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Leela the Siamese
Name: Leela
Age: Nine months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Siamese
Home: Southern USA
   A few years after my snowshoe cat Velvet (sweetest cat ever) passed away, I was ready for another cat and had my heart set on a Siamese or Siamese cross like he was. They are not common in my area at all, and after searching for one for several months I spotted a litter of kittens in a shelter's website. My husband drove down there the next morning, and while looking at the kittens, he put his hand out and one of them bit him. That kitten was Leela, and looking back on it we should have been warned, because she's never stopped biting! She doesn't bite hard, but she explores the world primarily through her mouth, however we try to discourage her from it. She was only six weeks old when he brought her home, and she was ill with a URI that took another three months and several different antibiotics to clear up. The first two weeks we had her she required subcutaneous fluids to be administered to keep her from becoming dangerously dehydrated and I had to syringe feed her for the first two months or so. We got her humidifier and put warm water in a plastic box with a lid for her to sleep on. I was afraid for a while she wouldn't make it, but she's nothing if not a fighter and she pulled through.

     It wasn't until she was four months old that she began eating regularly, but now that she's got the hang of it she's never looked back. We have to keep her out of the other cat's dishes as soon as she finishes her own. We had originally intended to adopt a sibling for her, but the vet bills put a stop to that for the time being. I guess she didn't want to share the spotlight! She doesn't have a pedigree, but she's expensive enough by now to have one! We joke that that was her plan, to make sure she's fancier than our other cats.

     She's very attached to us, but she doesn't care much for strangers, she hisses at anyone she doesn't see regularly. She's firmly established as the alpha cat, our other two should have put her in her place when she was small, because she shoves them around now, even though she isn't as large as they are. She thinks she can take on the world, and she'll challenge anything, the vet, the vacuum, us. She doesn't ever seem to run out of energy either, and she loves mischief. All cords have to be kept covered, and all the flat surfaces in "her" room have to be cleared unless we want all the stuff that was on them to end up on the floor. She knows the meaning of revenge, too. If you do something that annoys her, she'll leave the room, set up an ambush behind a nearby corner, and then attack your ankles as you go past. I was once babysitting a friend's elderly dog that required a lot of attention, and the day after the dog came to stay she stood in the middle of my bed, looked me right in the eye, and peed on it. She was well litter trained by then and hasn't done it again since the dog left, either.

     I know she sounds awful, but she's really not vicious, she just has a strong personality. Some of it is just typical Siamese, they're all a little crazy. :) She's young, and I'm sure she'll settle own as she gets older, and we are working with her to train out the worst behavior. Besides, you have to be just a tiny bit proud of a nine-pound (4kg) creature that fully believes it can take on both the vet and the vet's assistant at once. She's affectionate in her own way, most of the time she just wants light ear scratches rather than cuddles, but sometimes she'll flop down beside me with all four paws in the air and beg for a belly rub. I feel so lucky to have her, I don't know what I'd do without a cat in my life, and she's just perfect.

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