Brownie came to me in the beginning of 2007, when she was 5 or 6 weeks old. She was found in Hsinchu, a city in Northern Taiwan, abandoned in a carton box (really, why would anyone do something like that?). The lady who rescued her found my friend Amber on the online cat forum, who has a lot of experience bottle-feeding motherless kitties. Since she wasn’t taking care of any at that moment, she agreed to take this one over. It was the beginning of December 2006. The vet said she might have been a week old. Amber decided to make November 25th her birthday, coinciding with the birthday of her oldest cat.
I was having a lot of problems with Tango back at the time. Besides the usual my-battery-is-completely-full-and-I-want-to-do-a-lot-of-crazy-stupid-things kind of kitty problems, Tango was also unfortunately not socialized. He had no idea that he was a cat, nor that he was in fact not one of us. I couldn’t blame him. He couldn’t have known better. Still, it was annoying to have him hunch his back and puff up when we were trying to discourage him from doing something undesirable. He also felt free to bite us when he was upset, and punishing him only made it worse.
I met Amber on the cat forum. She had 4 cats at that point and a lot of experience bottle-feeding motherless ones. She was kind enough to set up “play dates” for Tango so that he could be with other cats. Even after the first play date he was behaving better, knowing that there were lines he shouldn’t cross (that or he got too tired trying to defend himself in an unknown environment). Amber kept encouraging me to get a second one, but the only thing I could think of was: if things go south, I’d be pretty dead. My mother really adored Tango by then, but still. Bringing a second cat home would be a provocation, and if this one turns out to be just like Tango, then it’s double the trouble.
The first time I saw Brownie however, my heart melted. She was motherless just like Tango, but with an experienced human caretaker, she was doing a lot better. She was fluffy, round, well-fed, and happy. She would purr nonstop the second someone picks her up to cuddle her, and she is extremely smart. Even from such an early age you could tell she knew a lot about the world, who not to cross, how to make herself comfortable, but above all, how to love and be loved. That first time I saw her, I had Tango on my lap and I put her next to him. He got so angry that he tried to attack her, but I managed to put my hand over her in time. Well, I would be jealous too, it’s a bit like having a new baby sister in the house, and I knew it would be something I had to work on.
I saw Brownie several times, and every time a voice in my head says: take her home! I made a deal with Amber: I’d take her home for two weeks to see how things went. If it worked out, I’d keep her. If not, I’d take her back and Amber would find her a new owner. I told my mother Amber needed some help with the little one, because one of her cats was sick (which was true). Brownie was so adorable however, my mother never really opposed to me bringing her home.
Tango was almighty angry for 2 days. He didn’t attack his baby sister like what he tried to do the first time he saw her, but he would observe her whatever she was doing, and that stressed her out. Brownie was smart though. She never messed with him, and she spent her time playing and being nice to everyone in the house. She quickly won us over. By the third day, her magic worked on Tango, too. They started sitting next to each other, and Tango started grooming her. So that was that, she stayed. Brownie is about as clingy as a dog, which is most of the time very flattering (though sometimes I also want her to leave me alone for a bit). She follows me around the house very often, getting accidentally stepped on from time to time. She wants to be cuddled all the time, and she likes attention. She is as nice as a companion animal can be, though she is very shy and guests almost never get to see her. The only exception was my boyfriend (I’ll dub him D). The first time he came through the door of where I was living back at the time, Brownie went to greet him. I really wonder if she was smart enough to know who he was and that he would be the boss from now on. Needless to say, she is D’s favorite. Before we moved in together he made this “no cat in the bedroom” rule. Guess who was the first to break that rule with Brownie? He also gives her a copious amount of treat on a daily basis, despite that fact that I keep trying to tell him it’s not necessarily good for her health. Oh well. I guess we still have to work on that.
Brownie came as Tango’s companion, but is now everybody’s favorite sweetheart. She has her quirks, and when she sets her mind on something there is almost nothing you can do to stop her (fortunately that doesn’t happen too often). However, when I look into her big green eyes, I see as much love as it is possible to be contained by her small body, and I feel truly blessed that I decided to take her home, and all the way across the world with me. For all the love you have given, little girl, you deserve a very happy life, and I hope I can at least give you that.