Miss Stella Speaks English


When I adopted Miss Stella my six year old cat early in January of this year (2010) I did not know that I was adopting a very clever cat.  I did know that she was intelligent.  It was just two months after my dearly beloved cat Lady Lily Longsausage had died at the ripe old age of sixteen years.  We’d been together for fourteen and a half wonderful years.  I found Miss Stella my fox-faced feline on TradeMe.  She has a tortoiseshell back and sides, with snow white socks and a v-shaped bib, black, ginger and white patches on her stomach and legs, a long, beautiful, bushy, Basil Brush tail, and shiny yellow eyes.  Her fur is a combination of short and long.   

It has been quite a rocky road in the past eleven months, what with her not taking too kindly to being adopted out six years on, which is understandable, and what with me grieving for my beautiful cat Lily, who had such a lovely nature, and was so well-behaved.  While Stella does have a very nice side to her nature, as she loves to sit on my knee and cuddle-up to me, she also has another side that includes ripping curtains, and making holes in the vallance on the bed, as well as in the couch and piano covers.  And every now and then she likes to smooch then pierce my ankles with her very sharp little white teeth!!!  So I now say “Nasty nipping Nelly!!!”, then pick her up and put her outside for awhile.  She also likes to terrorise me at times and pounce on me from behind. 

The day that I saw her spring up to the front door handle and pull on it I thought that she was very clever indeed, and on another occasion I saw her do exactly the same thing with the back door handle. 

She likes to hop up onto the windowsill and hang half out of the kitchen window, and wag her j-shaped tail, while surveying her territory, just in case Mr Simba Pussycat-Peters or young Miss Mischief Moggy or anybody else is on her property.  Plus it is a good position to be in especially if she wants to practice her bird-catching skills.  She just loves climbing into the kitchen cupboards, particularly the one that contains her food! 

Several weeks ago early in the evening on a Monday night, I could not believe what I heard!!!!  Miss Stella Pussycat went into hers and my bedroom and I distinctly heard her say out loud the word “Mummy!” in her cute, tiny, high-pitched voice.  Then just seconds later I heard it again, and then just one more time after that.  Just seconds after she said “Mummy!” for the third time she was sick on the carpet, and then she was sick again, and again.  When I heard the word “Mummy!” for the first time, I thought that she was perhaps just making a sound, and that it just happened to sound exactly like the word “mummy”, but after I heard it three times I did not think that it was just sheer coincidence at all.  I often refer to myself as her mummy as well as her friend, and when I go to pick her up and give her a cuddle I say “Come to mummy dear”.  I really do think that because she was feeling quite ill she called out to me for support.  So I believe that she knew what word to use, and when to use it.

Not so long ago I was sent a video of a dog saying “Hello” and then he or she went on to say “I love you”.  And one day at Malcolm Anderson’s Veterinary Hospital (where Stella goes), a cat was overheard by one or several staff members calling out to the vet by name.  He or she probably referred to Malcolm as Meowlcolm.  Cockatoos can talk, so why not cats?  So Miss Stella is proving to be quite a remarkable cat.  I am left wondering what words she will say next!!                 

Elizabeth Krammer
Fifty eight years.
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