In the morning, she waits for the change in my breathing pattern. As soon as I am stirring, she is up on my bed purring and prancing back and forth across my chest. I keep food for her constantly along with fresh water, so I know she just longs for me to be up and about so that we can start our day!
Our day begins by dressing Sam and getting him ready for school. She pads along next to me, chattering about this or that until we hit his room. Then as she sits near the window, Sammy greets her to which she gives a silent dignified glance and then it’s back to looking out of the window. Don’t let this fool you. She may look as though she is immersed in fowl and foliage, but in truth, the moment Sammy is dressed and ready to eat breakfast, she falls right back into place, never breaking stride.
At this point, Woody usually is pouring our morning cup of coffee and already has Sammy’s breakfast laid out for him. We have a small wooden pub table that serves as our kitchen table with four chairs. In three of them sit the Lovill humans and in the fourth, sits Nikki. At first she is fine and at rest underneath the table, sitting on her cushion, but as we are talking about our schedules for the day, a tiny reddish brown paw will make its way onto my hand which at this point is sitting on my knee. I pretend not to notice as that is our game, and this is when she begins a soft, gentle tap, tap, tap….If I do not respond, her next move is to “pop” her whole head out from under the table and the chattering begins. Her eyes speak volumes, and soon I am rewarding her with the pets she desires. After she has completed this ritual and we are just about finished and it is time for Sammy to go to school, she announces her presence to the table by standing on her back paws on the chair and placing her front paws on the table. She then takes a quick glance and a quick smell. Woody will try to pet her and she will look at him like he just caught the last train to Looneyville. He is slightly injured that she rebuffs him so, but she just moves on, usually jumping from the table to the kitchen island in one fell swoop.
At this point, I’ve got the water running and Nikki is waiting patiently for her next reward. After I am done, rinsing dishes or whatever I have the water on for, I let a thin stream of water trickle into the basin. I think that she not only likes the challenge of drinking from it, but it is also meditative for her. She will sit and stare at it as if it were her own personal waterfall, which I guess, in a sense, it is. I think the noise is also pleasing to her ears, the soft tinkle on tin, that in larger quantities, makes humans want to run to grab a book and settle under the covers on the sofa listening to.
So then it is upstairs to my office, or craft room; it is really a combination of both. As I work she finds her place next to my chair and settles in. If I am working at home that day, she is content to spend hours, moving to meet the sun’s beams as it shifts across the sky:
I will look over occasionally to find that she has left the room. At these moments in time, I think that she is probably taking a bathroom break or just perusing her territory to make sure that no creature has dare to slink it’s way into her perview. Nikki holds herself, very dignified, her tail up in the air always, with a cool confidence that she is indeed, the it cat, but we have seen a spark in her that may signify, may peek at the wild woman she keeps locked inside.
At certain points in the day, I have to let our Australian Shepherd, Ronin, in and out of the house. He will be 1 year on August 21, but he has plenty of puppy left in him. He loves letting Nikki see it, and when we first brought him home, she shied away to the confines of our bedroom. Now however, she sits directly to the left of his path as he comes in the door and allows him to greet her. But sometimes, who knows why, she will lay in wait and as he passes, she will, claws in, lightly bap him on top of his head as he passes by. There has been much discussion on why this occurs, but no-one has been able to come up with a plausible explanation. Only Nikki, in her own mind, knows for sure.
The evenings with Nikki are when she is most energetic, and it might have something to do with the fact that everyone else is roaming the house at that time. Sam has come home from school and is upstairs watching tv, and the Aussie is in and out, I’m usually cooking dinner and Woody is in and out of the house getting things done. It is at this time that you will see her on top of her condo, playing with her toys. She will sleep there during the day, but at night, the wild woman, once again makes an appearance. She can go from zero to 70 mph in playmode and sometimes we just have to stop and watch her. This is when the elusive red dot makes it’s appearance and as it does, she is immediately on the prowl. She has made the connection that the red dot is coming from my ipad three in one pen, but I think both the allure, and the fact that she is playing with me makes the game keep it’s interest for her. Yet, I know that sometimes she gets lost in it and the total joy becomes the hunt of the prey she will never catch. How it baffles, how it intrigues…how it frustrates!!!
Some people say that cats use scratching posts to slough off dead nail material, and while I know this is true. Nikki sometimes does it for a different reason, which is hysterical. If for some reason, she feels frustrated (elusive red dot) or that you have offended her, or that she was played with too rough, or it is just overwhelmingly loud in the house, she will run to her scratching post and just look like she is tearing it to shreds. You can just tell something has really ticked her off and she needs to get rid of that negative energy. Yep, she’s just that good:)
At night, I settle in with my ipad to play sudoku because it always helps me to fall asleep. Nikki settles with me for purrs and pets until I doze off and then she gently slips off the bed and into a world I know nothing about. I can only imagine that this is when she really lets her inner cat come out and play. I’ve never asked her and to be honest, I don’t think she would tell me if she could. It is her private time and I think she must luxuriate in it, until the morning sun comes up again and she is waiting by my bed for my breathing patterns to change.
There is so much more to Nikki than is written here, but in summary, to me she is such a part of this house, this institution that we call a family and so much a part of me, and I am grateful to God for sending her to me. She is only three years old, yet we have been through so much together. I can’t imagine ever calling her name, not to have her pad in, and give me that, “I’m here,” meow.
Her spirit, given to her by God, is a beautiful one. I am thankful for everyday she is with us.
Oh yes, I forgot to tell you. Every once in a while, when Woody is not paying attention, she will cuddle up beside him and lay her head gently against him. I guess her wild woman side, is not the only one that she keeps out for special occasions. Sometimes sweet kitty comes out too.
All of these facets make her who she is: Nikki Lovill, cat extrodinairre:)
Onward and Upward!
Have a great weekend:)