You know, Wednesdays are always my craziest day, but last week was the weirdest Wednesday ever. Picture this. It’s deadline day and I’m working from home. I’m sitting at the computer in my pajamas, writing as fast as I can. All of a sudden, there’s a knock at my door.

My front door has a long pane of frosted glass in it, and through the glass I see someone wearing a brown shirt. “Hooray, UPS!” I think. But no. It ‘s my neighbor George with a long story about his computer problems, telling me he needs help from my techie husband. Who’s at work.

In the middle of George’s story, a gray, furry blur races past me into my living room and slides under my couch.

“That damn cat!” George yells, as he charges after it. Waitaminute, what? A cat’s in my house? Oh hell no! So we’re both trying to get him out from under my couch. And all I can think is, I am so going to miss my deadline. And my editor is so not going to buy this as a valid excuse.

I catch the little guy and hold him. He’s a teeny gray striped kitten, and he instantly curls up close to me and starts purring. Awwww. But I put him outside, along with George. “The firefighters just rescued him from a tree up the street,” he says. “And he came straight here.” Great.

By now, this kitten’s going wild in my overgrown jungle of a front yard. The yard is cool, shady, and there are at least two tall trees — one perfect for climbing. Plus the area’s run by tree frogs and lizards of all varieties. So he’s having a blast. So I’m back to totally freaking out about how much work to do. I say goodbye to George and race back to the computer. I barely meet my deadline, and I was ready for a well-earned lunch break. Then I decided to make sure this kitten was gone for real. I really thought he’d be gone — a good three and a half hours had passed since he wandered into my territory. But when I opened the door, he came right back into the living room, and rubbed against my legs in the most endearing manner. Awwwww, kitty. How can I say no to that?

The thing is, we’re not allowed to have pets. It was the one stipulation of our very awesome landlord, who is also an extremely close friend of ours. So as much as I liked him, I knew I couldn’t keep him. When I was done with my work last Wednesday, I put him in a box and we went door to door down my block, trying to find his real home. He scrambled out of the box, clawing my arm in the process, and ran under a parked car in someone’s driveway. I tried to coax him back for a while, then it dawned on me — it is damn hot out, I’m wearing black, down on my knees in my neighbor’s driveway, calling a kitten that isn’t mine. At that point, I was like, fine. Forget you, kitty. I left him. But he returned the next morning, mewing for food. And uh, he’s been living with us ever since.

I’ve always liked cats, but LOVED dogs. Growing up, we had always had dogs around the house, and there’s nothing like having a big dog for a pet. We were planning on eventually getting a big Labrador or a German shepherd in the future. Nowhere in those plans was there a cat. My friend Roger had predicted that someday, a cat would adopt us. And he was totally right! This kitten has completely won us over. I came home from work the next day to find my husband pouring milk into a saucer for him, which was the last thing I expected. He’s never been a cat person. But he named him Max, and I saw the warmth in his eyes when Max curled up on his lap for the first time. I told our landlord friend about him, and reluctantly, he’s allowed us to keep him with the understanding that he’s not allowed inside, unless we’re there, monitoring him closely. So this is now an adventurous outdoor kitten who curls up on the couch with us when we’re at home. Right now as I write this, he’s curled up on his favorite pillow, a fuzzy green fixture on our love seat that he grooms relentlessly. He also loves to groom me, and whenever I hold him, he inevitably goes for my hair and tries to lick me. No thanks, kitty.

We’re growing accustomed to Max’s quirky ways — he loves to climb up things, but he can’t always get down. And he’s a real hunter — I have to be careful when letting him into the house, because he might be holding a wriggling lizard or frog hostage. But he’s absolutely adorable! He purrs almost constantly. He loves to roll over and have his tummy rubbed. He doesn’t love it when I work — he lays across the keyboard and meows piteously for me to pay attention to him when I’m writing. He’s the distraction I really didn’t need, but now can’t resist. And I gotta admit — Max is the reason I’m behind on so many posts in the last week. So I’ll have to play catch up over the weekend — after I take Max to the vet for the first time. Keep your eyes peeled for my reviews of the Oprah and Natural Trendsetters events I attended recently, and some special posts for locs wearers coming up soon!

I love to end the work week with a Friday jam, and I’ve been on an early Nineties kick for a while now. This goes out to my BFF Lauren, who I’ve owed a phone call for about a month now. She loves Xscape, and so do I! This is one of my favorite jams from the era. MC Lyte and Xscape, Keep On Keepin’ On.

Love it. I miss you, L-Train! Your celly’s gonna ring when you least expect it. It’s Friday, everyone! Yay!

