As I type this, Tonks has already climbed over my shoulders, parked herself in front of the keyboard and obscured my view of the keyboard and screen, rolled my pen off the desk, and jumped onto the lowest shelf to knock the tiny stuffed tiger off the end – which pretty much sums her up. This is how we spend our day: she plays with everything in the office and gets in the way, and I remind myself that cats are supposed to lower stress levels and blood pressure.
Almost two years ago, Tonks was brought into the vet office I worked at by a police officer who found her alone in a gutter. I walked in the next morning to hear a kitten proclaiming its unhappiness for the entire world. She ended up spending most of the morning in my scrub pocket while I worked (kept her quiet), which was my first mistake. My second mistake was announcing that she needed a new name.
All stray animals were given names upon arrival, and someone decided to name her Khaleesi. Now, I knew where they’d gotten the name – and her lung power might have supported it – but there’s an extremely dangerous cat virus out there called Calici which is pronounced the same way. When your cat receives the FVRCP vaccine, it’s the C, and I knew that was asking for trouble; names are always prophetic (NEVER name a pet Lucky! You are asking for massive vet bills and sadness!). This tiny black and white fuzzball needed to ditch the name of doom quick. Suddenly, a co-worker threw out “Tonks” (in hindsight, I should have known THAT was prophetic, too), and it stuck.
I had lost an older cat that January to renal failure, and I wasn’t sure about letting a new cat into my life yet, but I also knew that A) this little one would be taken to the shelter, and B) the shelters were overflowing with kittens. So I lifted her up, looked her in the eye, and I asked her if Tali had sent her (I’m spiritual, not religious, but I do think our companions have a hand in this kind of thing). She looked straight back and meowed as loud as her lungs would allow. She came home with me that afternoon. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
Tonks was – and is – an absolute nightmare. She was tiny, so I couldn’t leave her unsupervised to begin with, and she had to stay in the bathroom at night. Once she declared she wasn’t having that anymore (her lungs grew with her), all bets were off.
She climbs EVERYTHING. There is not a piece of furniture that child has not been on top of, including the refrigerator, my bookcase, AND the curtain rods (we still have no idea how she managed that one).
She got BEHIND and under the stove, to the point that we had to build a spice rack to cover the top of it and prevent her from doing so (it looks great, but now the replacement stove will have to fit under it).
She decided the back of the washing machine made a great clubhouse for a while, and she corrupted Squeak to join her.
She has ripped most of the faux fur off my dragon puppet and built herself a nest under the bookcase with it (and became highly offended when we discovered it and cleaned it out). She’s also torn off more of his tail. Ironically, my unicorn puppet which sits on the other side is still intact.
She chases and pounces on both of the other cats despite the fact that they are bigger than she is and outweigh her. Seniority means absolutely nothing to her; she’s convinced she runs the house.
She takes over the dog’s bed, leaving Juniper to sleep on the floor next to the bed. Now, to be fair, Juniper isn’t smart enough to realize she weighs 60 pounds more than the little fuzzball and could take the bed back, the hilarity is the kitten lolling around on the poofy dog bed like a princess.
She hates the sound of my alarm and is smart enough to know when it’s going to go off and will wake me up 5 minutes BEFORE. Her purr is not soothing – it sounds like a cement mixer – and she licks your lips with her sandpaper tongue to “kiss” you awake. Also, for only weighing 8 pounds, each foot somehow manages to feel like it weighs 80 pounds when she walks across you.
She is a demon in cat’s clothes, and we end up yelling her name at least 5 times a day – when she’s REALLY in trouble, she does get called “Nymphadora” (and she knows that means she’s in BIG trouble).
But, when all is said done, she jumps straight onto my chair as soon as I walk into the office and switch on the computer in the morning (and then refuses to move over for me), and she comes over to check on the progress of my work throughout the day. She insures there’s never a dull moment in our lives, and she’s been part of both of our lives from the very beginning. Trouble through and through, but we’ll keep her.