You may have some idea from following my blog that my husband and I are crazy cat people. Indeed, we are owned by seven feline companions, at least five of which are related. To learn their specific and individual stories, check out my kitty posts from last summer here and here.
But today is a monumental day in our household, because our oldest kitty, Luna, is celebrating her 10th birthday!
When I started my fourth year of college (out of six) ten years ago, I was living off campus for the first time. I lived in the second floor apartment of an old house with creaky, uneven floors with three other girls, two of whom I barely knew at the start of the year. We all got along very well, though. One of my new roommates had a collie named Mollie who was quite old and arthritic. I’ve never been a dog person, but it was great to have a furry companion around. The first night in the apartment, Mollie decided my bedroom floor would be a great spot to sleep during the night, so I like to think she had placed her seal of approval upon me.
But I was raised as a cat person. I missed my childhood cat, Sara, tremendously while I was 400+ miles away at college, only able to visit home three times a year (excluding summer vacation). So since I was living off campus and our landlord allowed pets with a reasonable monthly deposit, I asked my roommates if it would be ok if I got a kitten. Despite generally being dog people, they had no problem with it.
So after classes ended for the week on Friday, September 14, 2007, David and I (who had just gotten engaged two weeks prior), drove about 40 minutes to a nearby large town (our college was in the middle of nowhere…) Unfortunately, because we were college students, local humane societies would not allow us to adopt pets. “Adopt, don’t shop” wasn’t going to work for us. So we had to go to a pet store.
I seem to recall there being about six kittens in the kitten area. I wanted a female, since I had grown up with female cats, which narrowed it down to two, a tortie or a black cat. I hadn’t thought about getting a black cat, but when the tortie looked at me sideways, I asked to hold the black one. She immediately crawled up the front of my shirt and nestled on my shoulder. The decision was made for me. After making sure we had all her vaccination and de-worming paperwork, out we walked with a 9 1/2 week old black kitten we decided to name Luna.
It didn’t take Luna very long to adapt to her new home. For the first few weeks, I’d keep her in my bedroom (which was maybe 8’x10′) at all times, which she didn’t seem to mind. When I would get back from class, she’d wake up from where she would be napping on my pillow and we would play for awhile. Before long, we introduced her to Mollie the collie.
Mollie seemed quite aloof regarding the fact that there was now a baby cat running around, perhaps because Mollie was also a bit blind. But being as mild-mannered as she was, the old dog and young kitten got along swimmingly. Even in January, when Luna was spayed and decided immediately upon her arrival home from the vet to take over Mollie’s dog bed permanently, Mollie just walked over, looked at her, and turned around and walked to the other side of the room, where she lay down on the floor. I never saw Mollie sleep on her dog bed again.
Bringing Luna home for breaks from school was a challenge. She hated the nearly seven-hour drive and would spend the first half of the trip meowing. And when we would finally get home, poor Sara, who was 13 years old by this time, was none too happy to share her house with this little usurper. The growling and hissing were quite ferocious on Sara’s part.
Luna had a merry first Christmas, where she got a collar with her name on a charm. She then proceeded to get the collar off while we were away for the day visiting my grandmother and hid it. My dad found it three months later in the basement.
Then, when we came home for the summer, I had to buy Luna her own dog bed, as a puny cat bed was unacceptable.
Before I knew it, my baby was a year old!
That fall, after returning to school, we adopted a second cat, Aurora, who we took in off the street in our college town. At first, Luna wasn’t too pleased, but then once she realized that this new kitten would play with her (whereas old Sara back at my childhood home wouldn’t), they got along very well. They are still good kitty friends today.
Over the years, Luna has become less tolerant of other cats, earning the nickname “Miss Crankypants” from my dad. She has essentially turned into Sara (who had to be put down in 2010 due to cancer), inheriting her growling and hissing habits to perfection. She wasn’t happy when, in 2010, we took in a mother cat and her four four-week old kittens…who are all still living with us today. For the most part, they try to ignore each other, but at least once a day, there will be some general kitty disagreement and discord resulting in some growling and hissing and perhaps some chasing. (Sara would be so proud of her former enemy/protege.) They’re never violent with each other; they just like their own space, which we thankfully have plenty of for the seven felines in our house.
Luna is a very unique cat. She loves:
- Cat grass (but also tries to eat garland off the Christmas tree and Easter grass from Easter baskets)
- Chewing on plastic bags
- Sleeping in sunbeams
- Sleeping on fleece blankets
- Her new kitty drinking fountain
- Feet (especially bare)
- Mommy and Daddy
- Chasing and cornering Nala
- Cat carriers
- Being picked up
- Being held
- Being pet for longer than she wants
- Having her tummy touched
- Casper (Nala’s brother)
But no matter her overall crankiness and unique personality, Luna is our beautiful baby who loves kitty life. She often prefers to be alone, but when she wants attention, she’s an affectionate girl. I know pets don’t live forever, but no matter how long she’s with us, she’ll always be our first baby.
Happy 10th Birthday, Luna! ? Mommy and Daddy love you!