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MochaSiren says:
October 12, 2007, 11:49 am
Bella, Great post. I'm a longtime cat owner/lover. Here's some advice...don't give Max anymore milk. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not good to give to cats because it constipates them and can cause stomach discomfort. Also for all fellow cat lovers, if you ever find a kitten and it's not weaned, you can get special "kitten milk" (supposed to mimic mother's mik) from the pet store.
Trinichica says:
October 12, 2007, 11:51 am
How cute!......I am definitely a cat person and there has always been a cat in my home until a few years ago when I lost my cat and cried like forever; my husband is more of a dog have 2 adorable yorkies (Pebbles and Zoey). If I could though, I would have a zoo at my house....anyway, have a great weekend and "see" you next week.
Mimi says:
October 12, 2007, 12:07 pm
Kitty looks like a wild maniac. LOVE IT - can't wait for more posts about his antics!!
Cluizel says:
October 12, 2007, 12:25 pm
Awwww...adorable kitty! I have a dog...but he has MANY cat qualities...he does almost everything Max does. I just have too many relatives that are allergic to cats so I got a dog. He looks like loads of fun!
Denise says:
October 12, 2007, 3:33 pm
Aahh, i used to have a cat. They are frisky, fun, and interesting. My cat and i used to have a love/hate relationship. but what I had a hate/hate relationship for was FLEAS. Make sure you get flea medicine when you take him to the vet because, believe me, you do NOT want a flea infestation. Also, if he's going to be mainly outdoors, find out whether or not he should be neutered (or is it spayed for cats?). Good luck and have lots of fun!
simone says:
October 12, 2007, 5:08 pm
bella, i just came across a pics of black women in professional settings. scroll down to see the fro at this link oh and have fun with your new friend!
Bebroma says:
October 12, 2007, 6:01 pm
Yes, bella, do get him the flea medicine at the vet, especially since he's outside so much. The liquid stuff is great, you just put it between his shoulder blades, and he should be good for a month or so. Also, neuter his behind, or else he might start to spray, not to mention impregnate some hapless female kitty and add to the overpopulation person. I'm like Trinichica, I love animals, I would have a zoo if I could! Also low-ash cat food is best. You know he brings you the creepy crawlies because he loves you, right? Cats like to share, so get ready, is all I got to say. Okay, I'll stop, I could go on and on..I really do love animals. Also, I got my Olay stuff yesterday! Thank you again. I can't wait to get my fine line reducing on. Have a great weekend.
Bebroma says:
October 12, 2007, 6:03 pm
Oh, and definitely get him a breakaway collar! Since he likes climbing trees, and he'll be outside, he could get caught on a limb by his collar, and could strangle/hang himself. The breakaway collars are designed to snap under a cat's weight if they get caught in such a situation. They cost the same as any other collar. Okay, I'll really stop now. I'm done, promise.
Ms Stella says:
October 12, 2007, 6:58 pm
Max is adorable! I have had 2 cats for 9 years. One was a stray kitten found in our backyard when I lived in Pennsylvania and a few months later we "adopted" a kitten from Pet Smart. We got there moments before a family with a farm who were coming back to get her. She is too dainty and timid for farm life so I feel like we rescued her! My hubby signed the cats up for a heatlh plan through Pet Smart so they get routine check ups at a discounted price. Have fun with Max and I'm an Xscape fan too.
bella says:
October 12, 2007, 10:17 pm
Thank you all SOOOOOOOOO much for the advice! I am taking him to the vet tomorrow, to get the flea stuff, whatever shots he needs, and to learn more about when to get him fixed. And no more human milk for him, and I'll get a breakaway collar. We have a friend who works at Petsmart, so I'll make a stop there tomorrow too. Bebroma -- I know he brings me "gifts" because he loves me, but GROSS! Tonight he brought in a lizard cut in half -- still wriggling severed tail and desperate-to-escape lizard. We immediately put him out, and he ate the whole thing while we watched through the sliding glass door. And here I was, seeing him as a innocent and helpless little kitten. He's a hunter!
Jacquie says:
October 12, 2007, 11:15 pm
everyone gave you great advice! my hubby will not let me have another cat. :( i've owned two cats, pre-hubby and he just will not give in. little does he know when we move from our condo into a larger home, mama is getting a kitty. lol enjoy Max, those eyes just melt my heart.
WendyB says:
October 13, 2007, 12:13 am
That is the most adorable kitty. I'm glad he found you!
lauren says:
October 13, 2007, 3:10 am
i miss u too bella! love tha Xscape jam, it's one of my favorites too! don't trip i still love ya, and Max is too damn cute, can't wait to meet him!
Bebroma says:
October 13, 2007, 4:31 am
I know, you forget they're predators, they're so furry and cute, and then they do something like eat something else cute! The kitty I had left a sweet little dead bird on my pillow once. I agree. GROSS! :-) Enjoy your baby.
bb says:
October 13, 2007, 10:08 am
Awww the kitty story made me feel really good. I love cats and it's so nice how you are looking after Max. I hope you bring each other much happiness
Sara from The Bargain Queen says:
October 13, 2007, 11:02 pm
