The Wide Angle: Three years with a furry alarm clock

Published 5:05 am Saturday, February 8, 2020

Earlier this week I was awoken, as usual, earlier than I wanted to be by a chirp followed by a bratty whine.

Upon opening my eyes, I spied the source of this sleep interruption: two floating eyes in the dark boring holes through me in an effort to let me know she was hungry.

Nemi stood defiantly on my chest, letting me and the entire world within our house know that such luxuries as sleep are no longer welcome now that she was awake and hungry — even though I knew she has going to leave a good chunk for her food in the bowl.

Apparently her royal highness is too good for her new food as we try to con her into losing weight.

Thanks to a Facebook reminder that very same morning, I was alerted to the fact that she has now been with us for three years.

She came to us in 2017, when she walked up to my girlfriend behind Walmart. Emaciated, cold and very, very hungry, she left us with very little choice than to bring her home.

The thought was there for a while that we would either turn her over to an Austin Police Department community service officer or the Mower County Humane Society, but when I say “a while” what I really mean is about 15 minutes.

I got a call telling me that Nemi was in our bathroom that day, which was unique to hear during a regular day, so I came home to check out our new ward.

I opened the door to find a still hungry and pleading little girl who wanted food, warmth and attention. Yeah, we weren’t going to turn her over, especially after she jumped into my lap after sitting down.

The picture Facebook chose to show me was taken the day we were forced to give her a bath. The look she gave me in the picture was one of pure hatred, but she was filthy and the vet had already confirmed that she had flea eggs on her. The bath and the follow-up of washing our clothes in the hottest water we could find was necessary, but that didn’t mean she liked it.

It also revealed just how skinny she still was and really revealed that had she not walked up to us that day, who knows where she would have ended up.

Her head appeared bigger than her body, giving Nemi a bobblehead look, and the hair was plastered to her thin body. Notably, her ears were still present; however, the frostbite she had suffered would later claim the tips of her ears with a little concern she might also lose the tip of her tail and suffer damage to her feet as well.

The picture reveals a little girl that is much different than the chubby little kitty we have now.

I know absolutely nothing about her life previous to ours, except to say it wasn’t easy. Her lack of ears tells me that much.

I feel pretty lucky to have our little challenge as a part of the family, even though Buster will sometimes think differently. I still haven’t figured out if he likes having her around as a playmate or if he dislikes her immensely. Our current theory is that he tries to play with her, but given he is so much bigger than she is, Nemi would rather run than play.

Which is a far cry different from when we first brought her into the house when she had yet to have “the operation.”

It was a confusing time for Buster. Howling throughout the house day and night, Nemi craved attention from Buster, but Buster was a different state of cat and nature needed him to do something …. well you get the point. It was a pretty trying time for all parties involved until we were able to reach the date of “the operation.”

Now that nature has been set right Buster, who is in a perpetual state of “kitten” despite the years to the contrary, tends to try and play when there is no play available and that often upsets the status quo within the house.

It can be quite the what-to-do that usually ends with Buster banishing himself to the basement, crying all the way because we were mean to him – we just picked him up. Terrible, I know.

Meanwhile, the princess walks about the house, running it as she did the first day she came to us, regardless of the helpless look she has in the picture featuring a wet cat.

So, here we are three years later with a much heavier cat, devoid of ears. Sure she wakes me up at stupid times in the morning and sure she somehow feels like a ton of weight focused on the edge of a pencil when she stands on my chest. But I don’t think we would change our minds when it comes to our mistress of the night.

Besides, I hardly have to set my alarm anymore.