Petlife logo


.: Struttin’ It out on the ‘CATwalk’… :.

By Deirdre St. CroixPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 12 min read
Living it up in the ‘CATskills’

“She Had Me At ’Meow...’”

[Struttin’ It out on the ‘CATwalk’...]

I’ve always had pets growing up.

Birds, fish…but mostly cats and dogs- you know, the usual suspects.

My cousins and I- we’re used to taking in strays who’ve followed us home, or…picks of the litter from a friend or relative whose pet just had babies.

The year “Lion King” first came out -- it was 1994 -- us cousins began this soon-to-be time-honored tradition of ours…a ritual of sorts…of ‘baptizing’ any pet that any one of us would be ever so privileged to call our own. With all of us in attendance, before man and beast, one of us would raise that poor, unsuspecting and confused animal above our heads, and proclaim her or him a new member of our nuclear family…Simba-style. We didn’t do the ‘ceremony’ above some cliff, though; nor did we face-paint our pets the way Rafiki did in the very beginning of the movie, with “Circle of Life” playing in the background. But that was how big of an event or celebration it was whenever we’d get new pets in the family.

Now, albeit I love dogs -- 'most all animals, really -- I've always been a self-proclaimed cat lover. …Possibly even bordering on being the next neighborhood ‘Crazy Cat Lady.’ Even got a tote bag from Marshalls that says the exact same thing.

Once, when I was ten, I remember sitting on the stoop in front of my aunt’s door, when I saw these alley cats congregating by…well, an alley.

And there, in all my glory, I stood up on the highest peak of that stoop, and whistled to call the cats’ attentions. …Not wolf-whistled, mind you. That would’ve been disrespectful to all of feline-kind.

You would never guess what happened next…

Not only did the cats from that one alley came sprinting toward me, but all of a sudden, -- and I’m not making this up -- several other felines from almost every nook and cranny, corner and crevice, within a fraction of a mile radius from that cul-de-sac popped out and revealed themselves, right before they all approached and surrounded me on that stoop. There must’ve been at least 17 of them.

True story.

I felt like some sort of…Feline Goddess. Calling in her subjects. …That, or Catwoman.

Fast forward several years later, that is, well into my adulthood, and I’m volunteering at this animal shelter called ‘Friends of Strays,’ literally five minutes from my house. This place takes in mostly cats, however. They specialize in fostering felines, I suppose. In retrospect, in fact, I think I’ve only ever seen a dog there once, in all the time I spent there volunteering.

I had a blast playing with all the different breeds of kitties I got to see and meet everyday. It wasn’t all play, though. Not all fun and games. I’d also fold cat blankets and other linen, refill their water bowls and food dishes, wipe the inside of their cages, sweep and mop the rooms and hallway floors… It can be exhausting, but also absolutely rewarding. It was fun. …Until it was time to clean the feces out of their litter boxes and cages. But that’s a small price to pay for being with and around them. Especially since at that time, I didn’t have a pet of my own.

You’re probably thinking that this was where I got my beloved, precious pet in this story. Not quite. But it was here when I finally couldn’t resist the urge to get myself a new pet. Hadn’t had one in years due to one reason or another.

I knew I wanted to get a cat, though, for sure. The challenging part was finding one who speaks to you…not literally, that would be freaky. Like most adoption stories, you can’t just randomly choose ANY arbitrary animal. You have to feel it…in your gut, in your mind and soul… You need to see it in their eyes… You’ve got to know in your heart, that this is the pet you would want to take home.

And so my search began. I had to visit a number of various animal rescue shelters, just looking for that one special kitty.

Until finally, in one of these shelters (that’s about at least a half hour away from my home) one fateful afternoon, I walked in, and looked around amongst the cages, half in dejection, half in hope, trying to see if there’s a cat in there who would speak to the very depths of my being.

And as I walked past the series of cages, there she was…

The most beautiful and adorable cat I have ever seen. …And believe me, I have seen A LOT.

Her name was Luna.

And she has the doe-est blue eyes you’d ever seen. Which is why I decided that her full name is going to be Luna Sapphire.

