The story of how Kelly came into my life-or-I came into hers. When I moved to Charleston a little over a year ago, I adopted a spunky, mischievous yet ridiculously sweet kitten and named him Atticus. My life had been pretty chaotic up to that point between moving to France, returning home because my Mom was sick, her death, teaching in North Carolina and finally moving to Charleston. I knew I would be in Charleston for a while as this is where I’ve been wanting to live for many years. It truly feels like home here, albeit a VERY hot home. Living in a new city and getting my feet back on the ground, I wanted to get Mortimor (my 7 year old cat) a buddy so he wouldn’t be lonely as I was gallivanting around the town. They got along really well from the beginning but as Atticus grew bigger, and is now as big as 12lb Morty, his extreme alpha nature became apparent and a serious issue. Perhaps because he was a little guy with this big cat he felt he had to overcompensate by playing rough. Maybe he missed the memo on how to play nicely. He never hurt Mortimor but was just relentless. Constantly having to know where Mortimor was, pouncing on him nonstop, stealing his food. I’d be waking up several times a night to Mortimor yelling out as he tried to escape Atticus’ grasp. My friend visited during the Spring and I was embarrassed how insane it got when the lights went out.
I thought maybe it was my energy. Am I giving off a stressful energy? Is Atticus picking up on it? I’ll meditate more. Maybe they need more space. Ok, well I bought a home with more space and even a screened porch. Since he’s uber alpha, he needs high places to sit and peer over everyone so I put up shelves that double as cat perches. I bought Feliway which is a spray that mimics happy, comforting cat hormones that is supposed to calm stressful situations and make cats cool with each other. I’d play fetch with him before bed to try to tire him out. He turned 1 in March so I’ll give it more time; he is still technically a kitten. I swear, I tried EVERYTHING. None of it worked. I thought about submitting a video to get Jackson Galaxy from My Cat from Hell to help me. I was waking up in a fright every night to the constant tussling going on; Mortimor was under constant stress and that tense energy was contaminating our home.
As a complete last resort, if nothing else is working, maybe adopting a female kitten would balance out all of the masculine energy and it could teach Atticus proper playing skills since he’d be playing with a kitten smaller than him. I wanted to avoid this option because I feared it’d cost more money, take more time/energy, and create an even bigger problem to add a 3rd cat. What if makes matters worse? What if she’s an alpha too and then we have a real circus going on? But what if it changes the dynamic and Atticus has something else to keep his focus on? What if Atticus learns to play nicely and Mortimor can get back to being his relaxed, zen, wise self?
At the end of June, I had the most vivid, real dream I’ve had since my Mom died. I’ve dreamt of her before where we would talk over the phone, or she was physically near me but we couldn’t speak directly or touch. That night before bed, I broke down in tears thinking how the 2 year post death anniversary is coming up, how I feel she’s getting farther away and if I am going to survive all of my remaining time without her. In the dream that night, I was in my childhood bedroom and she appeared in physical form. We hugged- I could feel it in the dream and even after I awoke, and talked as if we were together on Earth. I was asking her why I have to be here while she’s not, what’s she been up to, what’s my purpose. It was absolutely glorious. When I woke up, while delighted to see her and be reminded she’s around, I was crushed that the dream was over.
I was in dire straights that week. I had been thinking of getting another medium reading, it had been a few months, but was hesitating because of the price. After that dream though, I knew that hearing from my Mom directly through a medium was worth any amount of money. I had a reading and it was fantastic, clearly my Mom speaking through the medium, and very reassuring. I was asking a ton of questions of my Mom about career, love, health, purpose. I had wanted to ask if adding a 3rd cat was a great idea or a terrible idea. There wasn’t enough time to ask during the reading but the thing about life/death/Universe, everything is energy. Thought is energy. I didn’t need to vocalize my question in order for my Mom, who is now pure energy and not bound by these earthly energy barriers, to already know my question. During the entire reading, the only thing that didn’t make sense was when the medium threw out the name Kelly. I knew a Kelly growing up and have a cousin Kelly but they are both alive and well. I took a mental note of it and continued with my week.
That weekend I went to Kitten Yoga at Pounce, a Cat Cafe that opened in town last year. I was open to the idea of a 3rd cat if it felt right; if there was a kitty that chose me. Although relaxed from yoga, the meowmosa and little kitties running all around, a kitty didn’t choose me and it didn’t feel right just yet. I went home to browse the Charleston Animal Society site to see if there was a foster program or any cats that caught my eye. As I was scrolling, there she was. A beautiful, sweet grey girl named Kelly. I visited where she was being held and made sure to connect with my gut/intuition to guide me to the right decision. Gut check came back positive and I brought her home. That was a month ago today. I’m happy to report that it has gone better than I could’ve ever imagined or hoped. She’s diffused the stressful energy floating around, is teaching Atticus socialization skills, and has completed my cat tribe. Atticus still initiates some tussles with Mortimor but it has significantly decreased and I expect it will continue to decrease. It’s actually requiring less energy as I don’t have to worry about what’s going on when I’m away and I’m sleeping more without waking up to 2am brawling. She has been renamed to Adeline, after my very kind former colleague, and friend, that I worked with in Paris. I might not be married with 2 young children as my Mom was at my age, but as long as I can remember and likely when she was 29 too, we’ve had 3 cats. It feels so right and I have no regrets. Thanks Mom!