6.27.16.ATHENA.AND.LISA - Copy_NEW

Today, July 2, is the day I took a harrowing seventy-five mile drive to Santa Cruz to adopt a nine-month-old breeder’s cage kitten, a lilac-point-Angora mix with blue eyes. She was a sad, scared little person who was terrified of what was going to happen to her next.

When we let her out of the carrying case to explore her new home, she was totally thrilled. She immediately bonded to me and to Tom, learned the rules of where she was allowed to go and where not, and has blossomed as a wonderful member of our household.

But when Tom or I went to pick her up back then, she would thrash and writhe, kick and claw and bite. Apparently, she’d come to associate a human picking her up with Something Bad about to happen to her—vaccination needles, deworming, defleaing, surgery for spaying, and generally being shuttled around in a cage.

In past year, we each have made a point of picking her up and, gripping those strong hind legs and sharp claws, carrying her to someplace enjoyable, fun, and safe. To her food bowl in the kitchen, to her water bowl on the fireplace surround, to her cat tree, to her perch on my editor’s desk in my office, and especially to the bed, which she loves.

Now, one year later, she’s quite a handful as you can see and still strangely camera-shy—I had to hold her face up for this photo. Maybe having her picture taken reminds her of the pound, too. But she’s become comfortable with the human embrace. You can just catch a glimpse of her baby blue eyes.

Happy One Year Anniversary to Athena!