Our Family of Four

It’s 7:18 am, and I’m awakened by the softest and silkiest fur I’ve ever felt – on my face. A handful of seconds later, “…Meow?”

Our little calico-tabby, Kiwi, is the self-proclaimed timekeeper of the house, and her main (and possibly only) duty is to inform me of when it’s time for breakfast. She’s much more lenient regarding dinner, but every morning at 7:15, she’ll come to my side of the bed and meow until I get up to feed her and her sister. Today she deviated from her pattern, and although the change was slight, I found it very interesting. Instead of standing on the floor or sitting on the nightstand, she placed herself on the edge of the bed with her chest fur up against my face. After waiting several seconds, she meowed a single time. Combined with the extra 3 minutes of sleep she graced me with, this was the most gentile wakeup call she’s ever given, and I can’t help but wonder if it was intentional.

Our cats never cease to amaze me. These tiny little lives that share our home with us, many would simply view as “the cats,” and while this is technically accurate it really is inadequate. I don’t think that either Kiwi or Mochi would refer to us as “the humans,” so I like to pay them the same courtesy. They came into our home about a year and a half ago, and it’s been fascinating to watch their personalities develop. Since I lost my sweetheart Taiko and then our little Minky, I’ll admit that my heart had hardened a bit, and these two newcomers felt much more like ‘just cats’ than any previous pets I’ve had. It was not long, however, before they broke down my walls and claimed their rightful role as “the kids.”

Kiwi has always been the more outgoing, confident, and assertive of the two, but only when she feels completely in control of her situation. Whenever ‘strangers’ are visiting or she’s out at the vet, she acts like a completely different cat: shy, timid, extremely cautious, and ready to bolt at the slightest anything. On the other hand, when she’s relaxed, she’ll fly around the house with reckless abandon, climb to the highest vantage points available, and leap after toys with complete disregard for her – or any one else’s – safety. She adores attention, but only on her terms. She’ll purr louder than a jet engine while smashing her face into your hand, but if she doesn’t want to be touched, nothing can stop her from running away and keeping just out of reach.

Mochi is a lap cat. She’s roughly 3 pounds bigger than Kiwi, and is totally content to lie around the house all day, cuddle in a lap, or flop belly-up in the middle of the floor staring at you until you come over and pet her tummy. Like her sister, she loves to play, but rarely is the one to initiate it. She’ll join in when she sees Kiwi having fun, but Kiwi is the one who sobs incessantly about how nobody loves her until one of us gives in and gets the feather toy out of the closet. Mochi is shy about everything but food (without fail she pushes her sister out of the way of whichever dish is filled first), but there is once again a role reversal when in unfamiliar situations. If company comes over, Mochi is the first to investigate and say hello, and at the vet she’s the first to creep out of her carrier to see what’s going on.

I love to sit and watch them interact with each other, with their world, and with us. Someday I want to make them an outdoor enclosure to run around in, and I can’t wait to see what they do in it. They’ve enriched our lives so much that I can’t imagine our house without them, and I want to do whatever I can to return the favor.

  • Danna BC

    Awesome. I miss having pets. I don’t think the things we call them do them justice either. I used to call my cat my fur baby. :D