All about Alison!
Please allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Alison Lebowitz, and I am a tiger-striped tabbie with a strong maternal instinct.
Do you believe in fate, karma, kismet and love at first sight? I certainly do, and after you hear my story, you may become a true believer too!
Do you want to hear a love story? Well, get comfy and if you're an incurable romantic, then keep some hankies handy. Well, it happened like this...
My earliest memories hearken back to an innocent time when I was nursing with my mother and felt safe, secure and nurtured. I don't remember when I was taken from my mother, because that part is a bit hazy. My next memory is being transported in a vehicle of some sort to the domicile of a kindly vet.
While I was grateful for the food and shelter provided by the gracious boniface of this kitty hostelry, I longed to be adopted by a human, who would promise to love me and give me a good home. I made a vow that if ever I had the good fortune to be adopted by such a one, I would love and cherish her for the rest of my nine lives. Now here's where the love story begins...
One fine day, an amiable human named Ruth, came to visit the vet because she heard that there was a rescued kitty who needed a good home. Well, unfortunately for that kitty, but happily for me, the chemistry just wasn't right. The human was getting ready to leave, crestfallen and empty-handed, when the vet called after her, "Ruth wait! There is another kitty. She's six months old and her name is Alison. She's a real sweetheart!"
Fortune was surely smiling at me that day, because she took one look at me and fell instantly in love. My feelings for her were returned a thousand-fold.
My deepest longing, my greatest wish was fulfilled.
I had found my destiny and her name was Ruth.
The next thing I knew we were headed to begin our new life together at Ruth's humble abode, Chez Lebowitz.
I was home at last, to a place that had existed to me only in my dreams. But dreams can sometimes come true, if you wish them hard enough.
Once settled in at Chez Lebowitz, I learned that Ruth had never been owned by a cat before. Her knowledge of felines was woefully lacking. In her folly, she had believed herself to be strictly a "dog-person" and never in her wildest dreams, had she contemplated letting a kitty into her life.
Sadly, she had a recent trauma in her life. She had been unceremoniously booted out of her home of many years in an acrimonious separation. She found herself, not only losing custody of her little dog, but exiled to a shabby one bedroom apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. What was worse, was the "dogs verboten" policy.
You know there is an old saying that humans are quite fond of. They say that" a fall down the stairs can be a step up the ladder." We have a similar expression in "feline", but it loses in the translation.
In Ruth's case, this trite but true adage, proved correct. Those circumstances that closed the door on her days as a dog-fancier were over, but her life as a cat-lover was just beginning. I told you it was a love story! Even I get misty when I think of our sweet beginnings.
Since Ruth knew virtually nothing about cats, I had to begin my tutetage right away. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I've always loved a challenge. Plus I had the advantage of capturing her heart from the get-go. Now the training began. You know, humans can be quite malleable creatures if taught at an early age.
While it is more difficult to instruct a die-hard "dog-lover", is is by no means an impossible task!
Who says you can't teach a human new tricks?
First I taught her feline body language. She soon learned the different gestures and movements which indicated what my needs and wants were. Rubbing against her legs in the kitchen, ever so gently, conveyed to this human that I wanted my dinner. Nuzzling against her meant I wanted to be stroked and petted.
Bumping my nose against hers as the Eskimos do, meant that I was expressing my affection. Nose-bumps and head-bonks conveyed my infinite love for her.
Now a really key skill is the time-honored art of "The Silent Miaow" as described in the eponymous book by Paul Gallico, who must truly be the poet laureate of the cat world.
The "Silent Miaow" is accomplished by making eye contact with the human, and communicating effectively, without uttering a single syllable. It takes a bit of practice, but once mastered, is a very valuable skill.
Soon Ruth was able to read the volumes spoken in my green eyes, although not even the hint of a sound was made. I cannot underestimate the importance of this art, which should be mastered by every kitty who wishes to form a bond with a human, especially one who has not yet benefited from feline companionship.
Fortunately for me, Ruth proved a quick study, and was well on her way to becoming a member of that society, she had previously maligned, "the cat-lover", a segment of the population who is legion in number and fortunately for homeless felines, steadily increasing.
Now there was one form of feline behaviour which totally baffled this acolyte, and that was the habit of "kneading". Whenever I would jump on Ruth's abdomen and knead her tummy with my paws, she found this quite inexplicable. Fortunately, she came to learn that the kneading motions, accompanied by loud purring and closed eyes, was an atavistic behaviour by which the feline can recreate the nurtured feeling of being nursed as a kitten. This is a great compliment to the person who is being kneaded, since it is a way of expressing the strong maternal bond the feline feels for its new surrogate mother, albeit of the human species.
Once this mystery was clarified for Ruth, my tutelage was complete. We lived together in harmony, and respect for each others' wants and needs.
Our days together were happy ones. I could not wait for Ruth to awake in the morning to show her how much I loved her. So I gently paw her and purr to wake her up, usually at 4:00 a.m., especially if I am feeling a bit peckish as well. This is a great service I perform. You would have to tip a concierge in a four-star luxury hotel, for such a wake-up call, accompanied by a continental breakfast. I perform this essential service free of charge, out of the goodness of my own heart.
To this day, the first sound Ruth hears is my sonorous purring in her ear, and the reassuring sight of my tail in her face. Sometimes she says "Oh for God's sake!" which is no doubt, how she is thanking the deity for the pleasure of being awakened by me in such a lovely manner.
In time, Ruth realized how much I had enriched her life. We had a conference, and decided that it was time to invite more felines into our happy home.
Soon, a brother-and-sister team, "Milo and Otie", came into our lives and our home, followed by a winsome calico by the name of "Ditzy", an appelation which proved prophetic!
Since I have such a strong maternal instinct, I nurtured these kitties as if they were my own. I groomed them fastidiously and deferred to them whenever sustenance was provided, and refused dinner until they had had their share. Since they were all orphaned kitties, they were grateful for this nurturing, and positively thrived on the unconditional love I bestowed
Once integrated into our lives, Milo, Otie, and Ditzy became vital members of our happy home. Ruth calls us all her "Peaceable Kingdom" since we all get along so harmoniously. In fact, her love for us was so great, that she decided to honor us by writing about us, in articles for the internet. She started out with a few humble pages for the Purina Cat Chow website, and thus emboldened created our very own websites. She started with Ditzy's site, and continued until all four of us had their respective personal pages.
Before we knew it, we had attracted a cult following on the net, whose number is increasing on a daily basis. We even get fan mail, which we answer diligently. Milo has become quite an adept typist, and Otie shows great potential as a feline editor.
Ditzy's specialty is shameless self-promotion, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has had the good fortune to have made her acquaintance.
Our life together is a happy one, indeed.
Ruth and I have a special bond, since I was the first feline in her life, but she loves us all equally, which is just the way it should be.
We all sleep together, eat together and play together.
We take turns typing away at our trust iMac, and sometimes we even give Ruth a chance to get online.
Isn't that considerate of us? I told you we all showed the utmost respect and consideration for each other.
Our humble abode is full of love, even if at times we are short of cash. A heart full of love, contains far more riches than a hefty balance in a bank account, at least if you ask me. Ruth's love for us and ours for her, grows greater day by day.
I told you this was going to be a love story, didn't I?
Not so bad a life for four orphaned kitties, if you ask me...