Onyx Pets

When I first saw Onyx in the shelter, she was huddled in the back of her kennel, hissing at the world. Not at anyone in particular; just the world in general.

Of course I brought her home.

She spent the first week convincing me that she was a murderous rageball whose owners were completely justified in dropping her off at the shelter.

The saving grace was that she wasn't a very good murderous rageball. It was clear even when her behavior was at the worst that she craved attention and the only way she knew how to get it was to be aggressive. It was also clear that she was smart. Very, very smart.

I spent a year setting boundaries. She spent the year crossing them. Initially, she crossed the boundaries because she didn't know boundaries could exist. Over time, she began to see it as a game. How far could she push me to ensure she got my attention, but that she didn't get any negative consequences? Was I serious when I insisted she shouldn't bite me, or could she bite me in certain situations? What about opening cupboard doors? How many times could she bang one open and closed before I'd get after her?

Fun times.

She never grew out of the last one, by the way. It was her favorite game.

But she did turn around. I was right about my initial impression: what she really wanted in life was attention. Somewhere along the line she'd learned how to get negative attention, but as she learned that she could also get positive attention, she settled down. There was less anger and more curiosity. Less rage and more playfulness. And always, always, always a keen intelligence with just a touch of “I could eat you, but I'm choosing not to” when she thought I'd gotten too big for my britches.

We are fortunate she didn't have opposable thumbs; she would have absolutely been the type to hack into a nuclear missile silo and fire off a rocket just to see what happened next.

A close-up of a tortoiseshell cat lying on a blue knitted blanket

Just the Facts

Cat
Name
Onyx
Female
Sex
Female (Spayed)
Color
Color
Tortoiseshell
Breed
Breed
Domestic Shorthair
Owned or Leased
Status
Previously Owned