It was a year ago this very night…

… on a dark and stormy road – no, that’s not right at all. It was a clear and warm evening, but it was when we first saw The Monster.

Well, not exactly monstrous in appearance, anyway…

Taz as an adolescent looking out the doorStopping into work for a trivial task, I found a note on one of the vehicles that said someone had seen a kitten sheltering underneath – the initial story is here. The follow-up to that, which I’ve been meaning to get to for some time now, is that we did indeed keep her, once it became clear that the other two cats, while not exactly delighted at this new boarder, could at least tolerate her. Most times.

She’s been named Taz now, though in reality we usually just call her Monster, based on an irrepressible and impish demeanor that is not at all visible in her photos, as well as far too much energy most of the time. It took Kaylee some months to figure out the best way to manage the attacks (some well-timed dodges and otherwise ignoring them,) while Little Girl just bears an underlying resentment; they get into slap fights from time to time, Little Girl seriously trying to get Monster to leave off, while Monster thinks it’s a game. She remains a friendly, inquisitive, and charming cat, with a curiously plush tail for a domestic short-haired, and unlike the other two cats, she plays no favorites among the humans in the house. She was initially completely silent, making the motions of meowing while not uttering a sound, but occasionally she would squeak and, prompted by our imitations, she will now issue a more elaborate version in response, often when I tell her, “Say ‘meek.'” So just as often, I call her Meekers.

And she sleeps with such utter abandon.

Taz/Monster sprawled asleep in the office of Walkabout Studios
I had intended to have some video of her energetic battles with toys, or attempting to tackle Kaylee, or wooing the bird and lizards on the porch, but it simply wasn’t coming together this week, and as it is this is posting late, plus who was waiting for this update anyway? But this is just as much a marker for us, a little chronicle of what’s happening.

Taz/Monster peering down from upstairs balconyFor instance, when a little younger, she was very fond of leaning through the railing of the upstairs balcony, as well as occasionally walking on the thin edge outside of the rails, with a 3-meter-plus drop to the living room; I have no photos of this because whenever we saw it, we tried to convince her to desist, especially since she’s demonstrated that she isn’t the most sure-footed of felines. I know she actually fell at least once, having heard it from the office, with no ill effects other than Monster being a bit startled, and it’s likely she’s done it again, since she’s far less inclined to be outside the rails now. Watching her learn the hard way about wasps was also amusing, again, with no lasting adverse effect.

And just this evening, The Girlfriend’s Sprog was playing with the cats with a fishing style cat toy, a stuffed whatsit on a string and long handle, when Monster somehow got it entangled around a hind leg, freaked, and did a very high speed multiple circuit of the entire house, dragging the toy along in full panic mode, before going to ground upstairs under a bed. She wasn’t hurt in the slightest, just confused by the pursuing creature that wouldn’t release her leg. Yet she recovered her aplomb faster than Kaylee recovers from electrical storms.

Maybe at some point I’ll get to editing some illustrative video clips, but for now, we simply have a shot from today, showing how Monster has claimed The Girlfriend’s sea turtle bowl – she’s also fond of sleeping in my bathroom sink. She seems very happy with the overall turn of events in the past year, and while we weren’t looking for another cat, we’re not complaining either.

Taz/Monster lounging in The Girlfriend's sea turtle bowl