Things I Love: Bella Gorgeous

Oy – last night, I thought I lost my poor little indoor kitty…and I was freaking the hell out. She got out, and didn’t come home until 4am – and I was a nutcase. I’m not sure what in the hell I’d do without her. So it seems like a good time to reflect on all the gratitude I have for this furry munchkin that I call “Bella Gorgeous.” (I also call her my ‘monchichi’ or ‘sleepy head fred’ depending on how I’m feeling at the moment.)

I may or may not have an unhealthy relationship with my cat – but damn, do I really love her. She’s my best buddy, and we’re very attached. We’ve been together for 7 years, and she’s not exactly friendly with anyone else. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for more than 3 and a half years, and you can count their interactions on your fingers. All of my cat sitters only know I have a cat because the food disappears and the box gets full…but otherwise she just kicks it under the bed when anyone else is around. I don’t mind, because it’s not like she hides from me…unless I’m being loud and clapping for sports. She’s always been sensitive to loud sounds.

We have some serious routines and traditions. She likes treats as soon as the alarm goes off. She’s not so much for the snooze button. Sometimes if I’m trying to sleep late on the weekend, she’ll get right in my face and start purring loudly with her cold wet nose on mine. She hangs out when I’m in the shower and likes to sit on the toilet when I get ready in the morning, or she lays under the heat lamps I have and gets her “sun”. (A friend of mine said it’s kinda creepy that she follows me everywhere, like she’s guarding me.)

She defines lap kitty – and really doesn’t care if you want her there or not. I call her the persistent, insistent cuddler. Sometimes she’s like a ninja. She’ll be head-butting my arm, trying to get me to put the laptop on the table so she can occupy the space, and I’ll resist and resist and then suddenly look down and realize she’s on my lap and have absolutely no idea how she got there. NINJA! She’s a great cuddler though, and I love when she plays “big baby” and just lays cradled in my arms like an infant, or lays along my side balancing on my hip. Normally when I go to stand up, she’ll just jump off my lap…but sometimes she does what I call “prisoner protest” and no matter how much my lap starts to slip away, she tries to reassert herself on my lap and get me to stay put.

She also likes treats as soon as I get home – and on days I come home early and give them to her, she also thinks that she gets them again between 5-7pm and will just sit at my feet and stare at me like I’m an idiot. She’s a total scrounger – and eating in my living room proves to be a challenge. I’ve set up all sorts of tricks and blocks to keep her away from my plates, sometimes resorting to just eating my turkey sandwich at the kitchen counter so I don’t have to do battle. No matter what I’m eating, she thinks she wants it. There’s been a few times when I’ve forgotten 1/2 a sandwich in my computer bag, only to find it in the morning spread across the living room. I figure at that point, she must have had a fun time and it’s my own fault for leaving things out. She may be quick on the draw, but at least she’s (mostly) good about staying off the counter and kitchen table, which is something. It seems like she’s always under my feet and when I travel, I sometimes forget that she’s not around and I find myself still extra cautious about where I put the water glass, or find myself looking for her when I go to get in the shower.

She’s never been a small cat, but when I adopted her, she wasn’t much smaller. Sometimes when she lays on my lap, my legs fall asleep fast. I’ve got her to recognize a few words over the years, and we’re currently working on “next to mama – NEXT TO.” I try and do this thing where I get her to lay next to me and cuddle to one side of me, so that way I can either move my legs, or work from home if I need to.

I recently started feeding some blue jays on my balcony, to her great amusement. Even when I’m out of peanuts, if the birds appear and I yell out “BIRDIES!” she’ll come running from where ever in the house to check them out. Unfortunately, my whole “birds are friends, not food” message hasn’t been fully realized by my little killer. I used to let her out on the balcony by herself during the day when I was home, but that’s twice resulted in causalities to the local bird population, so we don’t do that so much anymore. (Once I’m certain she plucked that thing straight of the air with a single claw…)

She’s a pretty good sport in general, but she is not amused when I try and amuse myself at her expense. She’s definitely not a fan of the belly love, and will not let me touch her paws, much less trim them – so we go through a lot of cardboard scratchers in my house. She’s also a big fan of her ‘salad’ and I try and always have cat grass on hand. (When you own a long haired black cat, you just get used to the hairballs, but it is good to try and deter them the best you can.)

I don’t know what else to say about this cat – except it’s been a pretty stressful week for both of us, and I’m really glad she decided to reappear last night. I would be truly lost without her.