The story of Cholla/Bastette, my studio-mate

This image has nothing to do with my stray cat but links to another post about radioactive cats.

This image has nothing to do with my stray cat but links to another post about radioactive cats.

bastette_bath1UPDATE: GOT A PICTURE OF HER HAVING A BATH IN HER CRIB.

So a few months ago this stray, possibly feral, cat appeared in our building. I was sitting outside the landlord’s office testing the routers because I had no internet connection and I had plugged my laptop directly into the main ethernet cable, bypassing the routers, to see if we had any connection coming into the building at all. I am not often sitting outside my landlord’s door with my laptop. As if by chance, I am not often in the same part of the building as my landlord, and I tend to ‘conserve energy’ during the days when he is here by turning off lights and music in my studio. On said days, I also tend to practice ‘special tactics’ by taping leaves to my car and parking it in the bushes, on said days. But that’s another story.

Hottie fab men. Click them and they spring to larger life!

Hottie fab men. Click them and they spring to larger life!

By the way, Saturday April 4th is Pacifico Palumbo’s birthday. He and his partner Michael Collins are truly fabulous. Looks like they fired up their restaurant, The Green Emporium.

So on this day I am sitting on the stool with my laptop when I hear my neighbor jumping around in his studio and exclaiming. Then his door flew open and there he was in the doorway, with wild eyes and crazy hair and he said, “Dude, there’s a cat in my studio!” I am not actually a dude but, no matter. I went into his studio and there was no cat. He was really eager to prove this and kept jumping around and exclaiming that there really had been a cat and then he pointed, aha-like, to fresh animal hairs on his otherwise hairless couch. Sure enough, there were a dozen or so orange-ish hairs. But the cat had disappeared. Days later this neighbor told me he had found the hole by which he assumed the cat entered and had closed it up.

By the way, I somehow missed Liz Chalfin‘s birthday on March 14. She is at the center of this post.

Two days later another neighbor said, “Want to walk over to the woodworking shop? They have a kitten. They found it in the parking lot 2 days ago.” so I did. It was a really cute orange-ish kitten. I hugged it, a lot, which it liked.

Scary red chick in the attic.

Scary red doll in the scary attic.

A few days after that I was in the scary attic for some reason and I saw an orange blur. I decided it was a deity and named it Bastette (var.,  Bastet) as I was sure it would bring me things and protect me from other things.

So every day I would bring offerings of food and water up to the attic for my deity. Then one day the deity moved into the pile of plywood and stuff in the hallway outside my back door. My deity evidently decided to move closer to breakfast. My deity evidently walks through walls because there are many fire doors between the attic and my studio. I climbed over the pile of stuff and dropped old sweaters into a few areas for comfy times, for my deity-cat. I got free food and litter from the shelter and other neighbors and friends brought me food and litter for her.

Me in Sant Feliu de Guíxols

Me in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. In the future.

Since then I have been feeding this little orange deity. After a few months she started letting me view her. Then she began sitting 3 feet away and looking at me. At breakfast she demands conversation and the teeny crying sounds don’t stop till I sit on the floor – no closer than 3 feet – and tell her stories. Sometimes I speak to her in Spanish because I need to brush up on that before I go spend a month or so next fall (ish) in Sant Feliu, with fellow artists who have invited me.

img_5121But the landlord – who has a sense of smell – got wind of the deity-cat. The mouse population in our building is now low to none. The building next door reported a sudden increase in mice so they rescued a cat from the shelter and now that mouse population is also very low. So, because we have stopped ridiculously whining about the mice – due to bastette the deity cat – the landlord likes having her around. he offered to pay to have her examined and fixed. So we set about trapping her. I felt awful about taking away her food but after about 42 hours, she walked into the trap for the waiting tuna fish.

img_5122She was scared so I sat on the floor with her and talked. When I talk to her she is content. I told her about kindergarten when I used to always be in time out and likened it to her also-undeserved caged status. We bonded.

Then the animal control officer came over with a friend last night about 10 pm and we transferred her into a big, big cage which has an open floor plan and we made a bed and bath arrangement for her. She promptly moved into the litterbox. She hissed and slammed about but when they left I talked to her more.

About 1:30 am I heard her eating so she has ventured out of the litterbox. She hasn’t made a peep all night and this morning she is tiptoeing about so I imagine she is scared. She likes the blanket closed.I am honored that when I chat with her she calms right down. We have been bonding for months. We have a lot in common; we both don’t like mice and we both have anxiety. I suspect we are both females.

Today I will call the vet again and make the appointment for her exams and fixings. And, we will find out if she is a she or a he.

Next Stray Cat Update…

2 Responses to “The story of Cholla/Bastette, my studio-mate”

  1. Gnome de Pluehm Says:

    “the deity-cat”

    My denomination, LOLCAT, calls this “the ceiling cat.”

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