Boudicca - Boudi for short, pronouced Bo-dee, is a pure-bred Maine Coon. After a couple of years of wanting a cat, but unable to get one per our lease, we moved again for the military and made sure to get a pet-friendly place. We knew we wanted a Maine Coon, and at the time thought we might eventually get stationed overseas, so a pure bred from a breeder, with a known medical history, seemed like the way to go. She's registered as Megacoon Boudicca Cailleach. We wanted a fearless cat, so naming her for the warrior queen who sacked Londinium seemed like the way to go. And as you can see, we did indeed get a fearsome beast:
She was born on April 1st, 2010. She came home on the weekend of the 4th of July. The breeder warned us she might take a couple days to come out of hiding, but in less than 12 hours she went from this:
to coming out and playing at our feet and on our bed. It's hard to remember that she was ever that tiny, as she weighs about 20 pounds now! She really did bond to me, because unfortunately Sascha was gone for the first four months she was home, then home for three, then gone again for eight more months. So by the time he got to spend those three months with her, she was already mine. And the eight month deployment just cemented it. He saw her like the above photo, then like this:
and then, when he got home from Afghanistan, like this:
The artillery practicing nearby and shaking the house doesn't faze her. Fireworks don't faze her. Thunderstorms don't faze her. Wrecking the car made her a little clingy for a few weeks, but then she was back to her normal self. She travels with us when we need to; we have a large kennel, and a harness and leash that she doesn't mind.
She just curls up in the back and goes to sleep! She's been across the country twice, from North Carolina to Oregon and back. In and out of hotels. (She likes their sinks.)
But I think it was really tonight that I realized she is a familiar, and not just a house cat. A house cat would go sleep in bed and take advantage of my side being empty, right? Instead she's here by my feet. I've seen her leap off the bed and run for the door, growling, when someone knocks unexpectedly. Usually when I'm also napping; if I'm awake she doesn't tend to do that. I swear she understands me when I speak. She comes when called, and sits for her treats like a lady.
She's gotten a little too big for sinks, but she still tries. (And let me tell you, the urge to turn the water on is almost overpowering sometimes!) She's absolutely huge, and can stand up and reach things on the counter without hardly trying:
That's a normal-height table! She really wanted that bowl of crow feathers. She turns two years old this April, and sometimes it's hard to believe. Have I really had her in my life that long? Gods willing, she'll be with us for years to come, through more moves and more changes. I'm sure she'll take them in stride. In fact, I could probably learn a lot from her on taking changes well. And on being fearless.