Bossy Miss Kiji Hobbs

It  was  mid-January 2007  when  my husband said,  “I could do with a little grey tabby.  What do you think?” I didn’t need a moment to consider it!  

Onto Kijiji I went and there she was!  A beautiful little fluff ball located in Port Colborne. Without a word to my husband, I picked her up the next day. 

The kind woman explained to me that she had been abandoned. This angel took care of her, bottle feeding her and keeping her warm by carrying her around on her chest inside her top; teaching her to eat cat food and use the litter box until she was ready for her furever home.

Today was the day!  One look at her and I fell in love. My husband came home from work to a wonderful surprise and agreed we had found a beauty.  

Someone had told me that “Kijiji” means community in Swahili so I figured that “Kiji” must be one member of that community. And so, the story began! Kiji fit in the palm of my hand and weighed a whopping 2.1 pounds.  She settled in very quickly and loved to curl up with the dog. 

About a week later my husband and I were in our downstairs tv room when we heard Kiji mewing, this tiny little squeak, but we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. After several minutes of searching for her, we realized it was coming from the drop ceiling in the tv room!  Someone had cleverly built a boot/shoe alcove on the landing. Unknown to us there was a tiny hole just big enough for this little monkey to crawl through and land in the space above the drop ceiling! We had to remove the tiles to get her out!  

We soon realized that, not being raised with other cats, Kiji didn’t know how to jump. We started her out small and in time had her jumping up to our chests and we would catch her.  She was never really confident performing big leaps, but this helped to strengthen her back legs.

Kiji had so much fun! She performed the usual kitten stunts like trailing a ribbon of toilet paper throughout the house, finding and then hiding any little shiny object, like my earrings, and all I could do was laugh. She could walk across the piano keys without making a sound and then lie down on them for a nap.  

What made Kiji different from other cats is that by being hand raised and carried on someone’s chest it made her want to be on our chests at all times.  That was, to Kiji, where she belonged.  So, there was no easy way to read a book or have a coffee because not only was her face right in front of ours,  she also insisted our hands be on her body at all times!  She personally trained every person who pet sat for us to do it too 

Kiji wasn’t bottle fed on all fours the way animals typically nurse. Rather she was fed on her back like a baby.  One of her favourite things was to lie on her back and have her belly rubbed.  Have you ever heard of a cat that loves belly rubs? 

We brought a second kitten home about a year later so Kiji would have a playmate.  Well, we should have realized the kitten would become her slave.  The poor girl could only come downstairs for food and the litter box and then she was chased right back up to bed! 

Then we brought her a German Shepherd puppy.  Oh! She was not impressed!  Every single day she checked in with him by going nose to nose. He never dared to chase her even though he was twice her size at 6 months! Our neighbours had a great big Rottweiler who soon learned not to stick his nose through the fence. Kiji would pound it like a drum and off he’d go yelping! 

When Kiji was about 6 months a friend gave her some plastic springs. She learned to carry them around the house while talking to them. 

In her last year she started corralling the springs in a circular chair base and talking to them as though they were her kittens. It was absolutely adorable to watch.

Yes, Kiji was the boss of the family, all 8 pounds of her.  The house is quieter now and Frisco (our other kitten) is ruling the roost for the first time in her life, but there is a hole in our hearts where little Kiji will live on forever.

Contributed by Mom Brenda Hobbs
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