A kitten called Sophia or… that cucking fat…

Number 17 out of 28; this piece is part a Blog Challenge to write and publish a post, every day of the 28 days of February 2015, from Sandra Peachey – the author of ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’.

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It is day 17 of my Blog Challenge and time to introduce you to Cat Number Three – the youngest of the pride – Sophia.

Where to start with Sophia? How can I define her when she is so many things? Well… during her time in The Cave, I have called her many things too… and not always polite ones…

I have been known to yell ‘you little shit’ at her, when she was in every sense, being one… And whilst all the members of The Pride (including me of course) have their ‘moments’; for a long time, Sophia seemed to have the most and worse, moments of us all…

I remember relaying her early evil exploits to a friend who had never met her in the furry flesh, and she responded ‘oh go on, she’s just being a kitten’. And when I further said that I was seriously thinking of returning her (to the cat charity from whence she came), I was met with incredulity – ‘you wouldn’t, surely..?’  Well, of course I could, and clearly I never did, yet I came very close, on a number of occasions…

So why would such a diminutive creature be causing such a big kerfuffle? Well, if she wasn’t destroying the carpets, or the furniture, or throwing soil out of plant pots, then she was raking my skin with her hooky claws, or exasperating the life out of the two elder cats. When she wasn’t asleep, she would be constantly crashing through the cat flap, backwards and forwards, for hours at a time – bashing out one minute, crashing in the next. And whereas most kittens I know, know how to use a litter tray, she preferred instead to piss and pooh in the corner of the living room / or on my bed, and then I would spend hours scouring out stains and trying to chase away and erase the rancid stench which would hang around for weeks infecting my sensitive nose.

If she wasn’t pleading piteously for food, she was eating us out of house and home.  She has a mega metabolism which means that she can happily consume many times her own body weight, but since she is so slim and slight, her body weight is actually negligible…

All of the cats hunt to some degree. But with Sophia it is a constant sport and she likes to bring her catches home, into The Cave, so I have the constant chore of clearing up dead bodies, mopping smears of blood off the floor and attempting to chase and catch escaped victims, without getting clawed or bitten. (And in this I have failed, having been bitten by rodents several times – thank goodness that my tetanus jabs are up to date…). One of her favourite kills are shrews, and she likes to secret them round the living room. I can only assume that she is saving them for later. Saving them for what, I cannot imagine, but for such a tiny creature, a dead shrew gives off a highly recognisable and almighty stink…

Oh yes… That transposition of a ‘cucking fat’!

Still, despite all the crap and cadavers, this mischievous little Miss is still here, because at some point I decided that this tiny little scrap of a cat could either be my nemesis, or else she could be my teacher… And the name Sophia as it turns out, means ‘wisdom’…

Sophia’s lessons for me have been manifold. And one of the biggest things she has taught me, is patience. It is, I have to say, a virtue I have, for much of my life, been some what lacking in… Yet with patience Sophia and I have achieved a lot… I created and reinforced rules and boundaries for her, which she ignored at first, and yet, as I persisted over time, she started to take notice and slowly, we grew in to each other.

It was a simple lesson in relationships – I did my thing by setting the rules and, annoyingly she did her thing by doing anything and everything else. My ‘thing’ was to train, to tell off and to teach the ways of The Cave. Her thing was to fling her thing every where, skit about the house at a thousand miles an hour, ignore my orders and cause a feline furore.

Still, I am the hu-mamma – the responsible adult in this relationship, and so, after accepting her for who and what she was – I persisted with supplying her boundaries; I learnt her little ways and as a result, was able to ‘meet her in the middle’. And some how, over time, we just grew together. I grew wiser and calmer, and she grew up and calmed down.

And when you really know Sophia, there is an awful lot to love about her. It isn’t just that gorgeous grey, tawny, peachy and patched fur either. She is a very engaging little creature, and of all The Pride, she loves to ‘talk’ the most. She squeals, mews and chirrups constantly.  She also loves to chat, so we conduct regular conversations, where I pose existential questions and she responds – always agreeing, very loudly and passionately, with what ever I have to say (I do so love slavish agreement and devotion…).

She is easy and quick to purr, and her signature sound is composed of a symphony of sonic layers, imbued with myriad levels of meaning, and resonating with trills and arias.

Sophia also has the attractive trait of being a living, breathing squeak toy… Just squeeze her slightly, in the middle of her soft body, and she always, satisfyingly, squeals her pleasure at your rogue attention.

So – my little ‘Sopherella’ – the kitten rescued from a smelly old sofa in some one’s garden, was worth all the effort that I both made of her and then for her. And whilst I love an easy life; since life with Sophia felt so hard, for so long; some how, the sweet relationship that we have now as a result, is incredibly special. That which was so hard won, is just so absolutely wonderful.

And, Sophia meaning ‘wisdom’, is well and truly all that – for me…

PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, cats and all?  I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a purrfect present, for you or the cat lover in your life… You can buy it from book websites any where in the world, including Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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