Happy Birthday to Z and Shiya!

Shiya and Z have the same birthday which makes this weekend extra special for me.

“Rarest of all the orange females is the one with long hair. Short hair is a dominant trait; long hair is recessive. Breed a long-haired cat with a short-haired one, and the majority of the offspring will have short hair. Put that together with the small number of orange females, and getting a long-haired female is a real long shot – one out of 100 orange cats.

There is an ancient Egyptian myth that is relevant. It goes like this:

Heroic humans set out to slay a dragon that was the source of all chaos in the world. The dragon was known as A-Pop. When the humans cornered him and struck a killing blow. A-Pop did not die, but flew into a million fragments. The pieces of A-Pop remain suspended, one fragment reappearing in each long-haired, orange female cat.” —  Linda Daniel

In 2008, my mom discovered that her newly “adopted” stray short-haired calico cat was pregnant.   Shortly after this discovery, the calico cat gave birth to two female orange kittens (one long-haired and one short-haired).  I decided to adopt the long-haired kitten which was fortunate because  I was the only person that she would let touch her.

My first day with Shiya

My first day with Shiya

Coming up with an appropriate name for her was difficult.  Clementine and Tangerine didn’t work.  Morris wasn’t a name for a girl kitten.  Marmalade and Ember made her eyes narrow.  Hissy (what my mom called her) was not the right name.  No cute legal term  like Res Judaica seemed to fit.  Suddenly, it struck me! She was so vocal and shy — her name needed to be Shiya (or Shy-a).

Her first night in my apartment was stressful.  Shiya had never slept by herself before and whenever I would turn off the lights, she would meow so sadly.  The only way that I could calm her down in the dark was to scoop her up and cuddle her on my chest so that she could feel my heartbeat.  I didn’t sleep so great that night but she purred all night. Over the years, she has been my child.   Whenever she gets sick, I’m positive that I react the same way that new parents do – her first sneeze prompted an emergency call to the vet. This year, she turns five – Happy Birthday, Shiya!


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