Flora's Pages, or how an ebony fluffball stole my heart.


Eleven years ago, a friend found a very young abandoned kitten in a parking lot. Even though she already had a pet, she couldn't bear to leave the little waif. As a renter, however, she could not keep the kitten, and asked if I wanted her. I took her to our veteranarian, who tested her for feline "AIDS," lanced the quarter-sized abcess on her tiny neck, and sent her home with me. I isolated her from the older cats until she was well. That room happened to house the computer, so she spent the first two weeks on my lap every evening.

Needless to say, we bonded. Flora never outgrew her sweet kitten 'trill,' and I had the happy privilege of becoming 'Mom.' Flora is one of few cats I have known that will place a paw on either side of my neck and give me a gentle hug! This is usually accompanied by much affectionate chin-rubbing and whispers of sweet Kitty Nothings into my ear.

Miss Flora is very shy around strangers, and I wish she were more gregarious with my friends. But she has lived up to her Veddy Victorian name, and has a lovely black plume-tail and a silky coat of fluff. She is small because of her early malnutrition, but healthy in every other way. Because of her size, and because I know how hard it is to find homes for kittens, she was spayed at 6 months. Recovery was quick, and she became the Fabulous Flying Flora as she lept for a flying toy of hers. She would watch it swing back and forth, and jump ever higher to snatch it from the air. That was her favorite game until she discovered tackling a moving packing strap.

Miss Flora seems to invite affectionate nicknames. She has also been called Flora the Five-Second Wonder (for her habit of kicking off my shoulder after a minimal time); Miss Flora Fluff-For-Brains (when she does something truly inexplicable); and Miss FloraBelle Shadow Dustbunny Underfoot!

If you are considering getting a kitten or a cat-- remember, there are already too many unwanted animals in the world. Instead of buying a purebred, consider adopting a kitten or cat that truely needs you. They are beautiful in their own right, and you will save at least one animal from disease, starvation, or accident. Miss Flora would approve.