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The Triumphant and Tentacled Return of Cephaloblog

Photo Courtesy of ExtremePumpkins.com

Photo Courtesy of ExtremePumpkins.com

Cephaloblog is back and better than ever with a NEWLY REVAMPED posting schedule (as in, I WILL be posting). Every Sunday starting today, there will be a freshly inked (heh) post. So if you (used to) like what you read, come back for more, every week!

To kick off my first week back, since probably the least number of people will read this post considering my disappearance off the face of the blogosphere four months ago, I’ll take this opportunity to be a crazy cat lady.

This is Pepper Beyonce Servadio

This is Pepper Beyonce Servadio

This is Pepper.

A year ago tomorrow, I discovered Pepper hiding in the pines in my backyard. My sister beckoned me, “Look at that cute little kitty hiding in the trees!” Desperate for a cat but knowing I wouldn’t be able to get one until I was able to move out, I decided I was going to pet a kitty (with no intention of keeping her as my own, I might add).

Slowly, I tip-toed across the wet and muddy yard that Sunday afternoon, edging closer to the cat. “Kitty,” I called, “Here, kitty, kitty!” The cat slowly backed away but didn’t disappear. As I inched closer and continued to call her, I heard a faint mew answer my call. But once I got within feet of the cat and knelt over with my arm outstretched, she darted into the pines and hid.

I knew I would need something more persuasive than my empty reaching arm. I came back with a dish of milk.

I slowly approached the cat again and placed the dish of milk as close as I could to her. Then I backed up a few steps. Carefully, watching me, the cat walked up to the milk. With her big green eyes still focused on me, she started to lap up the milk.

I took this opportunity to get closer to her again. This time, she didn’t dart away. I called her and knelt over once again, inching closer and closer to both the milk dish and the cat.

Having no idea if this cat was going to lacerate me with a sharpened claw or chomp down on a finger, I slowly held out one hand and my fingers graced the back of her furry head. She responded with a chirping meow but didn’t run away, and continued to hungrily lap up the milk.

I got a little more adventurous and began to stroke her. Soon, she was done with her milk and responding to my petting, rubbing her face against my hand and mewing and purring. I called to my sister but she was too afraid to come out because she didn’t want to scare her away.

After several minutes of kitty time, I was satisfied and picked up the milk dish and walked back to the house. The little black furball followed me!

Staring at the cat on our back deck from inside our house, we got the brilliant idea to name her. Obviously, she liked us. My foodie sister and I had already decided that it was adorable for our non-existent pets to have food-related names. “What’s a black food?” “Pepper?”

We pet and played with Pepper for a few hours and said goodbye to her when it was time for dinner. Later that night, around 10 o’clock, she meowed at the back door and discretely enjoyed half a can of tuna.

Later that week, a food dish and cat kibble was purchased and carefully hidden. By Friday, my mom had noticed our new friend.

“Ariel, there’s the cutest little kitty out back on the deck! And the poor thing, she’s really thirsty! She was drinking the condensation off the pool cover… So I put out a little dish of milk for her.”

Jackpot! I knew I had an in. “Mom, that’s our cat Pepper.”

Pepper took up permanent residence on our back porch with a homemade shelter and blanket. When the snow started to fall and little flakes stuck to her whiskers, she moved into the garage. To our relief and surprise, she was litter-trained.

When it started to get very cold, we began to let her into our basement shop for a few hours at a time, so she could warm up. One night, we couldn’t find her anywhere after searching and searching. She fell asleep in a cardboard box filled with brown packing paper in the back of the basement. Pepper moved into the shop for the winter.

After that, it didn’t take long until she had full reign over the entire finished basement, sleeping on the tops of couches and prancing around in the drop ceiling.

By the new year, she had taken over the whole house.

Tomorrow, I will have had Pepper for one full year, and it will be her 5th birthday (best guess). In the time that I have known her, I have trained her to climb a ladder, use the toilet, stand on her hind legs and beg for a treat, and know when it’s time to go to bed (she is still relegated to the basement, at night). She has also endured weekly nail trimmings, the application of soft claws, furminating, and a trip to the groomer’s when she started to stink. But through it all she has been an incredibly loving, adorable and sweet cat that has truly become a member of my family.

I love you, Pepper. Happy Birthday!

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