It’s hard to believe, considering how closely me and Mini Scaredy have bonded. But it took a long time for Mini Scaredy to warm to me when she was a kitten. She was very timid and fearful as a kitten. Stand-offish. Unlike her brother, Mini Owl, who was a total extrovert, super affectionate and immediately bonded with me. After eating breakfast, Mini Owl would bound over to me, get right in my face, and demand a lot of attention. While Mini Scaredy would usually hide behind her mother, Scaredy Cat, and stare at me with a fretful expression on her face, like she wasn’t sure what to make of me. And usually after eating her breakfast she’d immediately leave my campsite.
Until one day when she was 8-months-old and everything changed. One morning, after eating her breakfast, instead of leaving like usual, she climbed up on my blankets and stayed there all morning. Which was unusual. I couldn’t figure out what Mini Scaredy was doing there, burrowing under my blankets all morning.
Until I spotted Owl, the burly feral tom cat. Owl kept circling around my campsite. Round and round. And from the way he kept staring at Mini Scaredy, you could tell could tell exactly what the game was. He had the horns out for Mini Scaredy.
You could also tell that Mini Scaredy was completely freaked out by this turn of events. She was like, “Why is this big old tom cat STALKING me?? And why does he keep . . . STARING at me?? Is he going to ATTACK me??” Of course the mating game with cats is primarily instinctual. But cats aren’t machines. They go through all sorts of numbers during the course of the mating ritual, just like humans. And I suppose it can be especially confusing the first time it hits them.
So Mini Scaredy is hiding under my blankets, hiding behind me, because she knows that that’s the only place where she was safe from Owl’s overtures. Owl was a total feral and always kept a respectful distance from me, after all. But I wasn’t sure this was going to work this time. Owl was so overwhelmed with ardor he had dared to come within two feet of my blankets. And the way he was chomping at the bit, and licking his lips, I was afraid he might jump right up on my blankets and have his way with Mini Scaredy right then and there.
Well, to make a long story short, eventually nature ran it’s course, and Owl and Mini Scaredy got it on. But that was the exact moment when Mini Scaredy finally decided to throw in her lot with me. From that point on, Mini Scaredy decided that my blankets were now her nesting area. And that I was now her human. . . And 4 years later, here we still are together.