Sex: Female Born: circa 1997
Type: Black and white shorthair. Origin: Stray.
Features: Dainty white mitts on front feet, socks on hind; white bib and belly. Wide, bright eyes.
Name: After minor character in a Fafhrd and Grey Mouser story by Fritz Leiber.


Slenya is responsible for starting my bad habit of feeding and -- as an inevitable consequence -- adopting local strays. In late 1998, I arrived home one evening and was getting out of my car when I saw a little black-and-white cat trotting by. As usual, I made kitty-kitty noises, but unlike most of the local roaming cats -- who generally run if I so much as look at them -- this one stopped and chirped at me enquiringly. I talked to her some more, and she finally came over to me and let me pet her. She was quite thin; I could feel her little bones sticking out, and she purred and made hopeful noises at me. So, I went inside and brought out a big bowl of food for her. I don't think I've ever seen a cat eat so much at one sitting, and I filled up the bowl again in case she wanted more.

That was all it took. Slenya decided that she was going to live at my house from then on. I started putting the food in the garage, with the door left open a small crack, so passing dogs wouldn't get it. Slenya settled right in, sleeping in a box in the garage and staying close to her newfound home. Around the beginning of December, I yielded to Fate, had her vetted, and took her inside. By that time there were other stray or roaming cats eating the food I was putting out, so I kept on supplying it out in the garage.

Slenya adapted well to housecat life. She has fattened considerably (looking at her now, it's hard to recall that she was a skinny waif when I first met her), has staked a claim to her favorite sleeping places, and ranks fairly high in the household pecking order. She's a rambunctious cat with a fondness for aggressive play, which caused some trouble at first with the more timid ones (especially Wendigo, whom she loved to tease.) However, she eventually settled down and now plays more nicely, without terrorizing anyone. She does have an ongoing bickering contest with Megaera; the two of them seem to derive great pleasure from heckling each other, though it never escalates beyond a mild squabble. It's not a case of one bullying the other; I've seen each of them start trouble just as often as the other.

One of Slenya's more distinctive habits is her insistence on drinking water with her paw. She dips a front paw in the water, licks it off, dips it again, licks, dips, licks.... It's maddening to watch, but apparently she finds it satisfying for some reason. She can lap normally; I've seen her do it occasionally, but most of the time she prefers to use her paw. It does keep her little white mitts nice and bright, at least.


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Slenya Slenya      

With Other Cats

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