This is her:
She was my sister’s cat until my sister moved in with the woman whom she would eventually marry and who is deathly (I’m not kidding about that. Really. DEATHLY.) allergic to cats. Denali lost the power struggle between human love and cat love. It probably worked out for the best for my sister.
It definitely worked out best for me, because I got Denali.
Denali is persnickety. She ONLY liked my sister for a long time. Then she ONLY liked me. Now she likes Alex too. Although we still laugh about the night that Alex was sleeping because it was 3 am and Denali, who sleeps on my pillow above my head, freaked out for absolutely no reason and started attacking Alex’s head.
This is only made funnier by the fact that Denali is a polydactyl cat, meaning she has a ton of extra toes on each foot, making her gigantic paw attacks even more deadly.
Denali, however, does NOT care for the children. I should repeat that. DENALI DOES NOT CARE FOR THE CHILDREN.
She used to hang out under our bunk beds and if I asked my kids to crawl under there to pick up toys, they would start sobbing about how they were afraid of Denali. She made her feelings about kids known.
She hangs out upstairs all day and only comes down after the kids go to bed. If a child gets within, say, about three feet of her, she starts hissing. Every once in a while, a kid will wander into the room after their bedtime, catching Denali with her proverbial pants down. Sometimes, if Alex or I has her on one of our laps, we’ll let them pet her, because she is less likely to strike at them if we are holding her.
An angrier cat you have never seen when that happens. She flattens her little ears and manages to look more put out than you’d think would be possible considering she is incapable of frowning.
All of this information about Denali is to preface the fact that she had, like, a ping pong ball-sized cancerous tumor that I found a couple of weeks ago and she had surgery Monday to have it removed.
My kids are totally flipped out about it. Sam says he’s never going to touch her again. (From inside Denali’s head: “I should have done this YEARS ago!”) I think they heard us explain surgery and fixated on the “cut her open” bit. In their minds, I believe that they think that her incision site is at risk of popping open at any time for the rest of her life.
Kind of like a real life, furry piñata. Only instead of candy, there is blood and organs.
This is why I have to hide the cat from them until her fur grows back, because they will not do well if they run into Denali 2.0: Frankencat.
I’m happy to report that she seems to be doing well. We napped for a long time together this afternoon. Her presence made me feel like I was being a good cat mom instead of a loser who can’t keep her eyes open for more than three hours at a stretch. The dog slept with us too. But she is legitimately a layabout.
I might have to help her recuperate tomorrow also. It depends how tired I am.
Cross your fingers that her recovery is smooth and that her cancer is gone.
Also, over at White Knuckle Parenting this week, I wrote about the constant running narrative about good manners that I force my kids to listen to in public. If I have to say, “Look out for people!” fewer than 15 times a day, it is likely that we haven’t left the house.