Saturday, September 8, 2007

Her Story Begins

At the base of a desert hill on the West side of Tucson lives a nice lady who feeds the feral cats who show up around her barn. One day a little kitten showed up with the bunch – clearly no one of the other cats was her mother, and there weren’t any siblings either.

The food was put out on a table and the little thing just barely reached the corner of it with her claws and pulled herself up with all her might to eat.

The lady decided to trap the kitten and have her spayed and brought to the animal shelter for adoption.

The evening after she was caught it happened that my butler was over there for dinner and saw the little kitten sitting in the large trap, looking really pitiful.

He took her out and gave her some food – which she gulped down – and wrapped her in a piece of cloth and she started purring and purring. So he decided to take her home and raise her and look for a home for her.

That is how I met Anastasia. He brought her in and sat her on the bed and I just stared at her incredulously. But she was so small, and helpless, and needy, I couldn’t resist – I went over and started cleaning her – and we just instantly connected. This was in early December of 2004.

She was just a human handful of bones and skin, and a big belly full of worms, which she freely shared with all of us…

For the next weeks the staff never got to see her except when I was around. She would hide behind shelves, or under the bathtub, or under the bed until I came in and called for her and then she would come out and I would clean her, and snuggle with her, and play with her.

A bit later, when the staff actually saw her move from one place to another they joked that she had no legs – she would always run fast and crouched down almost on her belly… But when they caught her sleeping somewhere and petted her she would purr very loudly – after of course first hissing at them!

She would always watch my every move and learned everything from copying me. For weeks she would sit in the morning and watch the maid and me play with the string toy. Just sit and watch.

And then one morning she would come and join and ever since I couldn’t play anymore because she would cut in… but I didn’t care, I just let her.

On a Tuesday evening at 9 pm late January 2005 we were playing around when all of a sudden she would behave strangely: She’d roll around in front of me, and meow like I had never heard her meow before, and then lay and put up her behind and look at me over the shoulder… I felt like I needed to step over her and bite her on the neck but then what? It was the weirdest thing! I realized that the very next morning the maid made a call to the vet – and Anastasia was gone for a couple of hours and when she came back she had a shaved belly with some stitches on it and I guess she had her “cut –remove-and stitch” ritual, as she called it.

It must have hurt but she played and jumped and wrestled like nothing had happened. That’s how tough she was!

A while after that she when she was almost full grown she was allowed to join me in coming outside and I showed her around the neighborhood. She would follow me most of the time but when I went on my long hunts she’d stay close to the house. She would never go far, but she would also never allow anybody to get close to her, ever! It took almost two years before she let the maid or the butler sometimes touch her outside. And only when she felt like it, mostly she would run away if approached. But the distances would get shorter until you actually could not call it running away anymore but teasing!

She was a good hunter, very fast! She loved to eat spiders, and moth, and cycads. And play with butterflies. And while I was going for rats and little rabbits, she would go for the smaller kangaroo rats and mice. Eat them up top to bottom with no waste! One day the maid heard the crunching of bones and went to see what Anastasia was eating. And she was just munching on the behind of a kangaroo rat, swallowed it up and all that was left on the ground was the tail. And then she would pick that up too and slurp it down as if it was a piece of spaghetti!

She was a very funny cat! Always made everybody laugh with her haughty attitude and stubborn independence.

To be continued....

16 comments:

Mike said...

I started reading this and then saw that she was missing.

I hope she comes back. My mother's cat went missing for a few months and miraculously returned.

Mosaic Cats said...

Oh, this is wonderful wonderful wonderful, Karl!
It was such a sweet surprise to see you comment on our blog. We go check yours every day, but Mosaic Lady reminded us just this morning that after Walter died, it took her 7 weeks to go back into her mosaic room, and it took her 3 months to stop crying every day. So we do know. We do.
Love to you all,
Your friends

Pet's are 4 Life said...

ooooh she eated the whole things? Our outdoor sister catched stuff all the time, but she never eated it all...she always left half for momma. Momma got a collar with a bells on it for her, now no more deaded things in the driveway.mol
~Napoleon,Hunter,Belle~

Eric and Flynn said...

This is a lovely story about Ana's life. Yoo were a wonderful brofurr to her.

Munchkin, Missy and Monte said...

She was so very lucky to have you as a big brother Karl. We are all glad that you are keeping her memory alive with this blog. Monte misses her as we all do, she would not want us to grieve(like we can help it). Love you always, your BNL Monte

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

we love how you two bonded instantly! and she ate every bit of the critters? even the bones? whoa!

Tyler said...

Yes Karl, you were a wonderful big brother. I think it's amazing that she used to only come out when you called her. That means she trusted you most of all. Anastasia is such a beautiful soul. I love my magnet of her.

HRH Yao-Lin said...

aw this is lovely. Anastasia was so great! I love how she freely shared her worms with everyone. good for her! He he bless her. I still hope in the back of my mind that she will return. But like you say, she is around in spirit. xx

Parker said...

How wonderful, I enjoyed reading the story. I hope we hear more from Anastasia!
You are a great big brother!

Chairman Mao said...

Karl, you are such a wunnerful big bruther, and I loved readin' about Ana. What a fabyoolus girlcat, what a heart and what a spirit! And we Ballicai went and looked at her early pickshures, too -- wowie, they are just purreshus.

We love you furry much, and like you, we'll always love and remembur Ana.

Kittyhugs and purrs from yur friend MaoMao!

Daisy said...

I never read the story of how Anastasia joined your home before. Thanks for sharing! It is good to remember her.

michico 小芥 said...

I will continue reading about Ana, she is the one continue creating lots of activities to make us alife and happy~!

Caesar and Princess said...

We loved reading this, the beginning of the beautiful adventure into love!

<3 purrrrs from your friends

Chen & Ollie said...

It is so great to read more of Ana's story. We can't wait to see the next installment! Karl was a fabulous brother and role model to her obviously. We miss you, Ana!
Purrs,
Mr. Chen & Ollie

Christine and FAZ said...

what a tough start, I am so glad she found you guys, shame she decided not to stay a bit longer though, we will miss her. FAZ

Marco80 said...

Hi,
Congrats for your blog, very nice!
Why don't you create a pet profile on www.pet-files.com ? You can publish photos, videos and a lot of info (my profile: http://www.pet-files.com/marco80/mescal). And you can create a slideshow with your photo that you can easily embed into this blog! Hope you appreciate the idea.

Happy Holidays,
- Marco