Priscilla and Puzzola have been telling me for the past few days that they resent the fact that I have written a post (“Balls!”) only about my male cat, Piccolo. They feel left out. Quite right. I apologized to both of them, and immediately began writing Priscilla’s story.
In the month of June, 2005, it would have been a Friday afternoon, I was supposed to go pick up my X-ray results at the lab. Since it wasn’t urgent and I didn’t feel like going out (it was very hot, I recall), I decided to wait until Saturday morning so that my husband could go with me. But in mid afternoon, I decided for some odd reason that I HAD to go pick up those X-rays. So off I went.
On the way home, as I was driving up our street, I noticed something tiny and furry dash under a parked car. A kitten, for sure. I stopped and found two tiny abandoned kittens under that car. The poor little dears were starving and meowing after and following every single cat in sight, desperately seeking their mother. The one who turned out to be our Priscilla began following a large tomcat, who was none too pleased and took off like a shot across the fields. My heart melted. I brought the kittens food and water. They gobbled up the food, but didn’t let me come within a few feet of them.
With the help of my neighbours, I finally managed to catch them, one at a time. The blasted little things bit me viciously to the point of drawing blood, but I didn’t let go, and carried them over to our back yard. We decided to keep them out there until they trusted us enough to let us handle them. The following day, I noticed that one of them had a tick on its head. I called my vet immediately. Unfortunately she was on sick leave, so I spoke with her substitute, who told me not to worry, that ticks are harmless. I was still worried, but, being unable to examine either kitten more closely, there was not much else I could do. At the time, I didn’t know that ticks can suck all the blood out of a kitten.
A few days later, one of my kittens was dead. I still get emotional when I think about it. Could I have saved her? Well, at least I managed to save the surviving sibling. I had to chase her all the way into my neighbour’s yard to catch her, and once again, in spite of being weakened by the ticks, she bit me savagely. We adopted this tiny feisty tiger-striped kitten and named her Priscilla. Priscilla still has a wild side. She growls and hisses when we pick her up. She LIKES to be picked up, but hisses anyway. What we have to do is flip her over on her back, and she will happily and quietly stay in our arms for hours.
In retrospect, we should have named her Vandal. She ignores expensive cat scratchers but prefers to sharpen her claws on the rugs and furniture (my irreplaceable Sardinian bridal rug is a prime example). But then she will climb onto my chest whenever I am lying down, and drape herself around my neck, purring madly and turning her head this way and that so that I can give her a proper scratch. Irresistible. And she used to retrieve wine corks, just like Piccolo (still) retrieves balls. Sadly, she won’t do that anymore.
She is madly in love with my father (can’t blame her). The poor man has no peace when he and my mother are visiting us. Priscilla is always on top of him, purring ecstatically into his beard, and drooling with passion all over his chest (yes, a literal drool). If I go lie on my parents’ bed when they aren’t here, Priscilla will get on top of me, but she isn’t fooled. She wants my father.
She gets along very well with our other two cats. She and Piccolo have bonded quite nicely. They sleep together on our bed and play (very roughly at times) a lot. Puzzola, our queen, looks on. It’s our own private circus. And we love it.