Louise is my human. Got that? Mine. I chose her. I had a few options, although I suppose she did, too. I used to run with a lot of other cats. We were wild rebels. We didn’t need owners.
Before Louise and before my rebellion, I had another human, some bastard who cut my balls off but didn’t bother to microchip me. Any wonder I ran away. Without a microchip, when the vet checked me, they couldn’t send me back so it worked out in the end. That’s how I got to stay with Louise.
My name is Kiwi because I am an all black (although I’ve always had little tufts of white chest hair – sexy, right?) and I am the man of the house. I’m starting to go grey – I’m over ten years old now – but that just means I’m moving into my distinguished phase. I’m not ready to give up my position as man of the house, no matter how many young up-and-comers think they’re ready to take over the role.
My name used to be Princess. Original, right? I had another human before Louise, too. Her name was Emma. I don’t know what happened to her. She moved and she didn’t leave a forwarding address. Louise tried to find her, because that’s what good humans do, but I don’t think Emma wanted to be found.
I lived in Louise’s front yard for about three months but I didn’t let her know. There was a kennel nobody else was using and I was pregnant. Besides that, Louise had a reputation for being nice and for feeding neighbourhood cats who were hungry. Not all of them. Only the ones that would let her pat them. She was trying to socialise us all.
I gave birth in March of 2010 to two black and white kittens, a boy and a girl. We managed to hide for a while but eventually Louise saw us. She took in my little boy but the girl escaped and it took her another two months before she was caught, too. My son, Jock, stayed with Louise and my daughter, Lexie, lives with Louise’s sister.
My official name is Mia but Louise called me Mama from the start (Get it? Mama Mia?) because I wouldn’t or maybe couldn’t stop having babies. I continued visiting Louise and in July of 2010, she realised I was pregnant again. I started living with her and I haven’t left since. In August 2010, I gave birth again – this would be my last litter though. Five kittens. Louise found homes for them all and they left at twelve weeks.
Kiwi and I don’t get along so well. He thinks Louise is his human. I think she’s my human. But we’ve got one other thing in common: he loves my son, Jock.
Louise is my mum. Not my biological mum. My adopted mum. My sister, Lexie, and I were born in a kennel in her front yard and when I was seven weeks old, I went to live with Louise. I should have stayed with my biological mum for a few more weeks so I could be properly weaned. But I wasn’t. I suck Louise’s earlobe as a substitute and she doesn’t seem to mind. [Yes, I do! – Louise]
I was about five months old when my biological mum had another litter of kittens. I loved being a big brother and I used to carry the kittens away, picking them up by the scruff of the neck just like Mama used to do. Louise would bring them back.
Kiwi isn’t my dad but he taught me how to be a man cat. I’m nearly ready to be the man of the house but Kiwi says I’m not ready. I think what he really means is he’s not ready to let me take over. That’s okay. In the meantime, we’ll just focus on being a family.
The Signs and Sounds
Sitting by the Water Fountain
Jock: The water fountain doesn’t run all the time. There’s a magic switch on the wall that makes it go and makes it stop. If Louise sees me sitting at the water fountain when she comes into the kitchen, she knows I want her to turn it on. I don’t drink still water. It has to be bubbling out of the spout. And I don’t drink water like a cat. I drink water like a human. I put my whole mouth over the spout and drink it down. None of this lapping crap that Mama and Kiwi do. Because I’m half cat and half human.
Scratching the Glass Doors
Kiwi: I used to be a day-time outside and night-time inside cat. Now because we live bordered by two busy main roads and a freeway, I’m a permanent inside cat. Mostly I’m okay with that but sometimes I still get wanderlust, which I tell Louise about by scratching the glass doors. She opens them and even though there’s still a flywire barrier, it’s enough to be able to smell the fresh air and see the birds (oh, boy, the birds!). Well, that’s what I tell her anyway. I suppose it’s a woman’s job to rein in a man. And I’m the man of the house. Relationships are all about compromise, right?
Sitting by the Litter Tray
Mia: Three cats and one litter tray? It’s an equation I don’t really like. Especially if two boys have used it before me. So I sit in front of the litter tray to let Louise know I want it cleaned. She knows from experience that if I’m not happy to go in the litter tray, then I’m more than happy to go on the couch (the couch went out in the hard rubbish collection in January and we haven’t got a new one yet but I’ve heard it’s going to be leather – easier to clean). I might be a cat but I’m still a lady and sharing a toilet with boys is… let’s just call it challenging.
Sitting on our Human’s Chest While She’s Watching TV
Jock: Breakfast and dinner should be served to a strict schedule but Louise sometimes is a little slack. Sitting on her chest and blocking her view of the television usually gets the message across.
Meowing in the Car
Kiwi, Jock and Mia: If we’re in the car, we know exactly where we’re going. And we don’t want to go there. And when we get there, we won’t get out of the carrier. Although once we’re there, it’s not so bad. So when it’s time to go, we won’t get back in the carrier (because if there’s one thing worse than the vet, it’s the carrier). Our vets are nice and check-ups aren’t that bad, but we still don’t want to go. And so we meow.
Run for It, Marty!
Kiwi, Jock and Mia: We don’t like strangers. So whenever anyone knocks on the door, we all run upstairs and hide.
Mia: I hide under the bed. Some other cats (who shall remain nameless) take it a step further and get in under the doona. They’re like those moron toddlers who think hiding their faces behind their hands means they’re invisible. They make two big lumps under the covers and Louise always knows exactly where they are. The strangers would, too. It’s the women in our family who are the smart ones.