Freeda Katlo was born without fanfare, lost and wild, somewhere on the streets of Las Vegas. It has been estimated that the day was October 8th, 2013. When she was found a year later, there were kittens in the vicinity. It was also concluded that the kittens did not belong to her. It was noted that she exhibited no maternal instincts towards them and that they therefore must have belonged to another cat. Freeda was turned over to a local “kill” shelter and the fate of the kittens, I have no record of. Freeda did her time at the shelter, failed to be adopted, and on the day she was to be euthanized, she was miraculously rescued by an employee of a local “no-kill” shelter.
Here, at the other shelter, she lived in relative comfort and was cared for well. She was endearingly named after the Director of the shelter (which was a different name than the one she currently has). It was determined early on that she could not share a cage or small room with the other cats and kittens in the facility. The solution was to allow her to “free-roam” the common areas. Still there were infractions from time to time, especially when prospective adopters were visiting with potential adoptees. Freeda quickly developed an infamous reputation and was often scolded, sometimes loudly enough for the Director of the facility to over-hear. The situation often led to uncomfortable moments for the employees as they had to explain why they were speaking of their Director in disciplinary terms. For example, “Hey! (Director’s name), what do you think you are doing? Stop that! You are such a naughty girl!” Or, “(Director’s name)! #$@&%*! You are driving me crazy!” … and so forth. As you can imagine, they may have been ready for her to be adopted, or perhaps undergo a name change, but that would have required a measure of paperwork and the staff was already pretty overloaded with work. (Note to reader: Las Vegas is home to a very vibrant feral cat population).
On that fateful day that my kids and I came to the shelter looking to adopt a cat of our own, we encountered Freeda right away. The employee on adoption duty, was steering us toward a cage filled with newly arrived kittens. As we inspected the cage curiously and expressed a multitude of “Awwwws” and “Oooooohs” over the fury cuteness before us, Freeda was circling us, sniffing our feet, and rubbing herself shamelessly against our legs. She seemed particularly enamored with my five year old son. He pointed at Freeda and looked up at me with his liquid pool eyes, encased by the deepest darkest fullest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a boy, and said ever so sweetly, “Mommy, what about this kitty? This kitty really likes me.”
I knew in my heart at that very moment that Freeda would be coming home with us. There was a little more superficial kitten browsing (just to make extra sure) and a few discussions with the employee about Freeda’s unusual nature. Freeda was two years old at the time but very skinny. She could still hold her own in the kitten category, as far as the untrained eye of a five year old boy is concerned. I, personally, was enticed by the idea of a cat that was already an expert at the litter box. The deal had been done. Freeda became a member of our family and returned home with us that very day.
Freeda enjoys her new life with us. She still follows my son around everywhere he goes, but due to her habit of chewing on fingers and toes after sundown, she is still forbidden to sleep with him at night. We tried to keep her as an indoor pet, and she spent the first few months with us trying to escape. Finally, after a very close call when a door was almost slammed on her midsection in an attempt to “keep her safe,” we decided to let her have limited access to the back yard. So far, this has proved to be a satisfying compromise for all parties involved. She is smart, and has never tried to run away. Been there, done that, right, Freeda?
She is always a great source of entertainment, even if her affections can be prickly, packed with sharp toothy bites and even sharper ninja-like paw swipes. Even so, we love her very much and accept her fully for who she is. She’s our Freeda Katlo, named after an artist with a matching complex personality.
About Bonnie, owner of Freeda:
My cat selected me. It was her choice, and I accepted her into my life with love. As our relationship grows, so does this blog. It’s a way to connect with and reach into the mysterious corners of the mind of another creature. It is also a creative outlet for me, so yes, for completely selfish reasons I will exploit my beloved furry companion here on these pages. I am a professional Artist and Creativity Coach.
Cat lovers unite. Never fear, Freeda is beloved and well taken care of, and no harm shall come to her in the creation of this blog or videos.