Bath time (mine, not hers)
Gilda, The Femme Fatale
This cat was a gift from the universe. My fourth year of University, living on my own, I had an unquenchable urge to nurture and care for something.
Being a responsible and rational adult, I knew a dog or baby was out of the question. But perhaps a cat, independent and clean could be the welcome recipient of my love and attention? Still hesitant to take on a responsibility I couldn't fulfill, I opted to foster a cat from my local shelter.
Fostering quarantines an animal from an environment ripe with URI's and the bleak, overcrowded and underfunded atmosphere typical of animal shelters; but does not oblige you to adopt them permanently.
Now, I had always imagined that if I was to get a cat, I would want a male (apparently more affectionate), short haired (students hate to vacuum) and colorful cat, but when you foster, you take what you get.
Without seeing what was in the tiny cage, I brought “it” home, set it down on the floor and opened the door... out emerged a black, female, long-haired cat. The antithesis of what I would have chosen, the poor dear had no fur on her back legs or eyebrows.
The anxiety from being in the wild and the shelter led her to over-groom and over-shed. (She had been declawed and was painfully aware of her vulnerability.)
I fully expected her to be frightened and hide for the first little while and was readying every patient bone in my body. Well, this darling girl climbed right into my lap and shook a little; I stroked her until her purrs of fear became purrs of contentment.
So much for fostering, I fell madly in love and adopted her immediately. Since then, her fur has grown in and she has a luxurious mane and grey tufts on her back legs. (I call them her bloomers) This combined with her affectionate personality (total lap cat) is what led me to suspect her to be part Maine Coon despite her small size.
She is a classy lady, well groomed with an alluring refinement, reminiscent of black and white film starlets; and so, I named her Gilda, after Rita Hayworth's starring role.