(Olivia Wigglebothum asked for her origin story for her second birthday today.)
Bella Luna was my first “all mine” pet. We had 13 wonderful years together. When she died after a battle against two different types of cancer, my mind kept repeating that I could save another life. I’d already established that I could make a four cat household work, so although I would miss Bella desperately, I had an opportunity to make a difference for another cat.
A week after her passing, I went to a local shelter just to test myself. Could I walk through a room full of cats with adoption in mind and not burst into tears? (This was what happened after losing Cosmo and in the process of adopting Miles) It was 30 minutes until closing which seemed like a reasonable amount of time to pet cats and escape if I got teary.
I told myself that my next adoptee would be older or three-legged or one- eyed (I would re-name the cat Pirate no matter what), but then Olivia did her little stretch and chirp from the shelf of a cat tree and all that went out the window.
Olivia was a round black ball of fur on the top of a cat tree layered with shelves of other cats. When I walked over, I could hear purring. She unrolled herself, revealing tuxedo markings and a moustache, stretched her front legs out and chirped at me. Her huge purr motor was still revving. When I picked her up, it was like the boneless cat from Charlie Brown. She was just soft, and warm, and agreeably snuggled up against my chest until the shelter closed.
I walked out with an adoption application that evening and returned the next day for Olivia who was camped out on the same cat tree. Thankfully, I was able to take her home that day and school closings due to polar vortex temperatures allowed me to stay home bonding with her for the next two days.
Olivia Wigglebothum debuted in “House Cats of Central Ohio…Rowr!” She let me know her last name early on by continuously demonstrating it. Any time I opened the door to her room, she would get excited, wiggle her bottom in the air like a puppy, and ultimately tip over nose first. Adorable.
Plus I could fold her up in one hand. She was roughly 7-8 pounds at the shelter. Growing longer and taller, she lost the “baby fat” but never gained much additional weight.
She has instigated many changes at our house. Most good, some that need work yet. Olivia is silly, curious, and convinced that everyone loves her. She talks and chirps about EVERYTHING and always has a purr for me. I wish that she would more consistently cuddle with me at nap and bed time, but at least she comes to her squishy little bed in my room every night. I have had to relocate and conceal any item that I don’t want carried through the house and potentially hidden somewhere like the back of my closet. These items may include but are not limited to: dirty spatulas, my 7 day pill case, bras- clean or dirty, steak knives (seriously), mail from the counter, and sashes to robes.
Ms. Wigglebothum races through the house at top speeds, yodels in the hallway after she eats the Feast that is Fancy, wrestles cats twice her size and is obsessed with fetching the mousies. We play every day. I played fetch the mousie tonight while trying to eat dinner with one hand, and throwing the mousie that she kept returning with the other hand. Later I tried to type this post with one hand while throwing mousie with the other, thus saving my butt from an extended claw stretch. Any time that I am stationary, it’s time to play mousie. It kind of breaks my heart when I’m cooking, and look up to see Olivia looking at me over the counter from the couch with mousie beside her. She’s trying to be good and patient, waiting for me to be available.
A happy second birthday to my tuxedo wearing, wiggly, constantly purring, meow-stachioed littlest girl.