Luna's almond-shaped eyes are a vivid tint of blue...not a 'sorta blue', not a dolphin gray, or an...Arctic silver, no. But cerulean…cobalt. Sapphire. ...Blue. As in ‘steel blue’ eyes.

She's mostly sandy-colored, and very uniquely so, with scattered patches of black on her feet, ears, tail and face. She has these cute little paws and distinctly adorable short legs. She's also very sweet and just the right amount of chubby. She's quiet, and loves human contact…for the most part.

She's about 12 pounds, or thereabouts, wide-eyed (with perpetually dilated pupils), and sweet as can be.

According to her paperwork, her previous owner couldn't take care of her anymore (due to the owner’s old age), and that just about broke my heart.

Luna was only six when I found her, and from where I was standing, she looked as if she just learned she wasn’t wanted anymore for reasons unknown to her. And so she just accepted it, all while wondering why suddenly, she had to be locked up in that tight, cold, steel cage.

Still reeling from reading her story, I looked back into those baby blue eyes, and I knew right then, I was a goner. I knew right away, I’m taking her home with me.

The curious thing was, I didn’t even have to look at all the other cats in there. She was probably only the fourth cage I’ve checked out in that shelter. After seeing Luna, there was no need to look at the other 20 or so cages anymore.

Officially, she's a Himalayan Ragdoll. At least according to what can be gathered from the "ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats" book, as far as appearance, physique, behaviorisms, and overall feline stature. A mix between a Himalayan and a Ragdoll, Luna's fur is soft and silky, almost like that of a Main Coon’s. With an unapologetic coloration ranging from subtle tones of diluted fawn, to almost evenly-distributed, smoky, faded colors. With hypnotic hues of champagne, chocolate, sienna, and platinum -- and barely a patch of white -- she has more pigments than a Calico! Luna is most definitely a sight to behold.

Her flank-curving full-tail, characterized by washes of Tortoiseshell, as well as her thick, short legs, are all descriptive of certain rare breeds of Exotic Shorthairs, while her mitted paws are mostly reminiscent -- if only by a long shot -- of Snowshoe felines. The unique patterns on her face can also be associated with some common types of Tabbies. Luna may not have folded ears like the Scottish or Highland Fold, but her ears are rounded on the corners and chiseled just short enough, to match her rectangularly adorable visage.

She has strangely LONG whiskers, which, as it turns out, are the most sensitive parts of a cat. So probably best to try not to ever touch those whiskers…lest you incur your feline’s wrath.

Luna has what’s called a "semi-cobby" body type, as far as feline jargon is concerned. Which translates to chunky or stocky in the build spectrum. ...Although truth be told, she might also be considered to have more of a..."cobby" cat body.

Of course, as elaborately as I describe her here, I’m aware that, from a third-party perspective, people may only see an ordinary-looking stray. But to me, she’s a thing of beauty…and nothing less.

Like most cats, she’s also got TONS of personality.

For example, she situates herself often in the middle of the kitchen floor, and you’re actually going to have to walk around her, even as you’re trying to cook or hurry in putting your lunch together before going to work.

She makes EVERY furniture hers…and I mean, EVERY furniture- by leaving fur strands ALL OVER the place. Marking her territory, I guess you could say. Making them all her turf.

She loves bacon, ice cream, peanut butter, potato chips (Pringles, to be exact), hot dogs, cheese, and fries.

She’s an Aquarius, and she likes 80s music -- Boston, Toto, AC/DC, The Who, Kiss, Motley Crue, Jefferson Starship, and Christopher Cross.

When she’s out on the patio, and it’s time to get back in the house for the evening, she talks back when you ask her to come in.

Yep, she can be a reeeeal sassy back-talker when she wants to be.

She won’t leave you alone when she wants food…you can’t ever let her see the bottom of her bowl. Because even if there’s technically still food in it, she’s going to need you to refill it already. In fact, one time, she got so impatient, she decided to take matters into her own hands… She just went straight for the cat food bag. Burying her head deep in it, like a raccoon in the dumpster. Probably thinking to herself, “Sometimes, if you want something done right, you just gotta do it yourself.” And when I called her name after catching her doing that, she looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights.

