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Supreme Ruler Asrielle – World Animal Day – October 4th

A huge thank you to my wonderful partner, Geoff, who consented to writing about our constant companion, Queen Asrielle.. ruling monarch at Castle Greyskull aka The Cabin, for World Animal Day.

The World Animal Day Hop is being sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long and David M. Brown. Terri is the author of best-selling novel In Leah’s Wake, while David is the author of The Elencheran Chronicles.

 

Asrielle and Me

OK, so let’s get this out of the way right up front, I am a cat person. It’s not that I don’t like dogs,I do, but given a choice I’m going to pick cats every time. I love cats, I love cats for one very specific reason: cats are assholes. A cat does not give you the sycophantic love that dogs do. A cat does not expect attention every second of your time throughout the day. A cat wants and expects space. A cat will leave you alone for most of the day, and only comes to you on their terms. When they want something. A cat in many ways is exactly like a bad relationship. You know the situation is unequal, you know they’re only sticking around because they’re getting something out of it, and you know they wouldn’t stay one instant beyond what time they selfishly choose to spend with you. Maybe that’s why I love those moments more than my time with dogs. Their rarity makes them more special, its not something given away so cheap and easily that we value it more. Maybe its also because I feel no pangs of conscience when I shove the little furball off my lap because I too am an asshole and value my own time, and have no problems equally abiding by the parameters that I and my feline companion have set up to rule over our relationship.

Metal Kitteh

I have always lived around cats. Always. For those of you who are allergic you may feel there is not enough Benadryl in the world to cover being around that much dander. But it wasn’t until junior high that I actually had a cat that was mine. And by “mine” I mean a cat that had decided to spend its quality social time specifically in my company. Over the course of three years I had bonded to an orange tabby named Penelope, named by my mother for reasons I cannot remember. But she accepted my awkward emergence into puberty, and was a consistent, if occasionally distant, friend as I contemplated suicide and murder in roughly equal amounts throughout my metamorphosis in high school.
While she was steadfast in her complete ownership of me and our relationship (don’t misunderstand the rubbing of their face on you as simple affection, they are scent-marking you as property), and I was entirely looking forward to spending the rest of her life in her company, I would lose her before I ever set foot in my new home of Fairbanks. I was in visiting my father when I got a phone call from my mother that she had gotten out of the van in Anchorage when my parents were buying groceries to bring back to our new home in Fairbanks (they had a Sam’s Club there, you see), and they didn’t realize she wasn’t hiding till they drove the 8 hours back home. We spent over $2000 trying to get her back, but it was to no avail. I had to accept the fact that my friend was gone.

It was an entire year before I thought about adopting another cat. We have a tradition in our family of saving strays and getting cats from the pound. All of our animals were discarded by others, and we have been more than willing to offer them a better life. Plus their shaky kitten-hoods build character. So when I decided to adopt again I went to the pound to see what riff-raff I could pick up. Rough feline trade, so to speak. I knew I wanted a girl cat, that’s not just idle sexism, its practicality. Males have a very hard time not marking their territory all over the house, and I’m already doing that myself, I don’t need competition. Plus males are generally more social than the females, and I love low-maintenance. But when I went to the pound they were surprisingly low on kittens at the time. I went to the kitten cage after walking past the older cats (harder to adopt and awaiting eventual lethal injection, like a cruel kind of dead-man-walking psychological method of guaranteeing people will be wracked by guilt and adopt them instead), and when I reached the cage there was only a single orange tabby. Happy, excitable, playful…… and male. I was crestfallen and dying a little inside while the little bastard attempted to chew up my finger while standing on his hind legs. I was about to decide if I would settle or come back another day and walk past the condemned gallery at a later time when I noticed a small pair of very wide and scared yellow eyes barely peering out from above the top of the litter box.

“What’s that back there?” I asked.

“That one came in just this morning, the last kitten they couldn’t adopt out of the litter, she’s about six weeks old.” The grim reaper responded.

She, I thought. I reached back and pulled an entirely reluctant little caleco kitten from inside the litter box where she had decided the most defensible and hidden location was in the tiny kitten cage. Tortoise shell caleco, she was an explosion of earth tones, black and golden browns, with a dark face. Long hair with the tail of a fox,bushy and easily five times the width of her own tail.

“I’ll take her” I told the Reaper, and after a contest with Death I claimed my prize several weeks and one surgery later.

