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I haven’t blogged in a while because of how hard I’ve been working on other projects.  I have an art show opening in a couple days, I went to two comic conventions, I’ve finally got a draft of my novel that I kinda like, and I’ve been working odd hours due to short staffing and summer reading program.  Usually I post about books or food, but I haven’t had a lot of time to cook or write book reviews lately.  I have nearly completed my favorite book list of 2015, but it’s a long list, so it’s taking a while.  I thought I’d step outside my regular pattern to tell a personal story.  If you don’t like cats, feel free to stop reading now and come back for the favorites of 2015 post.

Three years ago in July I came home and nearly ran over a tiny kitten.  It was about 11pm, and there was a group of feral cats hanging out in my apartment parking lot.  When my headlights hit them, they scattered.  All but one kitten.  It sat there staring at my headlights until the last possible second before it bolted.  After I parked, I went looking for the kitten and found it hiding under another car.  I coaxed it forward just a little, but then it sniffed the air and ran off.  The kitten and I did this for about a week.  I would come home, nearly run it over, then try to catch it.  I didn’t really have a plan, I just didn’t want to run over a tiny kitten.

After that week, I started to worry that someone else might run it over.  After all, lots of people speed through the parking lot, and this kitten clearly had a poor grasp of self preservation.  So I asked to borrow a humane trap from a neighbor.  She brought it over while I was having a girls night party, and I recruited the girls to come with me while I set the trap.  We only had to wait about 15 minutes.


The kitten sprung the trap and began fighting like a Tazmanian devil to get out.  It was hard to carry the trap it was fighting so hard.  Eventually the kitten calmed down or wore itself out and curled up in the back of the trap.  I slid a tiny litter box into the trap, took some pictures of the kitten, and posted it on Facebook to see if anyone would like an emaciated tabby kitten.  I’m allergic to cats and had no intention of keeping this feral kitten.  The next day, I had no takers, but the kitten seemed calmer, so I tried to pet it through the trap.  It let me.  So I opened the trap and tried reaching inside to pet it.  It let me.  It was so thin I could grab it with one hand and pull it out of the trap into my lap.  It snuggled and purred, which stunned me.  It wasn’t so feral after all, but it was too thin to belong to anyone.kitten2

I kept posting pictures to Facebook, showing videos of the kitten to co-workers, and even asked my apartment manager if anyone was missing a kitten.  During this time, I was keeping the kitten in the bathroom, but one day it got out and hid under the couch before I had to go to work.  When I came home, the kitten had used the litterbox, made no messes, and destroyed nothing.  This was encouraging.  So I sat down on the couch with the kitten to watch Youtube videos of well behaved cats getting baths and explained that this was necessary because of my allergy.  Then I gave it a bath.  It wasn’t as well behaved as the cats in the video, but it didn’t try to bite or claw.  I thought, if I kittencan bathe this cat, I might be able to live with it.  Famous last words.

After a month, the kitten was crying at the door for me every time I came home. It watched TV with me and sat in my lap purring.  I gave up trying to give it away and made a vet appointment.  Then a friend called and asked if I was still giving away a kitten.  I realized that no, I wasn’t.  This was my cat.  At the vet appointment, I learned that my kitten was about three months old, and a she.  A she who had nearly been run over multiple times, and so either had no understanding of the danger, or was flirting with suicide.  So at the suggestion of a friend, I named her Opheliartkittena.

I never meant to get a cat.  I’ve never had one before, and I’m allergic.  But here we are three years later, and Ophelia has been the happiest of accidents.  20150712_230611CAM01043