Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Five Things You Don't Know About Me - Number Five

Other Lisa commented that she thought it was appropriate for me to tell one thing about me a night, given that my online moniker is Zhadi, short for Scherezade. For those of you not familiar with Thousand and One Tales of the Arabian Nights, Scherezade was one in a long line of wives to a nutball Sultan, who’d kill his wives the night of their wedding nuptials. Scherezade stayed alive by telling stories all night long, always ending on a cliffhanger so the Sultan would keep her alive one more night so he could hear how it ended. Eventually he fell in love with her and we can assume the happy couple finally got some sleep.

I haven’t exactly been telling one story per night. I’d have been for the chopping block if I’d been the original storyteller of Arabian Nights fame. Screw the stories; I need my sleep! But the name does lead me to number five of things you don’t know about me:

Zhadi was the name of the first cat I got when I moved out on my own. That’s right. I didn’t name myself Zhadi because I saw myself as a spinner of tales. Yeah, it IS a good name for a writer. But that’s not the deal. I named this particular kitten Scherezade ‘cause she wouldn’t stop talking on the car ride home the day I got her.

Zhadi was a little black scrap of kitten when I first saw her. She was one of about 15 cats and kittens in the backyard of my best friend’s neighbor, who obviously didn’t believe in neutering pets. Zhadi was sitting in a little ball, crouched on top of an upside down bucket, staring at me with huge eyes. I stared back. She meeped at me and that was it.

Zhadi spent her first few weeks keeping me up most of the night with what I assume were stories. She’d intersperse her tales with bouts of mad dashing around the bedroom, leaping off my stomach and head. I used to cry some nights because I was so tired. Lucky for her she was also adorable and one thing you DO know about me if you’ve read any previous posts is I’m a sucker for adorable, at least if the adorableness is packaged in animal form.

Zhadi went from a sleek adolescent to a round, squat bowling ball of a cat. She had short little legs, a spherical body and a round head with huge gold green eyes. She loved men and flirted with them shamelessly. She played up to my brother, who was not a huge cat fan back in the day. One evening my mom and I heard, “Well, hello there, precious!” coming from Chris’s room and discovered that Zhadi had paid him a visit. Hah. Chris was outted as a cat lover. Or at least a Zhadi lover. But she had that effect on people. A cat for people who don’t like cats.

When I was bouncing back and forth between San Diego and Los Angeles before finally getting up the guts to make a permanent move up north, Zhadi and her ‘sister’ Luna stayed with my parents in San Diego. I’d go down there every other week at least, working temp jobs in both cities so I could spend time with Brian and spend time with my cats. I went down week to housesit for Mom and Bill. They’d planned an early start, so I was surprised to see their car in the driveway when I arrived around 8am.
Mom greeted me at the door and I knew immediately something was wrong. A neighbor had seen a cat hit by a car on our street, there was black fur and some spots of blood…and Zhadi was missing. Mom hadn’t wanted to leave this sort of news on a note, so they’d waited for me. I told them I’d be okay and to go ahead and take off. I’d look for my cat.

It didn’t take me very long to find her. I followed a trail of blood spots to a neighbor’s driveway across the street, then back to a woodpile under the carport. I peeked back through the chunks of wood through the web of what was unmistakably a black widow, and saw huge feline eyes staring back at me. Logs and black widow spiders went flying so I could rescue my cat.

She had a head wound and an injured front paw. Neither turned out to be serious, she had a limp that went away after a few weeks. Zhadi was seriously spoiled during her convalescence, as was only proper, but I didn’t realize how spoiled until a few months after the accident when I wouldn’t share my lunch with her. She stared at me sadly, then walked away slowly with a pronounced limp. She got some of my lunch that day and proceeded to shamelessly bring out the limp whenever she wanted something.

Zhadi developed a hoarse voice later on in her life, almost a croak when she meowed. I’m not sure if it was from her non-stop monologues as a kitten, the result of inhaling pot smoke (my stoner boyfriend thought it was funny to get her high when I wasn’t home. Note to you, ex-boyfriend…it wasn’t funny, you dick), or an early manifestation of the throat cancer that finally killed when she was 13. I’ll spare you the story of her passing beyond saying that Brian and I spent the last week of her life spoiling her rotten.

So my name is an ode to my first pet as an adult. I miss the little bowling ball, but she’s left a lasting legacy.


  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said…

    Gee, now I feel bad about my mean poem about kitties...

  • At 7:24 AM, Blogger David Fitzgerald said…

    Long live Zhadi! You've told me so many stories about her I feel like I knew her too. What a wonderful cat.

  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger Abyss of Silence said…

    I loved this entry. Every cat has his/her own story.

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Zhadi's story (and pictorial history) is very long - kind of the first born child syndrome where I remember everything about her and took dozens of photos. None of 'em digital, mores the pity...


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