My kitty and I have reached a truce re working at home. I slide my laptop down so it sits on my knees; she drapes herself across my lap above the laptop and goes to sleep. She gets cuddles, I get my work done!
Sylvie says:
October 14, 2007, 3:22 am
Really enjoyed the old school jam. weird this is I just saw that TV One is airing the movie from the sound track (Sunset Park I think it is) next week.
LBellatrix says:
October 14, 2007, 3:44 pm
Somebody beat me to the "no milk" advice...good! Welcome to the family of cat "owners". I love all kinds of animals but I've mostly lived with cats. My current roommate (he's not my child, and I refuse to be his mommy...I'm not that kind of pet "owner") is 12 years old and sheds all over the damn place...but at least he has the decency not to sit on my keyboard the way one of his predecessors did.
Auragirl says:
October 14, 2007, 8:20 pm
I don't care for animals at all, but that was a cute story! I hope you enjoy the cat!
Gisele says:
October 15, 2007, 1:18 pm
Hilarious how you went from 'oh hell no' to 'tomorrow we're taking Max to the vet'-A very sweet story and I love Max's white socks. I have a cat and two dogs and talk about mayhem, but I love them all. Have fun with your new family member!
tan says:
October 15, 2007, 4:14 pm
Bella, Congrats on your the new member of your family. It's true, cats choose their owners. To entertain you both get him some catnip or a mint teabag. Catnip and some mints make them "high".
texasexile says:
October 15, 2007, 6:31 pm
4 years ago, my family was adopted by the tiniest green-eyed calico cat you've ever seen. I named her TroubleAnne because she came from the direction of the older homes and trailers which are about a mile from where we live. When I took her to the vet she fit comfortably into one pocket of my sweatshirt. Troubie is now a spoiled rotten, slightly overweight diva who runs everyone in the house and thrives on attention. Troubs is not allowed outside because that could shorten her life span and like all of the other posters, I hate fleas. She too is a hunter (who is too uppity to eat her prey) and I have had to rescue many a tree frog and lizard from her clutches. GROSS. Not to mention the grooming sessions we must endure if she is left alone for long. Get Max a contract from the vet at your local Petco or Petsmart and you will not regret it - the shots, spaying and neutering are all included in the contract. Enjoy your baby.
Brigit says:
October 16, 2007, 11:23 am
Max is so cute! Thankfully you got a male; I adopted a 5 month-old kitty from a friend's backyard and she was already pregnant! With 5 kitties! So now I have 3 kitties (the runt died and I gave away 2). The website of the Cornell Feline Health Center ( is an awesome resource for cat "owners". They have guides for cat care, what shots they need, videos showing how to administer pills or liquid medicine, etc.
Dj says:
October 17, 2007, 2:39 am
Hey bella! I have 4 cats...yes I know. They can be a handful at times, but I love them like they are my babies. Max is cute but make sure you get him fixed cause when he starts spraying on your property or breeding half the neighborhood he won't be too cute then. Also I saw Chrissette Michele in concert tonight!! She was INCREDIBLE. Thank you again for introducing me to such an awesome artist.
Lise from Australia says:
October 19, 2007, 3:50 am
Bella, I stumbled onto your website and found your page, awesome! Love the colours and Max the Kitty! I was so rapt you've kept him, I mean cmon, how could you not with that little face. He's a darling. Thanks for such an uplifting post. Warm wishes from Downunder, Lise x
bella says:
November 18, 2007, 4:26 pm
Max rules! So far he's been given the first part of his shots, the vet estimates that he's 5 months old and therefore too young to be fixed. He's just starting to lose his baby teeth. He's getting Revolution flea/tick medicine, and we covered our back fence with chicken wire, so he sleeps in the backyard or in our laundry room, and comes in to hang with us whenever he wants. This kitty has the best of both worlds right now.
lola gets says:
November 18, 2007, 4:08 pm
That kitten is so cute! He looks like my cat Ivan. But, yes, DO take him to the vet and in addition to getting the flea/tick medicine, get him rabies/FIV shots and get him FIXED! You dont want a whole lotta new kittens in the 'hood, ok?? Plus, as he matures, he might start to spray, and your landlord would defenitely not like that! And if he becomes too much of a problem, I know there are agencies in your city who would take in strays, particularly if theyre young and friendly. L
December 30, 2007, 6:02 am
Wow, it's nice to read posts from admitted cat lovers. They are a true hoot. I have two and I love them dearly. I used to have one named Lily who loved to play fetch with my earplugs. I'd throw them, she'd "fetch" them bringing them back to me so I could thrown again. This would go on for at least an hour. Sometimes while I slept, I would wake up to a cold nose, nuzzling an ear plug into my hand. Thanks for the memories Bella, and I truly love your site. Keep up the good work!!!
J. Dakar says:
January 29, 2009, 10:32 am
Great story! I had adopted a cat who hung out at my apartment door, Smoke, but I haven't seen in in a while. I guess he heard that I was thinking of moving and he wanted to be the one who left first. I probably would have taken him with me, though.
Karri Hogrefe says:
January 29, 2013, 3:27 am
Very nice club with a big dance floor. My favorite thing is not having to wait for long to get a drink because of so many bars they have.
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