My daughter, Annelise, and I are having serious kitty custody issues. Not surprisingly, Noelle (the kitty in question) is having issues of her own. In the early morning, before Annelise is up, Noelle behaves as if she is my kitty, rolling on the floor, rubbing against my legs, and initiating petting fests. Later, when Annelise is up and about, she stays close to her, and behaves as if she is terrified of me – until Annelise goes to work later in the day. Then she switches back to me again. We have come to believe that Noelle finds herself in an impossible dilemma. She is a one-person cat with two people!
Noelle was a feral cat who was rescued by a local animal shelter when she was about four weeks old. For the next six months, before we adopted her, she lived in a small back-room behind a thrift shop with other kitties, and lots of people coming and going. Like many cats, she was terrified when we first took her home last Christmas. She spent the next month holed up in Annelise’s room, along with her cat food and litter. I imagine that, for Noelle, Annelise’s bedroom simulated the back-room of the thrift shop where she had spent most of her short life. Even so, this wasn’t exactly a normal situation. Annelise was on winter break from college in Italy, and spent a lot of time sleeping with Noelle curled up beside her. Noelle must have thought that she had won the kitty lottery, with a cozy new room and a new mom who lived in bed!
Annelise Returns to Italy
This was a sad chapter for Noelle. For weeks after Annelise left, she sat in her room looking out the window and waiting for her to come home. The two of them Skyped, with questionable success in terms of intimate “mommy and me” time. Eventually, the inevitable happened. Noelle ventured out of Annelise’s room to explore the rest of the house. She began to take pleasure in racing up and down the stairs, through my office, and up on to the window sills, knocking my electric candles to the floor, and generally creating mayhem. As time passed, I became her “person” – and she was definitely a one-person cat.
Things get Complicated
Now Annelise is home for the summer, and things are back to where they were when we first got Noelle – almost. She is Annelise’s cat, until she leaves the house. This can be a tricky situation for a one-person kitty! Recently, Annelise went out on an errand at the time she usually goes to work. Noelle was happily chasing a piece of paper in my office, when Annelise came home. Hearing her voice as she came in, Noelle froze. She’d been caught white-pawed, cavorting with me! Instantly, Noelle leapt up to my desk and darted behind my computer screen, peeking out wide-eyed, hoping Annelise wouldn’t spot her when she came into the room. The little minx was two-timing Annelise. Or was she two-timing me? Will we ever know? I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen when Annelise goes back to school next fall.