My third and final catblog is all about Amelia! Amelia is our youngest cat and the latest addition to our little family. She’s six years old today, April 26th, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMELIA!!!
I found Amelia in the park where I worked in Columbus in October 2010. Kenneth and I had just moved to Columbus that summer. It was a really busy time for us: we graduated from Ohio University in June, moved to Columbus the next day, I started a job in July, we got married in August and Kenneth started vet school at OSU in September. So it was definitely the perfect time for a new cat, right?
For a few weeks at work I kept seeing this cute little brown tabby cat, who was so friendly yet anxious and very hungry… I had to take her home!
These are my first photos of Amelia. She’s not eating vegan butter; I just needed a container for the kitten food I brought her. (I put the collar on her the day I decided to take her home, Halloween was coming up and I was worried she might be hurt by pranksters if she was “just a stray cat”)
At this point in our cat-parenthood, Kenneth and I were much more aware of the different ways to introduce new cats to the home. Amelia was quarantined in our study until we could take her to the vet for her first check-up and vaccinations (also until Kenneth accepted that we were indeed keeping her and he stopped trying to pawn her off onto his new classmates).
Livy and Emma got to know Amelia through the crack under the door to the study. They even had meals together! We also only let Amelia out of the study for short periods of time, rather than just letting her roam the apartment all at once. One of my favorite kitty celebrity duos, The ShoKo Show, have a great post about introducing cats if you want more info.
Amelia, whose full name is Amelia Rabbit Pond, hasn’t grown much since I brought her home. We estimated, and our veterinarian agreed, that she was about six months when we got her. She’s a petite little thing, only weighing seven pounds. This is to her advantage because she likes perching in weird spots for naps, like on the narrowest part of our furniture, or sitting on my or Kenneth’s hip when we’re sleeping in bed.
We named her Amelia, originally after Amelia Earhart, but upon watching Season 5 of Doctor Who, we decided that she is also partly named for Amelia (Amy) Pond. Her middle name is rabbit because of where I met her (garden) and the fact that it looked like she was trying to eat mulch one of the times I visited her outside before bringing her home. She’s skittish also, like a rabbit.
Some of her nicknames are Mealies, Meals-On-Wheels and Mealiers. Don’t ask me why because while I came up with these nicknames I don’t understand them anymore than you do.
Amelia has such beautiful markings. She reminds me of her ancestors, the African Wildcat (Felis sylvestris lybica) and falls into three of the four different tabby cat classifications, based on her fur patterns.
At first glance, Amelia looks like the tiger-striped, or mackerel, tabby cat. She has striped rings on her tail, arms and on legs. Some of her stripes though are very broken, her chest is mostly spotted rather than stripped so she fits into the spotted category. Finally, many of Amelia’s hairs are agouti, or ticked. These hairs have different bands of color on them, we can always tell if a cat hair belonged to Amelia!
Amelia is a strange little cat. When we first brought her home she was scared of EVERYTHING. She was scared of loud noises, new smells and sudden movements. She was scared of us for so long that we have a running joke that she thinks we’re planning on eating her. She’s a furry little ball of anxiety.
But she’s become brave, much braver than Emma or Olivia. Amelia is the first cat to come and sniff any new people that we have to our house (even the maintenance guys at our old apartments). Our cats usually hide when someone they don’t know comes to our home, I was shocked the first time Amelia walked up to a guy looking at our hot water heater and started sniffing his tool box and even his boots.
Amelia is also the most aggressive when it comes to playing. She likes to start tussles with both of her sisters and gets very possessive of her toys. She has a mouse that we have to keep shut away in a drawer because when she has it she growls at anyone who comes near her. We only give it to her to play with for short periods of time – it’s funny how quickly her mood and demeanor change once she has that little green spotted mouse!
Overall though, Amelia gets along really well with her sisters. She’s very loving and likes to give head licks and kisses, though she usually expects some head licks in return. Emma and Amelia are very close, often cuddling together and giving each other baths. The baths usually end in a cat tussle though, I always wonder what starts their arguments (I know Amelia instigates them, but what does she do to set Emma off?)!
I love it when I see a cuddle puddle of my own cats!
Amelia is easily offended by strong odors. And by strong odors I mean things that most people enjoy the smell of, like lemons, honey and lotion. She’s so offended by the smell of my lip balm (Burt’s Bees lip balm! ) that she makes a face every time she sees the yellow tube in my hand. It doesn’t even have to be opened!
Amelia is by far the most photogenic cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing (Emma is the least photogenic, whenever you try to get her to look at you she comes to you instead). Amelia stays super still and will let me get close to her for detailed macro shots of her whiskers, nose and tongue. She also makes some of the most ridiculous faces – which I try to capture!
So. Much. Sass!
Amelia is the cuddler in our family – she loves to snuggle or just lay on top of us, which is what she is doing to Kenneth’s arm in the above picture. Amelia usually spends part of the night sleeping on my chest or Kenneth’s, or on one of our hips. She also likes to sit on the couch and cuddle, but like Emma, you almost always have to get a pillow for her to sit on first.
This girl loves sleeping in clean laundry! If she gets to a pile of warm, freshly dried clothes before I can fold them, she’ll tunnel into the basket and make herself a little nest.
She loves sleeping on our clothes so much that I made her a sweater bed out of one of my old sweaters. I followed the directions I found in Mother Earth News for The Purr-fect Homemade Cat Bed. It was pretty easy to put together and when I posted a photo of Amelia on it on Twitter, Mother Earth News asked if they could publish a photo of her in their next issue!
A Comfy, Cozy Cat Nap
The instructions from Elizabeth Atia in The Purr-fect Homemade Cat Bed (Country Lore, October/November 2014) were so easy to follow. I only made a few changes, using an old long-sleeved shirt instead of a sweater, and substituting polyfill stuffing in the arms of the shirt (the outer edge of the bed). All the bed needed was a little catnip to entice Amelia to curl up. It’s been less than a week since I made it, and it has already become a popular napping spot!
Courtney Denning Cincinnati, Ohio
I like to make cat toys out of old clothes, like socks with holes in the toe or tights that I no longer wear. If they have catnip in them, Amelia is usually the first cat to play with them and they’re pretty slobbery when she’s done.
I wrote a blog post for the Mother Earth News Blog on how to make the socktopi (socktopus, like octopus) that Amelia is sitting with in the above photo. They’re made from old socks and stuffed with a little catnip and polyfil stuffing – Amelia adores them!
Amelia and Olivia are our catnip and cat grass fiends! They love anything green so I like to treat them with fresh and dried catnip and the occasional blade of cat grass (also known as wheat grass). They both go crazy for the ‘nip!
Amelia is our only cat with known food allergies. She can’t have seafood, if she does she breaks out with a huge pimple-like bump on her chin. We have to be careful when picking out new wet cat foods for them or treats to make sure fish and other sea creatures aren’t in the ingredient list. Amelia, obviously, doesn’t understand her food limitations and is the biggest beggar when it comes to fish!
This photo says so much about our three cats. Amelia is being weird picking up a bite of food at a time and chewing it over the carpet instead of the bowl. Emma is getting ready to steal from Amelia’s bowl. Olivia has been caught mid-lick or begging cry and has a strange expression on her face. That’s the power of three people! Three little furry weirdos who I love so much!
The above photo is one of my favorite activities – snuggling with my girls. This usually only happens in winter, when our apartment is cold, so I know part of why they’re all sitting with me is because they’re cold. But I don’t care – it’s one of the few reasons that makes winter not so bad! Look at how sweet they look!
And here’s a final photo of our little Amelia – weirding out for no apparent reason but looking adorable while doing it.