Anushka the Party Animal
I had developed a passion for cats when quite young. The preference for Siamese came from meeting a Siamese cat when I was about 19 years old. We had a guest living in our house and she had a little female Siamese,she was probably a Blue Point. I was quite taken with this little cat and decided that when I eventually found myself living independently I would have a Siamese cat as my companion.
Quite a few years went by and it was not until I came to Canada that I was able to embark on my cat adventures.
At first I lived in a communal apartment with three other people and no pets allowed. Then I got the chance to move into an apartment belonging to a woman who was off for a while and needed to sublet. I jumped at the chance to be in a better situation with only one other person to share with and no constraints as to pets. I had met Richard my partner to be, around this time, and I had asked him if he would drive me to this address where there were some Siamese kittens for sale. He agreed and off we went one Sunday afternoon to see the kittens. I was quite excited to at last be able to do as I pleased regarding animals. One of the pleasures of moving away from home is exactly that feeling of "I can do as I please." Of course it is never quite like that, but a feeling of freedom is experienced, that continues for quite a while.
I do believe that Anushka chose us, as she was quite assertive in demanding to be picked up and also appearing to be the most playful of the litter. I was quite taken with her and Richard agreed that she seemed the most outgoing and therefore the best choice. So the decision was made and we carried her off. Richard drove a little MG. sports car and I think that drive home with the top down and the kitten on my lap (no cat carrier) was an indication of her amazing personality. No yowling or squirming, just a happy kitten having a ride. She settled in with me very well, but I soon had to move again as the woman I sublet from was returning prematurely. I hastily rented a little one bedroom attic apartment. I did not mention Anushka. I moved in and hoped not to be discovered. All went well for a while. Then it so happened that I was going to an event not suitable for cats and I left her alone at night for the first time. When I got back , my landlady popped out of her suite on the ground floor and beckoned me in. I heard a meow. Oh dear , I thought , this is it. I am about to be evicted. I entered the suite to find Anushka sitting on a well covered chair. In fact the entire suite was draped in sheets. Hannah the landlady started to tell me how Anushka got down to her place. It seems she was disturbed by extremely loud yowls appearing to come from the roof. She checked it out and saw Anushka hanging out of our window howling. Worried she might fall, Hannah quickly entered our suite and retrieved Anushka, who it seems greeted her like a long lost friend. So Hannah took her downstairs to await my return. Hannah was an extremely tidy person and had not had much experience with animals and was afraid the kitten would destroy the place. Anyway it all ended well. Hannah was quite in love with the adorable Anushka and no comment was ever made about having a pet without permission. From that time on Hannah took care of Anushka as needed.
Imagine a little leggy critter all cream with huge blue eyes and an engaging personality and you can understand how she make these conquests. As she seemed to have nerves of steel we took her just about everywhere. I recall a speedboat ride, with Anushka just a teeny bit upset, mostly with the wind I think. The car was never a problem she would go anywhere without a fuss. We had a hilarious evening with her at the Arts Club at an opening of a show. Anushka settled down right away on the lap of a very affluent dowager. Mink coat, jewels the whole monty. This dear lady had her for the entire evening and probably got lots of attention because of it. Richard used to exhibit his art at Stanley Park on a nice sunny weekend and I would take her along with no problem. As we lived in this tiny suite I took her over to the Planetarium park close by for nature walks and play. I worked long hours as a Hair stylist in those days but I always had time for my cat.
I found a polite note on the door once from the lady in the suite below us. She wanted us to stop thumping around at night. Of course this was Anushka playing all night, and we must have slept through it all and not realized how noisy she was. That lady became quite a friend after I introduced her to the culprit. Another adventure entailed me and Anushka going from Vancouver all the way to Haney on the bus. I somehow did not get noticed. I was visiting my brother Clive who lived with his family out there. My return trip was not as easy. Clive left us at the bus stop at about 7 am. The bus pulled up and as I started to get on, the bus driver told me in no uncertain terms that pets were not allowed. I found myself all alone with Anushka on an empty highway. Clive had to come and get us and drive us in to Vancouver. Ah well, times are different now I believe.
So little Anushka grew up to be quite a girl. She loved a real rough and tumble. We would don thick gloves to play with her as it got quite bloody otherwise. We had all kinds of branches and chunks of wood around for her to climb on as she seemed to need lots of climbing. She had a good leap, better than most. A jump up onto the fridge was nothing. So thanks to Anushka I now was thoroughly fixated on cats.
The time came when Richard and I wanted to go to Europe for a year. Richard had not met my family yet. I asked Leona, Richard's Mother if she would consider taking her on while we were away and she agreed. But with one change. She said that after a whole year of Anushka she would feel very attached and therefore she would only take her on if she could keep her. So reluctantly I agreed. I remember taking her over to Leona in Richmond and phoning that evening to see how it was going. I was convinced Anushka was experiencing separation problems. Imagine my surprise when I was told that she was purring away on Leona's lap and had shown no signs at all of missing me. So she went on to have a very happy life out in suburbia with the dikes nearby with lots of mousing and freedom. I missed her very very much and it was not until I had been back from Europe quite a while before I embarked on my next cat adventure.
This is the last cat story if one is counting backwards or the first if counting from this one. But of course there will be many more cat stories to come. I will review my family cats from my childhood and other cats I have known as acquaintances. Some of these were a legend in their own time. So until then I bid you goodbye.