Queen of her own destiny. Lily.
Queen of the Himalayas. Lucy.
(By deferral. Lily is senior)
Queen of the High Himalayas. Sikkim.
Queen of Cuddles. Blackie.
Queen of my heart. Willow.
Of the eleven cats that live with me, just five are technically mine, and that is something that could be debated, in various ways.
First, they are not mine. I do not own them. They live with me. I care for them.
But all cats own themselves. Independent souls, all.
Then there is the question of Sikkim and Penny.
Penny and Sikkim came to us attached to another cat that we had placed in what we thought was a perfect home. To our eternal regret, this proved to be an illusion. Our poor foster cat was abandoned along with two more. So we took them all in. Even though I wasn’t accepting cats anymore.
This was the first Willow. She also conquered my heart.
But I had more cats that I could in fairness keep.
Reluctantly we found her a “good” home.
Our adopters were told emphatically that we would always take a cat back, no matter what. So why abandon her?
But they did and on the 13th day of her return, she died.
It was sudden, unaccountable. Acutely painful for us.
Fortunately, I think, not for her.
So Penny and Sikkim became quite special. Penny, who had been described as inclined to bite, turned out to be one of the sweetest cats either of us has ever known. She has arthritis and when touched roughly, it hurts her. That’s all it was. “Bitey” they said. Bah.
Sikkim, well she is Himalayan and they are very dear to my heart.
Penny immediately wormed her way in Grant’s heart. She only had to cast her limpid green eyes on him and he was done.
As a Himalayan, Sikkim came under my wing, as it were, but she was a shy little girl and she took her time settling in, deciding what she wanted. She wants attention. Cuddles.
Especially from Grant.
And me if he is not available.
But she’s still under my wing.
Little grey Willow is special in her mysterious little ways.
The way she came to me, in my grief after Panther died.
Walked down my hill, fixed me with her eyes and decided she was coming in.
She crawled out of the trap into my lap, purring.
And I said “Panther sent you, didn’t he?”
It’s why her title is Queen of my heart. But really, they all are, all 10.
Queens of my heart.
And Toby is King.