After I lost Gracie in September of 2015, I thought I wouldn't have another kitty. Gracie had burrowed her way into my heart in a way no other cat I ever owned had.
Down through the years I have had several. I've always loved cats. Had two when I was a young girl. Tootsie who died. Blackie who the neighbors poisoned because they didn't like cats. After I returned home from the military there was Patches, Muffy (short for blueberry muffin which she looked like when I first saw her), Snowball, Snickers, Weazel (long, lanky, all black), Precious, Cuddles, Tigger, Tesha, Molly, Mitzi, another one named Precious, Gabe (short for Gabriel), Sophie. Might have missed a couple. Then there was Gracie who I had adopted from a no kill animal shelter. She was a wonderful companion for the short time that I had her. Her passing left an empty hole in my heart. Didn't want to own another kitty and all that goes with being a responsible pet owner. I was grieving and needed time.
A year passed and I started thinking about having a kitty again. Even went so far as to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Didn't continue that because I wasn't really for what I felt when I saw the kitties. Wanted one, missed Gracie and knew that I wasn't able to have a kitty due to rental policies. Well, I began looking online at the kitties at the shelter. Found one I really wanted. Trouble was I knew my landlord wouldn't be so keen about the idea. Gathered up my courage, approached my landlord and was shocked to hear him say, "Abbie, you need someone over there with you. You are by yourself and I am sure you would enjoy having another kitty. You can have another one if you want." Well, needless to say, I didn't waste time in driving to the animal shelter to fill out an application. I waited for it to be processed and approved. My landlord was called and gave his approval and I brought kitty home. I had put one name of a kitty on the application and at the last minute pulled the clipboard back and put another one down. When the door to her cage was opened when I was viewing the kitties, Leah had immediately jumped down from her perch and came up to me. She started purring and burrowed into my neck. I was a goner. She had me. She was the kitty I changed my mind for.
I brought her home and let her out of the carrier. Since I have a small house, I didn't confine her to one room for a time until she was settled in. I let her explore the whole upstairs. Did keep the door to the basement shut for a time. Once she was comfortable upstairs I opened up the basement door and let her roam that area. She did, mostly when I was working down there.
She was named Summer when I got her. I didn't like that name. Didn't fit her. I wasn't sure what to call her. Had a few names in mind. Was speaking a few of them out loud. Got no responses from her. I then started naming off names of women found in the bible and when I said, "Leah" her tail twitched. I said, "Okay, Leah it is."
In observing her the first couple of weeks I had her, I noticed she wasn't a pick up and hold type of kitty. She also is very touchy with her tummy. She doesn't jump or attempt a jump if it "won't work." She doesn't like the dark for some reason as in getting left under the covers when I make the bed. She meows until there's light or shown a way out of whatever it is. She had been declawed on all four paws prior to me adopting her. Something I detest. Claws are a way for a cat to protect itself. I trained Gracie to sit in my lap like a small child while I trimmed her claws. Leah is a talker. She's got to know I'm nearby and waits for me to answer back. I've fixed folding trays by two windows here in the house and put thick comfy blankets on top until I can get some cat beds made. She loves to look out the windows and chirp to the birds and squirrels.
We have a routine in the evening. The lights are turned off, I walk around, check the doors and windows and lower and close the blinds. I turn down the covers, pull out my CPAP mask and lay down. Leah has already gone to the bedroom and waits for me on the floor on the right side of the bed. I make a clicking noise and she hops up on the bed, makes a circle and lays down by my hip. I pet her from head to the tip of her tail. I give her scratches under her chin and near her ears. She purrs. I tell her, "Leah, I love you. You're a good kitty. I'm happy you're here. I love you, precious." Petting her relaxes me, I fall asleep. Surprisingly, if this little routine isn't done at night, I can't relax to fall asleep.
Have a funny to tell of Leah. Well, when it happened, it wasn't so funny. Scared us both. The lights had been turned off and I was going from the living room into the bedroom. At the time this happened I had two thick rugs on the floor by the bed. Leah would sleep there before I was in bed. Well it was dark, not seeing Leah on the floor, I literally stumbled over her, screaming as she went one way and I went the other. I rushed to turn on the lights to see Leah's tail disappearing under the bed. Needless to say, now when I get things ready for bed, I can see out of the corner of my eye, Leah crouching low and "slithering" under the bed. I laugh or chuckle each time I see her doing it now.
Some of the many pictures I have taken of Leah since adopting her. I have to be quick when taking her picture as she doesn't pose very well, nor is she tolerant of the click of the camera.
Taken shortly after getting her. She would jump up and get comfy when I was sitting in my chair reading or stitching. Her body heat felt so good.
Doing a no no. First time this happened I had been in the kitchen and was filling the sink to wash dishes. Couldn't find the sponge. Looked for it everywhere. Found it under the kitchen table. I've since trained Leah that taking the sponge and being on the counter is a no-no.
One of three mice that she was gifted by another stitcher when I participated in a secret sister exchange. I named the mice Moe, Joe and Poe. I find these all over the house. I sleep and she plays. I've heard running, jumping, meowing as she gives these little guys the what for. It's comical to hear. Regarding the food outside her regular dishes, I sometimes make the mistake of kicking the bowls when I walk to the counter. I don't do that as much now. I also don't treat her with tuna or other goodies either. She's on her kitty food only.
Saw this bunny and thought of Leah. I got it for her and have found it all over the house like as with the little mice. My mask is usually picked up and resting on the night stand. This was a "get it now" type of picture If I had moved over to move the mask and Leah would have seen the camera, I would not have gotten this picture.
One of my favorites of her. I can find her about 90% of the time in this window. We have a bird's nest to the right of the window and Leah keeps close tabs on what's happening with it.
Kitty cube that was gifted from her kitty "cousins" in Ohio. More toys. I have watched her carry these all over the house and then bring them back to the cube and place them inside. I ask her, "Leah, you putting your babies to bed/" I get a look, a switch of a tail and a meow in response.