The beautiful balance of the household was dangerously tipped.  The boy cats unhappy, me frustrated and stressed, then in the middle of it all – Sophia, oblivious to the maelstrom her kittenish presence was creating.

When she arrived in our lives, I was at the thick edge of a long period of illness and rued the disturbance her furry presence caused.  I mourned the quiet routines me and my boy cats had fallen into over the years, and the loss of their company, as they voted with their paws and left me alone with my grey bundle of boo.

I had to go to the trouble, damn it, of kitten proofing the house, of making changes to long established routines, as well as buying toys and special baby cat food.  It was all building up to a steam and bang of stress and pressure, and I thought I simply could not cope.  So I decided she had to be returned to her nest, for this Peachey household was not to be her for ever home – the sacrifices were simply, too great…

And the days turned and I ran around busily, stepping over the kitten, concerned with my daily doings and goings, and preparing for my impending, long dreamt of holiday…

So I went sailing away from our lion cave for a week, and while I was gone, the kitten was well looked after by my calm and mindful house mate.  Time moved on and I started to feel healthier in body and mind.  And somehow I had grown used to the idea of a little Sophia in my life and found that after all, I was determined to make this expansion to our world, work.

Having had the companionship of cats for most of my life, I thought I knew them and could wrangle and coax them to my co-operative will, but Sophia was a different pussy proposition.  So I read (up on cat lore) and reasoned, and then relaxed.

The ‘Little Squitler’ came into my life two days before my 50th birthday.  Friends said ‘what a perfect present’ and of course, she really is a gift.  So let’s drop the doubts, and ponder what this present of a puss gives to me…

I have a little creature to mother and I love that.  She is bonded to me and squeals her delight when she sees me.  She has such a steady and ready purr – it is quite delicious and decidedly loud, and it changes in sonic intensity as she exhales and intones her copious pleasure.  She loves to cuddle up and as her reward I scritch her skinny rib cage and scratch her chin, and no creature on this planet could possibly be more deliciously and delectably, delighted…

She chats away constantly – chirruping and berrowing where ever she goes.  She is still mastering the art of meowing, so the sounds that leave her tiny body emanate as high pitched squeaks of greeting, or complaint, or hunger, or loss, or love.  Shut her out on the wrong side of a door and she does the most piteous cries of ‘please-please-please let me in’, that I have ever heard in the animal world.

Her uncle cats are still not impressed.  My big black moggy Taz has practically moved into the garden.  He pops indoors quickly to eat or for fuss, and then the little interloper runs excitedly up to him and he is gone, being either in fight or flight mode.  George I always knew would be braver – despite his soft pedigree good looks, he is an alpha male and made of sterner stuff.  He is also bonded tightly to me and wants to be around me constantly.  And at first it was for minutes if she was there, and then more minutes, and now sometimes hours…

Sofia absolutely adores George and on seeing him, rushes up squealing her delight.  In return she receives a gentle warning swipe and a long, low, deep growl…  George will only tolerate her if she is still and silent, so if she creeps up to him while he is sleeping and snuggles in, that, strangely, is allowed.  Though the second she wants to play or squeaks or reaches out, it’s game over and he is gone, escaping any where she is not.

Sophia knows her name now, is occasionally responding to commands and loves her furry little life.  So a few days ago, when she was sitting on my lap, looking up at me purring, blinking and adoring, I wondered what lessons we will learn together as we pad and walk our journeys through life.  Her name ‘Sophia’ actually means ‘wisdom’, so time, tide and fur will surely tell.

We’ll work it out, since we girls are good at that, and the boys will work it all out, in their own feline way and with my intermittent human interference, too.

This is it then, the intention is now set: let’s all expand the Peachey Pride into a happy, harmonious and, of course – ‘purrfect’ one ;-).

With tickles and treats

S xxx

PS: Although technically an adult now, Sophia will always be to me – a gorgeous, grey kitten…

PPS: See my ‘Love Letter to cat kind’, along with more ‘Love Letters to Life’ to the people, phenomena and happenings that make up my Peachey in my book ‘Peachey Letters’. You can get hold of your copy here…  or else from Amazon (in both Kindle and Paperback formats) and from all good book shops…

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