Khaleesi was a social butterfly who thought there was nothing better than an audience of her own. Visitors were never ours, they were hers. Other cats were clouted out of the picture as she sat hanging on every word, even if it wasn't about her. And lots of times it wasn't!
Like all aging actresses she could be forgiven for not sharing the limelight and cute kittens topped the list.
She would sit on the arm of my chair while I bottle fed Captain. The look on her face was revealing enough. I was doing it all wrong obviously or was it that I shouldn't bother at all? When I held him up to show her with the question 'do you like him?' he narrowly missed being swiped.
Older kittens really stressed her equilibrium. Out on the verandah they would be chased out of the tunnels they played in, swatted off the scratching post, have their toys stolen, be pursued with intent and a grim expression that would make us laugh. She would lie in the tunnel in wait to surprise her 'quarry' with a look of smug reptilian anticipation and when they failed to fall for this booby trap would charge out like the big bad wolf.
Being kittens they were fast and went in all directions at once! So frustrating to be swiping one off the post as another two were chasing a ball across the room, a third and fourth running up walls or hiding under a crate where she could not reach. Poor Khaleesi's blood pressure!
How many pregnancies had she had in her estimated ten years? Was it any wonder she was over kittens?
KHALEESI was named after a Queen. She certainly didn't look like one when we first saw her. Brought in by a colony feeder, she sat in the carrier at the surgery, eating, quite oblivious to her surroundings. She presented with greasy, dirty, sparse fur, ears tattered black leather from skin Cancer; her nose had a spot, her teeth were bad. Lice, undesexed, scrawny and starving. Myriam UJ, a rescue friend, christened her after the Queen in Game of Thrones, a role this girl would have sunk her teeth into had she had any left.
Apparently Khaleesi was living at an empty house with some other cats. They call them 'abandoned houses.' I'm not sure if you can abandon a house but there it is. Vacated and waiting to be demolished I suppose.
Vetwork was commenced, there being surgeries to amputate her ears, remove most of her teeth, treat the lice, fleas and worms. She was 'rested' at home with us and fed a nutritious diet and eventually given a bath. Not surprisingly she was also positive to Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV). A second surgery to desex her and remove the remaining teeth was performed after she propositioned the other cats one morning.
Khaleesi became Self Appointed Head Prefect. She controlled the order, clouting others away from the food even after she had eaten. If the cat with no ears said so then they had to learn to work around her.
We loved her though. She would sit on the arm of John's chair every morning while he did his reading before breakfast and she would sit on mine, a companionable affectionate girl. If I was on the computer she would be there too and we swear she smiled most of the time.
Khaleesi was what one would view as an 'unadoptable' cat, given her FIV+ status and her missing ears and teeth but we put her out there and not too long afterwards an inquiry came in. The person was genuine and responsible, wanting a cat that was likely to be overlooked. Khaleesi overlooked? Oh Please!!!
We were not, at first, enamored either. We had become so attached to our chair companion, our kitten chaser, our Head Prefect of Other Cats, that a few days of emotional adjustment to the idea were needed.
The last news we had about our girl was that her new mum had a card night and Khaleesi 'worked the room' delighted to have so many admirers, moving around the table to each one to saturate herself in admiration. What better home could a social butterfly go to?
Khaleesi loved dressups and being a model. Who would have thought?
ASTAIRE was a personable cat. He had great eye contact and that was when you felt it, the presence, the calm, the charisma, the hypnotic zing. I called him Astaire because he wore a kind of top coat and after all had managed to dance his way out of the pound. I often said had he been human he would have worked for a corporation.
Have you ever worked for a business where you were part of the wallpaper and just a cog in a wheel, albeit a necessary one? You were most of the time a happy cog, knew your place, knew how it worked. Then in comes someone new, he's got the gift of the gab, the smile, the front. In no time at all he's best friends with everyone from the cleaner to top management and appears to always be in the office joking with the boss.
My brother told me an account of one who rose so quickly that he went through the roof. An indiscretion here and there. Sold himself too well, especially to the boss's wife.
So back to Astaire, the cat.
He claimed to have been framed and we were inclined to agree when we heard the facts. Nevertheless his libido had caused him problems because if the hat fits nobody wants to hear that the hat might have fit several others too. A scapegoat was required and Astaire and his wife were trapped by the ranger and ended up in the pound on death row. Which is where we came in. We knew their owner and felt bad for her, not to mention the cats, so we followed the trail and had them released. Astaire didn't mind coming to Catmint Cottage. He wasn't allowed to go back home, the mud had truly stuck. We were happy enough to have him. He wasn't sick, his teeth were good, a handsome chap all round. His health check revealed his FIV status and he wore it like a badge: proof of his earlier battles and conquests.
The amazing thing was there was never a hiss or a raised paw from him with the others. If there were objections from them over some minor infringement, Astaire merely gazed back at them with his guileless eyes. He really should have been in politics!
I often caught the others looking at him. There were questions. Where was he from? Why was he here? How did he so quickly manage to squeeze himself on to my lap while their guard was down? He not only managed to be head of the queue, he arrived there uninvited and proceeded to lie back with a smile on his face.
On the arms of my chair and the backrest would reside some very unhappy looking cogs in the wheel of rescue.
This personable chap scored himself a great home with a private garden at a very nice northern suburb where he continued to amuse his new owners with antics I did not hear the details of. Should I?
On the day we took him there I came home, put his photos up to look at and cried.
Astaire had risen so fast he'd gone through the roof.
We invited Astaire's elderly owner to come and visit. This lady had raised Astaire.
She had found him in the shrubs of the compound, an orphan of a few weeks of age and they were very close.
It was nice to see them together again.