I’d ventured out into my very first solo apartment when Oli came to me. No roommates or partners… just little old me all by myself.
I saw her curled up in my flower pot wrapped around a small tree I had on my front porch several days in a row when I started thinking about keeping her. She was skittish and not about to let me pet her. I debated with myself for a week or two about adopting her. Talking to my mom about her, she said it was a horrible idea. 😉 All the encouragement I needed to go ahead!
You can’t see from the photo, but she was a bobtail. Born that way. Just a stub for a tail. She was about 8 months old when I adopted her. She’d been abandoned by the neighbor that was evicted in the apartment next door.
It wasn’t long before she ventured into the house with me. Shutting the door put her in terror mode at first. She warmed to being in the house… most of the time. Trying to turn her into a house cat was like trying to tame ants! It wasn’t gonna happen. We were fast friends. This little cat had more personality than mos people I’ve met!
Her name Oli Naya means Hope Love in Igbo. I called her Oli, but she just needed that middle name Naya (Love). It suited her.
I did shift work for many years. It worked for Oli and me… so long as I got home on time! On the days I worked swings, she’d greet me at my car when I pulled in and walk me to the door. We’d go in together and settle in for the night. She walked me to the car most days, too, come to think of it.
I worked a couple graveyards a week for the longest time. She didn’t like them, but she dealt with it. When I was late getting home I had an angry, nagging, demanding kitty waiting to tell me all about it. From the moment I walked in the door she started screaming at me. Non-stop screeching and whining from across the house for 15 minutes straight. The routine was always the same. When she was done she’d come plop herself on top of me and demand my uninterrupted attention and petting for almost as long as she yelled at me. At that point I’d made up for my sins and we fell back into our normal routine.
I’m a knitter and always have stashes of yarn and projects around the house. There were a few times she got into my yarn and I’d come home to more than one full skein of yarn wound around every piece of furniture in my house with knots and a glorious disaster to deal with. Eventually I learned to put it away. 😉 The temptation was far too great. There was this one skein of yarn that she chose to be her baby. She toted it around the house, slept with it, played with it. I wish I’d gotten pictures. It was one of the most precious things I’ve seen. Quite unique!
Oli took me on a number of walks besides to and from the front door. She trotted next to me chatting some, but mostly quiet. She’d go ahead of me for a bit to scout out the next bit of our trip to make sure it was safe. She was scanning the area looking at everything before I got there. When she was satisfied she’d drop back next to me. A little bit later I’d find her falling behind making sure there was nothing or no one following us. This was her pattern for walking with me. It’s a more dramatic version of what my husband does when we go out for walks.
I miss this little girl every day. I was graced with her for a couple years. She never stopped being a free spirit. A car got her. Broke my heart. She was killed on the spot. Her free and wandering spirit is what brought her into my life and so much joy. It’s also what took her away.