Every night, after Steve has fallen asleep (he always falls asleep before me, the bugger), Kimba runs into the bedroom and makes his gurgly greeting sound and hops up onto the bed. He plops himself down on my chest and starts purring ferociously. Every night. I don’t know how he knows the moment that I am going to go to sleep, but he always does, and that’s when he comes for his goodnight cuddle.
He also knows the precise moment I wake up and the process repeats. It’s my favourite way to wake up, other than Steve kisses.
I could take or leave the middle of the night cuddles when he shoves his cold wet nose in my face and demands love. Kimba is a force to be reckoned with when he wants love. Just now, Steve was in the kitchen putting new caulking around the counter and Kimba started rubbing up against him, meowing and purring, persisting until finally Steve gave in and snuggled with him on the couch for 10 minutes.
It’s the best kind of tyranny, to be ruled by a cat.
We tested Hobbes last week for Feline Leukemia and it came back negative – YAY!!! Although we felt in our heart of hearts that Hobbes was disease-free, we took every precaution to protect Kimba and so he had been living in our bedroom for just under 3 months. It was pretty much as crazy as it sounds. The past couple weeks Kimba started getting restless and wanting to venture out of our room more, so we were relieved when we could finally let the little ruffian run wild. He and Hobbes act like they’ve been playmates all their lives. They rough and tumble and just generally tire each other out all day – it’s perfect! Dante wants nothing to do with the little whippersnapper and hisses at him anytime Kimba approaches. But Kimba is much more civilized than Hobbes and leaves Dante alone, other than the occasional sniff.
Kimba is no longer the shy, cautious little kitten we first introduced you to. He’s full of beans and struts around the place like he’s belonged here all along. He doesn’t hesitate to lunge at Hobbes and throw him to the ground. He’s also not afraid to stand his ground when it comes to prized possessions:
Some people know it’s Spring because the groundhogs have come out of their holes and didn’t see their shadows. I know it’s Spring because my cats are going nuts, particularly Dante. Usually Dante’s a pretty calm, easy-going cat who rarely makes a peep. But now, with the warmer temperatures, he’s a whole other cat. He howls at the back door, he makes escape attempts out our front door, and he’s been attacking Hobbes as much as the other way around. I don’t know this guy. He did get outside on garbage night and disappeared into the pitch black darkness of our neighbour’s backyard. Flashlight in hand, Steve and I cornered him and got him back but it gave us enough of a scare that the next day we went and got collars and tags.
So Hobbes and Dante have a new look:
Hobbes has had the collar for a couple weeks now because we wanted him to have a bell – that way he couldn’t do anymore sneak attacks on Dante. But now they both have tags with their names, and our phone number and address.
Kimba has a new look too:
Poor little guy’s feeling the cool Spring breeze, that’s for sure!
Why is his little kitten pot-belly shaved? We had an emergency visit to the vet last Thursday because he had stopped eating and was throwing up. We never figured out for sure what was wrong with him, but one of the theories was that he ate something bad and they needed to do an ultrasound to see if there was an obstruction in his tummy. So they had to shave him. They also shaved one of his arms where they attached the iv to rehydrate him, and when we picked him up the next day, the last bandage he’d had was put on too tight so that his little kitten paw was puffed up twice its size and it looked like a cartoon paw! Despite these indignities he got lots of compliments for being such a handsome guy – although truth be told (don’t tell him!) everyone thought he was so pretty and kept calling him a girl – there’s no end to the affronts one suffers at the vet’s.
As I write, Kimba is racing around the bedroom, chasing or running away from invisible foe. He looks out into space, sees something in his mind’s eye, hops in the air and zooms off in the opposite direction. I love to watch our kitties and try to imagine what is going on between their ears, especially Hobbes and Kimba since they are a smart breed. Steve and I often contribute dialogue to their actions, saying what we imagine them to be thinking. A lot of the time we’re probably anthropomorphizing and attributing way higher level thinking than they are actually capable of, but some of the time when I’m looking into their big bright eyes, I swear there’s a little person in there looking back at me.
Here are some more photos of Kimba that I had wanted to share last week:
I melt when I see how much of a cat person Steve is now.
He often has that cross-eyed look. I can’t remember if Hobbes did at that age. I keep meaning to go back through old kitten photos of Hobbes and compare them. Perhaps I’ll do a blog post about it!
We finally chose a name! It took awhile. We really like ‘Rabbit’ because he hops and darts around like a rabbit, but we’ll use that one as a nickname – we feed him rabbit all the time so it just seemed wrong
So Kimba it is. Our little white lion with the big roar:
Rawr! Big yawn.
He likes to be the king of the castle, perching on top of pillows, or laundry bags:
Some other things about Kimba:
- he likes us to be around when he’s eating.
- he’s super fast
- often even when he’s in play mode, if I pick him up and hold him against my chest, he automatically starts to purr. But then remembers that he’s supposed to be chasing something and squirms to get down.
- he plays by himself. We’ll hear the pitter-patter of him running around our bedroom from downstairs on the couch.
- he’s really cute…in case you didn’t notice
*I had a whole bunch of pictures of him to share with you guys but I’m cursed when it comes to photos and always delete all the hard work I’ve done by accident. So I only redid the ones above. I’ll share the rest once I’ve come to terms with the fact that they’re really gone.
It feels like in the past year we’ve had to make a lot of naming decisions – Amelia, Dante, and now our new kitten. It’s a fun challenge and we enjoy coming up with unique names for the special someone’s in our lives (yes, our Westfalia counts as a special someone!). We thought it might be fun to do a poll and see what you guys think of our potential names this time around.
First, a bit about the little punk -
He’s shy and timid at first but once he gets to know you he’s a big bundle of purrs and snuggles. Also once he gets past the initial ‘fraidy-ness he turns into Mr. Big and Tough and pounces and stalks his toys like they’re real, live appetizers. He even hisses and growls at them when he really gets going. He reminds me a bit of the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz – a softy with a big heart who has a whole lot of verve in him.
And now the potential names and why we’ve chosen them, in no particular order -
Falkor: Falkor is the giant, white, cuddly dragon in The Neverending Story. I loved this film as a child, especially the big lovable dragon.
Simba: Simba means “lion” in Kiswahili – the language in Kenya and Tanzania, two of the places we recently visited. We saw a bunch of ‘simbas’ on safari and our little kitten reminds us of a tinier version of the king of beasts.
Kimba: When searching for names that have to do with lions, I found this one. Did you know that Disney’s The Lion King totally ripped off a 1960s anime called Kimba the White Lion? I didn’t either! Although I’m not surprised. How perfect that it’s a white lion? As far as I can tell ‘Kimba’ doesn’t mean lion in any language, but is just the character’s name.
Rabbit: It tickles me to call an animal by another animal’s name. Our kitten hops around like a little rabbit and because of his fluffy white fur reminds us of one all the more.
Bear: He also reminds us of a little polar bear cub. When he walks towards us his little legs seem slightly bowed and stocky. Of course he might grow out of this look.
Calvin: I’m skeptical about Calvin as a name for a cat but it would be pretty perfect since he and Hobbes are hopefully going to be best buds.
So without further ado -
Feel free to suggest other names in the comments!
UPDATE: If you are more than one in a household and you only have one computer, the poll seems to keep track and won’t let you vote more than once. But you can leave your vote in the comments and I’ll count it in manually at the end!
"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." –- Henry Miller
"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." — Martin Buber
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” -- Maya Angelou
"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." -- Lillian Smith