EXOTIC ARRIVALS THREATEN THE PEACE
Meet Kammi and Levendi, our current feline family. Kammi is a female ginger 'DSH' (domestic short hair) and Levendi a black male, also proudly DSH.
We found these two at the World League for the Protection of Animals in Sydney in early November 2016, when they were about 10 weeks old.
Both these kittens may have been rescued, but in character they are like chalk and cheese – about as different as two intimate friends could be, and I hope this page allows you to go some way towards understanding them as we do. At the time of writing they were about eight months old.
Kammi loves the world, whether the world is ready or not. She loves everyone, everything, and takes every opportunity to explore – everything.
In her younger days, when her outdoor exposure was limited to the back yard, we found that Guantanamo-grade security was required to keep her contained. Walls and fences were just things to separate and define cracks and other escape paths; trees barely rated as speed bumps.
Kammi was more than a few months old when she moved into our lives, so we suspect she might already have had ample opportunity to escape a few previous owners by that time.
In any case, she's not afraid of human contact, in fact she demands it; she will get her cuddle/rubs for a short time before wriggling free and returning to her favoured activity, whether that be exploring, escaping or sleeping. And she doesn't mind going through a bin looking for used cotton buds to play with.
Her ease in the company of people suggests she benefitted from some early, well-timed love.
Mostly fearless, she is however unsettled by loud noises and generally threatening environments, such as fast-moving motor traffic (good thing). After a frightening experience she will remain motionless and seek eye contact, signalling the need for a reassuring cuddle and rub before returning to action.
Levendi is not extroverted like his friend, and he doesn't spend his days creating mayhem. Warm and loving, he's a calming and relaxing presence, but he retains just a hint of the 'feral' nature that rescued cats tend to bring with them from the streets. This was much more prominent when he first came to us, but copious quantities of attention have largely brought him around.
Big and boofy, big-boned Levendi boasts the most beautiful, shiny black coat in pusscatdom; that, with his catinee-idol features, makes him a real glamourboy worthy of his name.
He also has mesmerising, semi-molten, caramel eyes; a typical prolonged, intense look from this not-so-scruffy DSH will melt the hearts of those of us not made of stone.
Levendi needs to be outdoors more than Kammi, and he loves nothing more than being in the yard, scratching and sniffing and chasing anything that moves. Fortunately he's dark skinned, so he's not as vulnerable to skin cancer as Kammi (skin cancer is a major issue for people and kittens alike in Australia).
When Levendi was younger we could leave him on his own in the yard, unattended, and return some time later and still find him there. One wouldn't dream of such a thing with you-know-who.
Often the young Levendi would appear to yearn for parental (i.e. us) attention, but without quite knowing how to ask for it – it must have been one of those lessons street kittens miss out on. When wanting attention, he would pause a metre or so away and pierce you with those semi-molten eyes for a few moments… and walk away. It would then be up to you to catch up to him and deliver the yearned-for rubs. And ten minutes later you could still be rubbing him.
Levendi has come a long way. These days the only remnant of his street days is the tendency to retreat a short distance on a first greeting. Follow him, say hello with a gentle tickle under the cheek, and he may even roll on his back for tummy rubs. Such is the life!