Introducing Maia

For anyone who didn't hear this already through Facebook: We have a new family member.

We've called her Maia, because a) it's pretty, b) it's a star name (the eldest of the Seven Sisters) and c) it was used by C.S. Lewis in Till We Have Faces. What's not to like? Besides, it's incredibly easy to call across the house when we don't know where she's hiding.

As the daughter of my parents' mouser (yes, she's one of these), she spent the first four months of her life out of doors, where the chickens decided to give her a rough time of it. She has taken to being an indoor kitty very cheerfully, with only one problem: her favorite place to be is my big Mexican Breadfruit plant, and—after an extensive Google search when she started playing with it—I've learned that those are toxic to cats. I keep having to chase her out of it. It probably won't kill her, but if she eats it, it certainly won't do her any favors.

So far, it's mostly just a place to play. Big leaves, perfect for hiding behind or attacking... long runners, great for pouncing upon... branches big enough to climb around in... she can pretend she's a baby tigress in there.

Crazy plant lady has problems, though, in the form of an even more toxic peace lily, dragon tree, and poinsettia. I may have solved one issue accidentally today by knocking over the vacuum onto my six-year-old poinsettia, breaking off over half of the plant (if I wasn't so worried about her eating it, I'd have cried) but the remaining plants have me a little paranoid. Those plants are big and old and have been with me forever, but I don't want to risk her health. Should I keep them around and just watch her when she has the run of the house, as I have been? Or give away the potentially dangerous ones and find a new way of decorating my living room? Cat owners disagree.

Aside from the breadfruit plant, she likes the toy I made her with an old sock, a rag and a broken shoelace. Likewise, her catnip scratcher, the old chair, the wrist strap on the camera (trying to take pictures of her is challenging), the cursor on my computer screen, and my hair. I'm still waiting for her to discover toilet paper.

But my favorite thing is how she comes and sleeps beside me sometimes when I'm working on the computer. It usually means typing one-handed because she'll drape over one arm, but goodness, it's cute.

Lou likes her, too, which makes me feel better about not only begging him for her but getting him to talk our landlord into allowing a kitten. The landlord's original words had been "A mature cat might be all right." But he was magnanimous. And we are grateful.


  1. I am so glad you love her... she really is a darling, and takes after her mother SO much. I say: get rid of the plants and get some ferns that don't matter if she eats them. But that is just me. We trained the dogs not to eat our dragon tree... but cats are a different animal. Teehee.

    wv: lionstry - the study of the background of a particular tribe of lions in the East Indies.

  2. Haha. Want some plants? :D

    Gotta love getting a word verification that includes "lions" in a post about a cat.

  3. As the owner, no, strike that...as the servant of 14 indoor cats, we don't have house plants, Christmas trees, or knick knacks. :)

    Maia is also the singular of Maiar, the angelic beings from Lord of the Rings. But I like Maia from Till We Have Faces. Lewis' best work!

  4. Wait--the name works in the Tolkien mythology too? Accidental genius for the win! I'm so glad you pointed that out. I'm also glad that the Maiar are the angelic beings and not demonic ones. :P

    [If I had all the time in the world, I'd totally be studying Quenya. The one lesson I did awhile back just got me intrigued.]

    Ooh, Christmas trees... a whole new challenge. I'll just have to make sure my ornaments are not dangerous.

  5. Dangerous or breakable. Might need to tie the ornaments onto the branches. With guy-wires for the tree itself.

  6. I'm so jealous!! I've been wanting a cat or a dog almost since I got here (to my new home) but we're going to Chicago for ten days in October and I can't get one until then. I'll have to enjoy yours vicariously.

    When is this novel going to debut? Not to put the pressure on or anything but I am DYING to read it already, unfinished plot holes and all. Can you at least give us a hint about the characters or the setting?

  7. Beth, haha. Yeah, a Christmas tree would look like Toys-R-Us combined with McDonald's Playworld to her. :D

    Maria, thanks for commenting! I hope you can get your pet as soon as your trip is over. We had to wait to get Maia till we were back from our trip, too. Hard. But worth it, because now we just get to be home with her. It's harder to leave the house with her here than I would have thought.

    It always makes me feel good when someone wants to read my book. :D I'm a bit shy about putting information on public sites, but... there are stars involved. And it's not sci-fi. The protagonist is a seventeen-year-old girl, but not exactly a modern teenager. And if you want to be a gamma reader, let me know. ;)

  8. Haha! "There are stars involved." That's like saying it takes place in the universe. :) Well, I don't want to pry. What's a gamma reader? If it involves getting to read a rough draft I'm pretty sure I want to be one!

  9. Gamma reader involves getting to read a rough draft and telling me what you think of it! I'll keep you in mind for when I finish this draft. :)

  10. YAY. I know nothing about writing, but I am tolerably good at reading. :) So I don't know if I would be of any actual assistance, but I sure as heck would enjoy it.


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