I am the legendary Dammit Tibbles, the mightiest huntress who ever lived. Fear me, all ye lesser creatures.
In truth, “Tibbles” is just what I've let David call me. I don’t care a dropped whisker for his calls, so it doesn’t matter if he calls me Tibbles, or Chunky Dumpling, or Babaganoush. It isn’t like I’m going to answer to any of it… though, when he eventually expanded it to “Dammit Tibbles,” it amused and flattered me on a deep level which I cannot quite explain.
I know it is the ultimate compliment, because I'm kind of a big deal in history. But we’ll get to that.
Despite the nonsensical name imposed upon me, he is a kind man, and I have been his “little lady” since two winters ago. He first came across me, shivering and half-starving, in a dirty alley where I had been dumped. Still young, I was able to eke out a meager living despite the competition, but fleas and the sordidness of my situation impinged upon my natural majesty during those hard few months.
I knew I was destined for better than a grueling life on the streets, so when this particular human began presenting me with treats on his way by from time to time, I knew that this was a path of upward mobility for me, and I grew to welcome his visits.
Now, it wasn’t lick-at-first-sight. I continued my existence in that alley and in my surrounding territory, growing stronger, bigger, and healthier every week. I had even met another of my kind, a big, beautiful male with ebony locks and green eyes who mesmerized my young heart. We roamed together, and he showed me where to find the best mice.
A giver at heart – as kind and benevolent as I am regal – I was certain to save some of these murine victims to give to David in appreciation for all of the treats he had shared. If he was to be my human connection in this world, I wanted him to know that I did not take the relationship lightly. One should always gift their loved ones and dear friends, as a sign of respect and honor.
Oddly, he grimaced and never took the treats home with him, so perhaps he didn’t understand. I resolved to follow him home and deposit them directly onto his turf so that he would know they were, indeed, intended for his consumption.
After that, it was only a short time before I was allowed into his home (though, not with the gifts), and soon I found that the delights of a warm fireplace and tinned fish were too much to refuse. I saw less and less of my laddie love, until one day, I simply decided to stay and accept my regency. My dear tom had already found another, and so we had since said our formal goodbyes, though sometimes I would still sneak out at night and visit him for old times’ sake. These were the storied days of my youth – which I was soon to leave behind.
The months passed in pleasant repose. David was a quiet man of simple needs, who enjoyed petting me for hours as I rested against his leg in front of a cozy fire. He rarely entertained, so it was just the two of us, and though he was gone most days from our comfortable abode, I always greeted him in the evenings with mellow chirping and ankle weaves. He said more than once that I was getting a little too plump to fit between his ankles, and that he’d have to stop giving me so much tuna, but it was an idle threat, fortunately – for him.
One day, I unexpectedly found myself vaccinated and caged and stowed aboard a boat to cross the narrow sea, all in the span of a day. When we landed, David and I (and my soon-to-be-born kittens) were on a lush island where only the two of us mattered in all of the world.
As I surveyed my new domain, I remember thinking to myself that, truly, this must be what humans call heaven.
Oh, the treasures that abounded here! I was so delighted to have the roam of the place that I increased my gifts to David many fold. Something else, too, intuited in me the need to become more productive in this manner, should I expect to adequately provide for my coming brood.
I never understood David’s objections to my generous gifts, but they remained on the stoop and were never integrated into our evening meals. Nevertheless, I was certain to present something daily. My particular delight was a little creature which seemed to be a cross between a ground rodent and a bird. It looked like a bird, lovely glowing gold and olive feathers enshrouding it, but it didn’t fly like one. It simply ran and ran... and ran... hah!
It was such great fun that my whiskers twitch even now, remembering the thrill of those hunts. And the strange little creatures were everywhere, ripe for the plucking, so to speak.
It was during this time that I grew from just “Tibbles” to become “Dammit Tibbles,” legendary huntress extraordinaire.
It was also during this time that I birthed my beautiful, healthy young kits. I got plenty of tuna while I was ensconced in caretaking my newborns, but never once did David think to reciprocate in bringing me my favorite bird. Humans just don’t “get it” sometimes, so I graciously overlooked the gaffe.
In short order, my little ones had grown enough to leave the nursery and join me in my hunts, the clowder of us wreaking absolute havoc on our new realm.
Such were the exploits of Dammit Tibbles and her brood that we were even credited with a legendary achievement focused on that bird that I mentioned: I (we) had single-handedly wiped it from the face of the planet… a feat never before managed in the history of the world, and one which, to this day, is enshrined in human history books.
They call it a “cautionary tale,” by which I can only assume they mean as a warning to all other species of our might: caution, Dammit Tibbles and her family are on the prowl here. Woe unto ye!