Twelve years ago today I dragged my Elder Brother J with me to Midland County Animal Control. They had featured a quartet of kittens in the newspaper the day before, and I wanted to go take a look at them. A look, that's what I had said. For some reason, Elder Brother J didn't believe that's all I had planned. This may have had something to do with the kitty carrier in the back seat. I can't be sure.
We got there, I looked. Four kittens had been abandoned, I was told that they were eight weeks old, but they were really closer to six. There was the all grey one, two grey (or possibly black my memory is fuzzy) and white ones, and a little tortishell kitten. The Torti was quite shy, and avoided any attempts I made to make friends. The two grey/black and whites were very vocal, and both were more interested in biting my fingers than in letting me pet them. The little grey one was quieter, and licked my fingers. There was a part of me that thought that I should take the shy Torti home with me, but I wasn't quite sure that I was in the proper place in my life to really work at bringing a shy cat around. The little grey kitten came home with me. On the ride back to my parents's house (to drop off the brother) before heading to the apartment I shared with my sister, Sasha got her name.
Here she is on the day I brought her home:
See? Resistance was futile! I had no choice. The very next day she went to the vet and we discovered that she weighed all of 1 lb exactly. She was also covered with fleas. We took care of that, dosing both her and my sister's cat- and we managed to ward off a major infestation. Oh, and sister's cat- NOT happy about the little grey intruder. When I brought her home Liska hissed at her, later that evening Sasha was in my room, and I was in the living room talking to my sister and Liska hissed at ME. It took a bit of time for the older cat to get used to having a kitten around. Especially when the kitten got older and somehow managed to overturn the papasan chair on top of Liska. I'm still not sure how a couple pounds of kitten managed that, but on more than one occasion we would come home to a trapped Liska. Liska did try to blame the 'eating of the flowers' on Sasha, which worked once, the second time was a bit harder for her to carry off, what with a flower dangling from her mouth...
Sasha tricked me too. See, she stopped being relatively quiet. That first night home she discovered her voice, and really hasn't shut up for long since. She's a cat with a lot to say, and will carry on conversations with me (and the hubby). For that matter, until we lived with him I had no idea that Sasha had such strong political views... She does, and will carry on at length about them. They say that cats have the ability to make 100 different vocalizations. I'm pretty sure Sasha knows most of them. Oh, and those first few nights with her were interesting- apparently my eyes did this moving thing (you know, that REM stage of sleep), Sasha thought it her duty to pounce on anything that moved. Yeah. That was fun.
It seems impossible that twelve years have passed since that first day. I look back and I'm just amazed at everything she and I have been through together. We've had multiple human roommates, and animal ones. Some she got along with really well, and others she really, really didn't care for. Through it all she's been my little Grey Girl, the Grey Ghost, Queen of the Shoe People. My Sasha.
At twelve she's a grumpy ole lady cat. Healthy as can be, aside from her fur having the tendency to mat if you look at her funny. She's feisty, not hesitating to go after Kyle when he gets out of line. She's incredibly loving, on her terms, and will insist at length that it's time for her to get the attention due to her. If you try to stop petting her before she's ready, she will grab your arm and bring it back to her, generally while yelling at you. At night she's an excellent ankle warmer, as she drapes herself over them to sleep.
She's my little girl, my college graduation gift to myself, and I love her dearly. That little baby kitten grew up to be a gorgeous lady cat.