Three years ago, I promised myself a cat. I had wanted a cat before then, but had been turned down by my then-landlord. I moved back to Sydney, passing up the opportunity of a free Burmese kitten about a month before I moved. I asked the FLA and owner’s corporation if I could keep a cat. The owner’s corporation said yes. The FLA did the whole black hole thing (since I put it in writing) and I eventually got a ‘no’ (by email). So I became a naughty tenant, and got a cat anyway.

In the long time frame between deciding to get a cat and actually getting it, I decided I wanted a Burmese cat. I found my cat through the Burmese Cat Society of Australasia (their site doesn’t appear to be working today). When I first met her, she was called Sally, but I named her Calli. When first I met her, she was a tiny thing:

She was the runt of the litter and was rejected by her Mum, so she was hand reared. Her Mum was not very big, and Calli has always been small – 1.7kg when she came home with me in December 2007, and now at 2 years and 1 month old, she is 4.2kg. She’s been getting herself into all sorts of trouble from the start:


She jumped into my work backpack one morning after I put my phone charger in there. I got to work and pulled out the charger to start charging my phone… and found she’d chewed her way clean through the cable. She has since destroyed a USB mouse cable (these days I use a wireless mouse) and my work laptop power supply cable was damaged twice (the IT staff at work were not impressed!). The power cables were live, by the way, which is why I call her “Calli the Wonder Cat” (as in “wonder why she’s still alive!”). She has plenty of toys I encourage her to chew instead, but thankfully she hasn’t shown as much interest in chewing cables lately. Or yarn. She chomped her way through the leftover yarn from the Noro Scarf and the Earl Grey Tea Socks. Works in progress are always kept safely in drawstring bags to prevent her getting her paws on them and the stash is all cat-proofed.

Of course I’ve knit for her:


…but of course that photo was staged – she prefers the cat bed from the Reject Shop. Or lying on any of my jumpers. Or on my lap.

She is my constant companion, telling me when the heater should be turned on, when it is dinner time, when it is bed time, following me around the house. And, being Burmese, she can be very vocal about it. She always wants to know what is happening:


(The computer blows warm air out that side where she’s standing.)

A few weeks before we moved house, she suddenly fell ill. She was in the Vet hospital for five days on a drip. Neither of us enjoyed it. The vets couldn’t diagnose anything specific and labelled it ‘gastritis’.


Due to her hospital stay, she couldn’t go visit my parent’s place for the week while I moved house (she loves staying at their house – her toys slide around better on the tiled floors and there is more sunshine). She found the house move fun. It gave her new vantage points:


She is very happy at our new home. At the old place, there were seven other cats living within 30 metres. She’s an indoor cat, but was bothered by the other cats outside. Here at the new place, all the neighbours have dogs, but I saw a cat over the back for the first time today. She should be a lot less bothered by other cats though. She loves watching the birds outside and I have built an enclosure so she can sit outside but not try catching the birds. Now the chaos of constantly changed surroundings of mixed up furniture and boxes everywhere has given way to long expanses of cork flooring (rattle balls roll better and louder…) and glorious sunshine, she’s a happy pussy.


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