Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Starshine - In the Beginning

Some know the tale of The Starshine and many do not. I've regaled many an enraptured listener of how I came to be the human companion to The Starshine but never set the tale down in written form...until now.

I was called to The Starshine from afar. I was stationed in Arizona and had received orders to report to California. I was in the Air Force. It was 1997. My good friend Kim F. and her fiance were stationed in California as well. I had expressed the desire for a pet. They had retrievers and were familiar with the places in which to acquire a pet. I had been in Cali for about three months at this time. At that time I would have preferred a dog but I knew I would not have the space or time to devote to a dog. Not the kind of dog I'd be happy with. [A bit of background: My childhood years, there were dogs. I liked them and they liked me. Never really liked cats. The first cat I ever knew was my Nannie's cat, Biafra, a jet black cat. An EVIL fucking cat. Biafra like NO ONE. Except my Nannie. Never stopped me from trying to make friends though. I was a baby really and they're all stubborn as shit. Dummys. So, yeah, all my following cat experiences weren't all that good either, until I met my Spirit-Brother David. David had a cat at his house named Tiger. For a house cat, he was a tiger. I affectionately called him a house lion because he was solid muscle. Not many house cats are built like that. And Tiger liked me. Tiger is the reason I felt comfortable deciding on getting a cat instead of a dog. Now back to the tale of The Starshine.] SO, I decided since I couldn't get a real dog because I only had a one bedroom apartment, and didn't want to leave a dog in said apartment all day, day after day, I'd get a cat instead. Kim and her fiance, Tim, took me to a local animal shelter. I already knew if I was going to save a kitty from a shelter I was going to get a new one, not an older one that may have damage I wasn't ready or willing to deal with. All the kittens were kept in a small room all to themselves. No older big cats. So into the kitten room I went. I am instantly barraged with a cloud of mews and almost meows. I am assaulted by a multicolored moving carpet armed with needles. I kneel down and play with the separate components of this moving carpet to see who I see and who sees me. Well, as I kneel among these needle-armed furballs a race begins. A race of ultimate endurance and strength and perseverance. Quite possibly a race of life and death. A few of these needle clawed puffballs decided it was a good idea to climb this new obstacle, toy, scratch post that was me. In the lead was a white and gray not-so-puffy ball of fur and lagging behind in second place was a determined tiny, tiny, multicolored ball of fluff and then a few kids who just really wanted to play with no determination to win. Now I'm laughing and wincing at the same time: laughing 'cause a whole room full of kittens is just fun, wincing 'cause these little fuckers literally have needles for claws. And I am fascinatingly amused and enthralled at the herculean efforts made by these two kittens to climb the Everest that is me. The ghost puff is on my left side and the rainbow puff is on my right side. The ghost on my left reaches my shoulder but kind of slides off to the front. I grit my teeth 'cause in the effort to catch himself the needles come out fully and slip right through the flimsy fabric of my shirt and right into the flesh of my shoulder. That slight set back gives the tiny rainbow puff the advantage she needs to crest my right shoulder and carefully begin her climb to the top of my head. What is still to this day amazing to me is that in that final leg of the climb, though she did use her claws, she didn't scratch my head at all. Not a single nip to my face, ear, or head. And that little rainbow puff did make it to the very top of my head. So I brought her home.

How The Starshine came by her name is a much shorter tale. The aforementioned David was in college learning the mysteries of the Chinese language, Mandarin. He gifted me with a name, part of which the english translation was, you got it, Starshine. Though he told me the more literal translation would be more like Star Glow. So, anyway, I figured since this little calico kitty and I had formed a bond I might as well name her after myself, kinda sorta. And there you have the tale of how The Starshine and I came to be companions and she got her name.

I'll stop the tale here but more will be coming. Next will be The Starshine's early adventures in her new home.

This is the oldest pic I can find of The Starshine.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, that's right. I knew this story, but completely forgot that her name comes from the Chinese name I had made for you. Cool memories!