Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet Ashi

Ashi is my very special fat brown cat. She is shaped like a football with legs, she is cross-eyed and bow-legged and her natural prey is chicken nuggets.
One of Ashi's favorite places is the dryer. Laundry day is always a battle to keep her out of the clothes.
I first met Ashi on Thanksgiving Day in 1999. I was living in Sherman Oaks, CA, at the time and my parents had come to LA to visit for the holiday. I got a call from Frank, a co-worker of mine, asking for help. His girlfriend Stephanie had found a tiny kitten wandering in a vacant lot left after a building had been torn down following the Northridge earthquake. The kitten was only about 4 weeks old and Steph was unable to locate the mother or any other kittens. She took the tiny cat home, but ended up being horribly allergic. She lasted through a week of misery before deciding she wasn't going to adjust to the cat and she needed to find her a new home.
On top of the dryer is almost as good as inside. It is warm and vibrates like a Magic Fingers massage bed. And it's where we keep the food dishes, which makes it even better.
Frank called me because he knew I loved cats. I had one in my house already - a former feral named Lyvani - and at the time I was working with the Feral Cat program in the San Fernando Valley. I wasn't sure how Lyvani would take another cat in HER house and I didn't particularly want another cat at the time, but I promised Frank and Stephanie that I would help them find the kitten a new home. I told them I would keep the kitten at my house until everyone got back from the holiday weekend, then I would find her a place in a foster home. I absolutely WOULD NOT keep her myself.

Famous last words.

She arrived at my house wearing a pink collar and with the name Pyewacket. She was so tiny she could curl up in the palm of my hand. The collar was "lost" in about 10 minutes and by the end of the day I was calling her Ashinoyubi, which is Japanese for "toes" - in tribute to her white toes. The name got shortened to Ashi and she has definitely grown. I think she currently weighs in at about 14 pounds. She learned very quickly that the kitchen is a place where good things happen and she is quick to come running every time I start to cook.
Ashi learned very quickly that having small children in the house meant there was always food readily available.
Ashi is 11 years old now and she's slowed down a bit, but she is still my special sweetheart.

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