Maia is the diminutive black panther who stalks the halls (well, hall) of my Glasgow flat, and today is her second birthday!
Maia and I have only been living together since April this year, but we settled into a routine together surprisingly quickly! I adopted her from a young, growing family who found that with two small weans a wee cat was simply too much, and so she came to live with me instead. When she arrived at my flat, she quickly learned where her food and litter were before she took to hiding behind my dresser for an hour or so because at the end of the day, she is a cat, and that’s what cats do.
Eventually though, that is to say later that evening, Maia came out of hiding and we were finally able to get to know each other, and in all honesty, I was not ready for what was to come.
I know cats, I have lived with many cats in the past, in fact I grew up with cats. You could say quite easily I am in fact a cat person.
Maia though is more than a cat, Maia is a powerhouse of moody, neurotic cuteness and love.
Physically she’s quite small, the size of a 7-month old kitten really and most people are surprised to find out she’s fully grown. Her personality though is massive, and she loves to impose herself upon everyone, and make her thoughts and opinions known!.
Maia talks to me a lot. She knows her name, answers to her name, and even has a name for me. Apart from my name, she also has different mews, grumbles, and noises for about a dozen things from a throaty single syllable mew that means “hey”, and a double syllable mew that means “I’m off!” to a whiney miaow that says “why aren’t you paying me attention? Why are you doing whatever it is you are doing when we should be cuddling on the sofa?” There’s a very loud MIAOW! when she’s used her litter tray, and a croaky, staccato mewing when she sees a fly.
She also loves routine, and I mean loves. If it’s a bank holiday, she doesn’t understand and tries to drag me out of bed, and on certain nights of the week she waits by the door expecting Ben to arrive home from work at any moment and grows incredibly worried if he doesn’t appear. Once I was incredibly sick and hadn’t had a chance to clean her litter tray at the same time of day I usually do (Sunday morning). When I got around to it, I found a sponge and some cleaning products thrown into it, and a very annoyed cat watching me sternly.
Ok Maia, I can take a hint.
If I am in the kitchen, which from this blog you know I am quite often, she’s in there with me, chatting away, asking for her favourite (shredded chicken), and trying to see what I am cooking up (which means I have to pick her up, let her scan the benches, before popping her back down). If Ben is there, he’ll sit on my stepladder with Maia in his lap, keeping me company. She’s incredibly curious and adores the finest food I can offer (always Gourmet and never Whiskas).
Cuddles are Maia’s thing and if she’s not curled up on your lap (she doesn’t like mine but loves Ben’s), she’s curled up as close to you as possible, making sure you’re touching her.
You must be touching her.
Even when we go to bed at night, she will find a spot as close to us as possible to squeeze in and settle down (usually behind our knees) for the night and somehow in the process manage to take up 90% of the duvet. And if we move so we’re no longer touching her? Maia will get up in a huff, and with a little double-syllable throaty mew she tells us she’s off! (Typically she waits ten minutes, sitting just outside the bedroom door before sneaking back in and trying again).
This Christmas we’re going to be introducing Maia to Ben’s flat and family, as we’re celebrating at his and I couldn’t bear to be without her on my favourite day of the year.
Maia is a tiny ball of fluff with a massive personality, and with the long, slow blinks of love, head-butts, actual literal hugs, and tiny little kitty-kisses are plentiful and beautiful, my little black panther is a part of my family I could never be without.