The Lyon's Roar

(If we're not Facebook friends, you may not be aware that I recently adopted a tuxedo kitten, named Cookie after the character in Empire. Which was inviting trouble and family drama, right? But also awesomeness. Happily it's been more of the latter. You can see more photos of her here.)


My little huntress


Today marks two months since I took a road trip to Prescott with my friend Nina to bring Cookie home. She is both a little terror (I call her Cookie Monster) and a sweet cuddle bunny who is super affectionate and loves to snuggle and nap together. Like most kittens, she only has two speeds: fully charged, and conked out. She's a jumper and fearless explorer, as well as an escape artist--for the first time ever, I really have to be careful about leaving the front door open because she won't stop at exploring the patio but is still small enough to fit through the slats in the fence leading to the street. She's a little shy on first meeting but warms to people quickly, especially if they play with her. Her favorite toys at the moment are her little hedgehog (with or without catnip), her Catit speed circuit (highly recommended, and to which I intend to keep adding additional tracks until it eventually takes over the spare room), and bottle caps.

She is also a great huntress, which means she loves to pounce and stage ambushes. It's great when the object of her ambush is a toy, less great when it's Fred. I've been trying to create alternate paths where possible and eliminate cornering options. The latter is pretty simple, but in my small apartment, the former is either tricky or downright impossible.

As a result, Fred is still unhappy with the situation. Some days are better than others. I try to lavish her with attention and even make sure she gets some play time--something I hadn't always been good about in the last few years (also because she seemed to have lost interest), but seeing Cookie play has, I think, re-ignited her desire to be playful as well.

Fred likes string.

There have been a few moments where I've had to step in because she started to get violent--Fred! My sweet, even-tempered, low-maintenance cat whose inner Illyria has finally manifested after ten years--but honestly it's hard to tell who baits whom the most between the two of them. They are still working out their power and hierarchy issues, and while Fred enjoys our private moments and purrs happily when she's the focus of my attention, as soon as Cookie enters her field of vision (which is usually pretty soon, since she follows both of us around incessantly), she either gets pissy and aggressive or pouty and withdrawn.

I remind myself that, even as a kitten and younger cat, Fred has always been slow to accept change. She's adapted well to new living quarters, but she takes a while to warm up to people (and with many

it never happens), is a natural introvert who has always needed a lot of alone time (difficult when there is literally no place Cookie can't access), and even new furniture can arouse her suspicion or be met with indifference at first. I remember when I first bought my easy chair and ottoman, back in grad school, envisioning myself curled up reading about homo narrans or chronotopes or complexity while she napped on the ottoman. Which she proceeded to ignore completely for at least six months, even after I tried to entice her by sprinkling it with catnip. Now, she practically lives there.

I'm hoping a similar dynamic will play out with her new housemate. Meanwhile, most of the time Cookie is a joy and I'm delighted to have her as part of our family. Even when she's the Cookie Monster.


Conked Out Cookie