My sweet little Harlequin inspired this post, early this morning. I was having yet another bout of insomnia (waking up early in the morning to use the bathroom, but unable to turn off my brain in order to sleep) and she decided to comfort me. Harlequin draped herself over my thigh and purred.
Harlequin has been with me since 2006, a few months after my now ex-roommate moved in with me. Her arrival is a bit of a tale.
When my roommate was working at Pizza Hut, I’d managed to befriend a ginger feral kitten. The poor little thing was painfully thin and covered in fleas. I did everything I could to nurse the little one back to health, but he died that night. I was heartbroken. My roommate’s boss had several kittens they were trying to re-home. So the roommate promised me the next day we’d go over to his boss’s house and I could pick out a kitten. Well, I waited all freaking day for him to wake up; at noon, his boss came by with all three kittens–two tortoiseshells and a male tuxedo kitty. He told me I could pick out one of them, and the other two would be taken to the pound. So I adopted all three.
After our second move to an apartment complex in Farmers Branch, TX (a part of Dallas, TX), we were forced to re-home Groucho (the tuxedo tom) and Priss (Harlequin’s sister). We were allowed only two pets, max. I kept Harlequin, because of the trio, she was the most prim and proper. The roommate had his own cat, a large black cat called Tater Tot that barely tolerated anyone.
In 2013, Lucky appeared on my front doorstep. I was living alone with cats at the time, the ex-roommate having abandoned Tater with me.
On November 11, 2013, a friend of mine brought me back to the complex. When I approached my apartment, I noticed a box sitting there at the door. I crept up cautiously, thinking it could be a bomb or something (I was too broke at the time to afford any packages). Peering in, I realized that it was a tiny black kitten curled up on the towel in the box. She must have been only three weeks old. The first thing that popped into my head to call her was “Little Bit”.
But when I thought about it, I settled for “Lucky” as her name. She was fortunate that I wasn’t hospitalized for my mental problems, because the next day was supposed to be bitter cold. And I was lucky to have a polydactyl cat at last, something that I’ve wanted for years. Though you can’t tell, Lucky has thumbs. She has thirteen toes on her front feet and ten on the back feet.
Some people talk about the stereotypes about cats: they’re aloof, independent, couldn’t give a rat’s rear about you, etc.
My girls are almost constant companions. A typical day has both of them on the bed with me. Harlequin usually settles for the foot of the bed (to my left) and Lucky tries hogging half of the bed (to my right). Lucky licks my arm off every day (I must be tasty) and Harlequin gives me a daily purr.
Harlequin is always a fluffy little angel. But Lucky… Well Lucky’s my “imp,” my “witch’s familiar”. She can be sugar-sweet one minute, and be a complete grouch the next.
Lately, Lucky’s been wandering the house, “calling” for me. A month or so ago, my friend Marci told me how Lucky was doing that and waiting by the kitchen door when I was out shopping. Lucky typically waits for me in the kitchen when I return.
When I’m lying on the bed, Lucky uses my stomach for a trampoline. Or she jumps on my side. Sometimes she uses me as a bed, swatting me in the face with her tail. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lucky and Harlequin swap places “standing guard” at the door to my room.
It amazes me just how much my girls love me. They especially like to cuddle when I’m feeling “out of sorts”. And I usually wake up with one or both sleeping with me, even after they’ve been fed.