Being nocturnal creatures, cats are usually active at night. And Luna, in particular, would sometimes, or often, be running around the house in the evenings, in fact, so fast, you’d think she’s being chased by something. Still don’t know what that’s about. All I know is, it mostly happens during a full moon. Whether or not her name has anything to do with this, I just couldn’t tell you. Your guess is as good as mine.

But hey, at least she gets her cardio in. At this rate, she’s already doing better than me in the exercise department.

And then one quiet, eerie midnight, I was half-asleep in my bedroom, with all the lights turned off, when suddenly, in the darkness, I hear the creaking sound of my bedroom door, as it opens, seemingly by itself…if not by an unseen force in the night.

I swear, it was like straight out of a horror movie.

It was downright creepy.

As my eyes struggled to adjust themselves against the darkness, I looked toward the door, and saw it opening, ever so slowly… But nobody entered.

It was then that I looked down, and there, by the bottom of the door, I saw something peeking in… First were whiskers, then a nose, then ears, and finally, a paw.

It was Luna.

Just entering my room.

As active as she can be (although not always) at night, she’s DOUBLY lazy and lethargic during the day. What can ya do? She IS a cat, after all. It’s their rep.

And by lazy, I mean, sometimes, she’d be in the middle of grooming herself, licking every which way as she sits there on the floor, when all of a sudden, I would just see her eyes are closed... She would actually fall asleep WHILE in the middle of cleaning herself! Without even taking the time to find a more comfortable laying or sleeping position. Nope. She’d just doze off right where she’s standing.

I’m also remembering a time when we ’accidentally’ gave her too much catnip...

Now THAT...was a sight. She was purring so loud, rolling about in her cat bed, drooling a little, and pawing at the air. Suffice it to say, she appeared as though she was baked like nobody’s business. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought she was hammered like you wouldn’t believe.

Well we knew better than to ‘over-catnip’ her after that. We just weren’t sure how much you’re supposed to give a cat that first time, is all.

She constantly does a lot of these things and more…which are only testaments to her rich, interesting, and fun personality. All just parts of her charm.

But she wasn’t only doing hilarities either. Whenever someone in my family is feeling a little under the weather, you can bet that right next to that person is where she’ll be, at least until that person gets better.

She’s also always so excited to see me coming home from work, that she greets me at the door everyday.

She looks back behind her whenever I’d call her, as though she understands my human words… And you know what? I’d like to believe she does.

As a matter of fact, when I need her to come in the door, and she’d just sit there, almost completely ignoring me...when I start counting backwards from ten, as I near the end of my count, she’d ACTUALLY and FINALLY move...just right before I get to one. At least she understands numbers.

She gallops…that’s right, GALLOPS -- not walk, not sprint, not run…but gallops -- every time I call her over to me. ...Okay, ALMOST every time.

And whenever I’d fall asleep on the couch watching TV some nights, when I wake up in the middle of the night to turn off the television, I’d find her next to me, or at least on the couch within only a foot of me, sleeping there as well, instead of in her softer, plusher cat bed, just…keeping me company.

Cats are…such majestic creatures.

Always struttin’ it out on the ‘catwalk’. Living it up in the ‘catskills’… All while packing a lot of CAT-titude.

But enough with the puns…

Seriously, though…

I can’t even begin to quantify or describe just how deeply woven Luna is in the very fabric of my life. How her very presence in it has transformed my life into this colorful tapestry, that’s only made me more grateful for having found her. And I thank God for her everyday.

I truly and honestly could not imagine my life without her.

As I’m sure all pet parents know for a fact…you don’t just love animals.

…You fall IN LOVE with them.

Luna is the love of my life.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~ by Deirdre St. Croix


About the Creator

Deirdre St. Croix

I want to : get lost in a world of books in the middle of a glorious rain; burrow deep in my rabbit hole where nothing else exists but my reveries; drown in an ocean of euphoric oblivion; and float amongst clouds in reckless abandon....

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.