mythical being of mischief

She's all ears. Luna, 2003

People say that pets are good for you, that they reduce your stress and give you great joy.  In October of 2003, it was love at first sight. I was driving home with my college roommate and we pulled into our apartment complex when we saw the property managers wife sitting on the sidewalk with a cardboard box.  We slowed down and saw that the box was squirming with kittens.

Hours later, we were on the way to a vet with a small gray bundle of big ears and big eyes with ear mites.  But she was amazing and we named her Luna.

All grown up, sitting on my thesis - 2007

Luna has now been through two moves, another roommate, and my husband moving home from Hawaii.  When my husband – then fiancé, henceforth referred to as “the man” – moved into our two bedroom apartment, Luna was not nice.  Shewasn’t even courteous to him.  One night, the man and I got into a tickle fight and he tackled me onto the bed.  Luna came charging into the bedroom, jumped on the bed, and bit the back of the man’s thigh, ripping his sweatpants open and drawing blood. Needless to say, they had a talk. And gradually, she began to realize that we were no longer a female only apartment, and she would have to (begrudgingly) share me, and her space, with another human.

Whenever the man is away for a long weekend or on a deployment, I invariably relied on the love of Luna to get me through the long lonely nights.  I talked to her, she sat on the couch with me while I watched TV, and we shared dinner.

On May 22, 2010 I got a phone call from the man who was visiting his parent’s in the country. A small kitten had gotten trapped in a Have a Heart trap and an employee at their inn brought the kitten inside. And the man plucked the kitten up. And then I got this in a text message.

heartbreaker.

That is the man, holding an adorable poofy ball of cuteness. He asked if I wanted him to bring the kitten home. I think my response was to squeal and pass out.

The man brought him to a vet nearby his parent’s house, where they determined he was healthy and about 7 weeks old. And thus began our life with two cats. But it did not begin quietly.  Luna was nearly 7 years old, and had been an only child. It was bad enough sharing me with the man, but now there was another furry four legged creature wobbling around our apartment, climbing on the bed, sharing her food, and stealing the best spots of sun in the apartment.

Naming the new ball of fur was the hardest part. His markings were beautiful – long stripes of black and caramel on his back, black spots on his soft latte colored belly, and black mascara like markings around his eyes. The man and I went back and forth with various names, but we finally settled on one that described his personality perfectly. Loki – the god of mischief.

Luna begrudgingly sharing the sun - and her yarn ball - with Loki

We learned early on that if it crinkled, moved, or was shiny, it was Loki’s. He would attack it and own it, and rarely if ever give it up.  When the man and I started receiving presents for our wedding, we discovered very quickly that Loki was adept at “organizing” packing paper that inevitably came in ever box.

"You left this paper on the ground for me, right?"

Loki is the decidedly man’s cat. When we got a tree cat scratcher, Loki quickly learned to climb all the way to the top so that he could rub up against the man whenever he was standing next to it. Soon, the man ended up with his own personal parrot; Loki will jump up on his shoulder and sit there, sometimes gnawing on his shoulderblade or scratching his back while the man rubs Loki on the head.

Loki "helping" with computer work a.k.a. pretending to be a parrot

Now, two years later, they live in a state of tolerance, with occasional affection and acceptance. It is amazing to see how two cats who live in the same house can be so totally different. Loki goes insane for a laser pointer, while Luna looks at it with mild interest. Luna gets into bed about 15 minutes after me every night and sleeps in the same place – curled up behind my knees while I lay on my side.  Loki could care less if you’re reading in bed, while Luna decides that you’re not busy and headbutts your book (or now even my nook!) until you rub her. Loki goes nuts for fish, while Luna is decidedly a chicken lover. But one thing is true about them both: they provide endless amusement, joy, and affection. They are a comfort when I get home from a long day at work.  They aren’t the best assistants when it comes to house work, but they are quick to help attack a Swiffer and are infinitely entertaining when it comes to vacuums and paint rollers.

"Good morning! You weren't sleeping, were you?"

Today is the day we dedicated as Loki’s birthday. Luna may miss being an only child sometimes, but I can’t imagine our life without him. Happy birthday, mischief maker.

Chilling on the radiator, Christmas 2011.

Can’t get enough of Loki’s cuteness?

You can his epic face cleaning skills as a kitten here.

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