I named her myself, for the first time, and called her “Asrielle” which was the name of one of my favorite songs from the Texas grindcore band Deadhorse. I would later be reminded this was also the name of Gargamel’s cat from the smurfs, and apparently the name of one of Satan’s fallen angels, provided you switch up the spelling (Azrial, if you want to be technical). I still think she was named aptly. I wanted her connected to me, and so I took her everywhere, she rode in the hood of my coat when I went driving, I kept her in my massive parka when I went to classes at the university, she stayed in my room, isolated from the other cats until they could get used to the idea of another competing animal in the house, and I loved her.

She had a particularly bitchy personality, my friend Danny crashed on my floor overnight and she spent the evening slapping him in the face and running off when he dozed off. Later when I lived with bandmates in a trailer she selectively peed on the clothing of my most annoying roommate, and no one else’s. She took no shit off anybody or anything. And she became a heavy metal cat. I don’t mean I dyed her hair, or gave her a spiked collar or something equally stupid, I mean she grew up around a metal household, we played brutal music, practiced, and screamed and growled as a matter of course, and she quickly adopted to showing no fear of loud noises or strange behavior, just a widening of her eyes or a folding back of her ears for a brief moment before reassuring herself that these were just the kinds of idiots who made a ruckus, but were largely harmless.

I have had her for 18 years, that lends itself to far more stories than I have space for here, but she has been more reliable, more supportive, and more insufferable than most of my friendships, we have our own routines, our own quirks, and I would take her furry annoying ass over the vast majority of people I meet, but then, I am a misanthrope, and she is the perfect cat for anyone who awaits the day the tides of entropy wipe away the decadence of civilization. And she cleans my goatee.

The World Animal Day Hop is being sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long and David M. Brown. Terri is the author of best-selling novel In Leah’s Wake, while David is the author of The Elencheran Chronicles.

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14 Comments

  1. Fantastic post! Asrielle sure was lucky to have been spotted. Or was it all in her plans to begin with?
    Show me some love!

    • Great post. I’m a cat lover but then I do think writers tend to be cat people.
      Show me some love!

  2. I think she is beautiful. She fits perfect in the cabin with you and Geoff.
    Show me some love!

  3. You know the more I hear about this cat the more I fall in love with the fur ball myself. She sounds like she has a more fantastic personality than most people and that Geoff he’s a keeper he also needs to blog more. Seriously Geoff you’re really good at it.
    Show me some love!

  4. Fantastic! I too love my she-beast, Bob, or affectionately called boo-boo kitty. She is the ruler and Queen of the yard and we are her “hoo-mans” that she rules over. I feel so honored when she blesses us with her presence and allows us to scratch her ears.
    Show me some love!

  5. She’s beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing these insights and such wonderful pictures. She looks gorgeous and sounds like a great member of the family!
    Show me some love!

  6. I think Asrielle has magic. She picked Geoff with her hypnotic kitty eyes. Loved this post Geoff is getting good at this!
    Show me some love!

  7. Being known as the crazy cat lady, I had to drop by and leave a post after reading this :-D I, too, have an 18 year old moggie who is supreme ruler of our household. She is easily half the size of each of our other two cats, but that doesn’t stop her regularly beating the crumpets out of them! Cats – they’re special creatures. *Being typed while one of my cats tries to plank the keyboard*

  8. Great post Geoff.

    Thank you for sharing Asrielle’s story. 18 years and counting? You must have so many good memories.

    I admire a cat that targets your most annoying friend. Brilliant :)
    Show me some love!

  9. Such a great post and pretty cat! I had one that “hung in there as well” she died a couple years ago at the ripe old age of 23.
    Show me some love!

  10. Wonderful – I adore Asrielle just from reading this – she sounds like my kind of cat. My favorite cat was a solid black demon kitty named Raz that stayed with my 2nd husband (he was a boyfriend at the time) while we were in college. She had a bad attitude, terrible temper, and swore like a squirrel… and she was as close to a lesbian separatist as hormones would allow her, as when she was finally moved back out to the ranch (when he moved to Minneapolis and could no longer keep her) she was 3 before she finally broke down and got pregnant…

    One of my favorite memories was: she was laying on my soul-sister Amy’s lap, and swore at Amy. Amy mimicked the sound. I had no sooner said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you…” then Raz sat up, pinned her ears back, bit the crap out of Amy and went away… Heh. I warned her!

    Now we have 3 tomcats – big boys – and I love every one of them. But I do miss my demon kitty….

  11. Great post! I got a kick out of your take on cats and why you like them. Asrielle sounds like an awesome cat.

  12. Love this story and agree that Geoff needs to share more :-)
    I really like hearing bits about your life together in the cabin being owned by the kitty.
    Show me some love!

  13. What a beautiful post, quite intimate really x.

    And what a great age for your reliable companion.
    Show me some love!

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