Jai came to my house as a kitten; a stray my brother (not Negative
- different brother) had taken in had given birth to a litter, and my sister
was allowed to choose one, as I already had a cat (R'Mau)
- I think she was a tad jealous of our good relationship. Unfortunately
Jai wasn't quite the sweet little pussy-cat she was wanting so badly, despite
being the runt of the litter. No. Instead he was; well, here's
a little story to illustrate -
At the time he arrived, we had two rather large dogs - King, a rottweiler cross who had been raised by R'Mau and so was no threat; and Bonnie, a German Shepherd who was an unknown quantity. Sure, she knew to stay clear of R'Mau, but a new kitten? Anyway, the time came that Jai had to be introduced to the outside world and I did so in trepidation, wondering what Bonnie was going to do. I watched through the kitchen window, and nearly flipped when I saw Bonnie barrelling across the backyard after the tiny ten week old kitten. A scuffle ensued - I was charging for the back door when I saw a tan something streaking back across the yard. It was Bonnie, being very closely followed by one ten week old kitten - one VERY ANGRY ten week old kitten...
That's my cat - as time has marched on and we've all become older, Jai, mountaineer and scourge of Bonnie, hasn't really changed all that much. He's my cat now - my sister won't have anything to do with him (the shock of what he's turned out like, I guess!), but she's never had him curl up on her lap and purr away happily. He can be as aggressive in his affection as he is the rest of the time, and he is a handsome little cat, after all. He's still a touch of a runt, he still has a foul temper - he has never forgiven me for taking him to the vet to remove his favourite pieces of anatomy! - and he still acts as though he owns the house. Maybe he does, but I've never seen his pawprint on the deed...
didn't have as great a start to life as Jai did - or
if she did, it abruptly took a turn for the worse. All we know
is she started living underneath a flat in Kalgoorlie, picked on by the
neighbourhood cats and hiding from everyone who came near, including the
people in the flat who gave her the name ("She has the most negative
personality of any cat we've ever known..."). Time passed, and
the people were moving out, to be replaced by one of my brothers.
He was told, "There's a cat living under the flat - she won't stand
up to a move, she's far too nervous. So you can either keep her or
shoot her." (Nice, huh?) Needless to say he kept her, often
coming home to find her shivering in fear on the bathroom windowsill (two
meters straight up with nothing to leap on to - pretty good!) after getting
away from the neighbourhood cats.
When I first met Negative, she was little more than a wild-eyed shadow lurking in the small backyard of the flat. I know now that she was simply terrified all the time, but then she suited her name. I ended up playing with the indoors kitten that was staying there at the time.
Then it came time for my brother to move out. He was going from Kalgoorlie to Broken Hill, and he didn't have the heart to leave Negative behind, though he didn't really want to take her all that way. So he hatched a plan - he sent Negative on ahead with a friend, telling us here in Melbourne he'd pick her up when he drove through in a few days. Well, just as he'd hoped, after a few days in my clutches, there was no way she was going to be relinquished (Damn, I hate being so predictable!), and soon my little red and black ball of fur became a grey and black ball of fur (red sand to grey clay, I guess!).
She hasn't looked back since. Sure, she is still extremely nervous when new people are around, and she has since lost most of her teeth owing to old injuries, but she is the sweetest, kindest kitty I have ever met - and as you may imagine, I've met a fair few. She normally sits up on the chair behind me when I'm at the 'puter, but as it's warm today she has elected to curl up on the floor beside me, purring her heart out because I've paid a little attention to her.
Now when people ask me why her name is Negative, I don't give them the real reason - I just tell them it's because she's black and white.
Unfortunately these are
the only two I have now - my other animal friends have crossed the Rainbow
Bridge over the past few years. I miss them. If
you want to read about them as well, go here.