April 4, 2011

Someone Special

I just wanted to take a minute to give someone special in my world some "time" on my blog.  She doesn't force her way into my photos like Sparky, and tends to be quite the wallflower, but she deserves a lot of attention.

This is Rikki.  Rikki came to me my first summer living away from home in my new world of Ohio.  She was an itty-bitty thing that fit in the palm  of my hand. An alley cat that was fiesty as all get-out and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  With her black, white and orange "tortoise-shell" markings, she reminded me of my favorite seasonal holiday - Halloween.  I took her home to my then-boyfriend,  promising him  that if he still didn't love her after the weekend,  I would take her back to my office and find her a new home. 

When the weekend was over, I asked him, "Well?   Do you want to keep her or do you want me to take her back?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "That's like putting a baby in my arms saying I can have it and then two days later saying  I have to give it back!"  Rikki adopted us then and there. 

She was a fiesty one, though, and got in to her fair share of situations in her lifetime.  She was trapped in a couch with recliner, skinned her forepaw getting out (tore all the fur off to the skin) and to this day the "scar" is a strip of white fur that was never there before.    Once, I was eating some chips and she ran across the room, up the chair I was standing behind, up my body and snagged the chip (and sliced my lip) with her lethal little claws.  I nearly killed her that day, I was so freaked and it hurt so much.  Good thing she was a fast little bugger.  I was a lot more cautious eating around her until she realized that food was readily available and no longer needed to be a scavenger alley cat.  She would still climb on me, though, to lap up her fair share of ice cream off the other side of my ice cream cone.

When I moved into my own apartment, I remember thinking that she was such a commitment.  I wondered if I could care for something who needed me so thoroughly... and I remember telling her that we'd be together when I was in my 40's!  It seemed so far away when I was 26 years old... and here I just turned 40 last year.  At this new apartment there was more trauma for her to experience.  She was trapped in my closet one weekend while I was away... some pest control people had come in to my apartment to look for bats in my air conditioning unit, closed the closet door to keep any bats from flying anywhere and then failed to re-open it.  My cat sitter, knowing that Rikki was not sociable, kept calling for her and looking  for her but never opened the closet either (thinking I had closed it).  When I found her, she was terrified, shaking and skittish.  She had tried to dig her way out of the closet, tearing skin off of her face, tearing up the carpet and her paws.  It was just awful.  She was a sweetheart, though, and used my laundry basket as her litter box, only ruining a backpack and a shirt that was sitting in there.  I have pangs of guilt to this day because of this one thing. 

She used to race around at top speed, always ending with a huge leap into the living room  window of my third story apartment.  One day she was whipping around and jumped into the window  and  the screen popped out and she fell through!!  The Hubs (who was The Boyfriend at the time) FLEW  off of the futon and looked out to find her dangling by her little paws from the window ledge.  He pulled her in and we looked down at the screen that was bent and mangled  on the gravel below.  I don't think she would have survived.

This is truly a cat with nine lives!

She was also none too happy when I started adding animals to my zoo.   When my The Hubs came into my life, I was on the fence about getting a second cat, feeling like I was gone from home so much due to work and amateur theatre that maybe Rikki needed a friend.  Boy, oh boy was that a mistake!  He brought me home another stray cat and Rikki just wasn't the same after that.  Before, she would sleep with me, always laying between my legs and purring ever-so loudly.  But once Little Bit came to stay, Rikki wouldn't even come up on the bed.   To this day, she does not come up on the bed.  I have missed her at night ever since, even with the various other purr-balls that occasionally sleep with me.  It's not the same.

Rikki is tempermental, fiesty, loud and rambunctious.  As she has aged, the crankiness has stayed but not so much the running around.  She eats, she sleeps.  If you pet her too long, she bites.  Hard.  I don't care, I still pet her.  Often.  She will be 16-years old this summer.  She is spoiled rotten by me, whenever she will let me touch her.  She takes medicine daily to control hypothyroidism.  She was discovered to be the culprit of the "incontinence" by the doors which caused us to spontaneously rip up our carpeting a while back.  She still has many accidents.  She still has the loudest purr. She still loves ice cream.

She is my firstborn... my favorite Halloween kitty.

I just wanted to share with you my someone special.


  1. I love how you have told Rikki's story she sounds someone really special.
    I'm a cat person too.

  2. Sounds like Rikki really needed someone special like you to be her human. We also have a cat who bites the hand that pets her. Kira is definitely bipolar.

  3. Awww!!! She's a pretty one...but those eyes would have me scared! She looks like she would just eat you alive! I love her story. I love how she is loved even though she's cranky...everybody needs somebody to know that they have the loudest purr, even if there are scars to show for it.

  4. Gosh, she does sound special :-) How lovely to hear about her! xx


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