Well, my little brother isn't quite so annoying today -- he tagged me for a meme. That's nice of you, MaoMao!
I'm the only one of us Ballicai who came here when I was a little kitten. I came from a friend of Momma and Daddy's: his cat had kittens, and I was one of them.
Here I am, as a baby:
Day One: Momma and Daddy had a sanctuary room set up for me, but like my brother, MaoMao, I didn't want to stay in it. I cried and cried to get out. Brainball had been an only cat for three years before I came along, but she didn't seem upset to see me in my carrier when Momma and Daddy brought me home. Curious, but not upset.
So watching carefully, Momma and Daddy let me explore outside the Sanctuary Room. I'm a very brave girl and I was brave even when I was a little kitten. I went as far as the kitchen, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Brainball, who seemed as big as a saber tooth tiger! But she kept her distance and just stared at me as I made my way over to the far side of the kitchen.
But then Brainball started toward me -- walking that swaggery, bad-butt Alpha cat walk of hers. Uh oh! MOMMA!!!! Momma stayed very close and continued to supervise as Brainball walked up to me, stared me down, and said MROWWWWR in her bad-butt, Alpha cat way. I was scared, but I wasn't about to let her see it, nope nope nope. I sat down on my haunches, stared right back at her, and HISSED. Really loud! I saw on Brainball's face that she was surprised, and she turned on her heel and stalked off. She didn't know what to make of a teeny kitten who could stand up to twenty pounds of Alpha Brainball. But she told me later that she respected me from that day on.
Day Two: Brainball stayed out of my way, and I stayed out of hers. In fact, she was kind of jealous and moping because she was used to being the only cat before I came. I stayed in the Sanctuary Room some, but never for long because I'd always cry to get out. I explored all over the house -- I am well-named, Dora the Explorer.
Day Three: I was hardly in the Sanctuary Room at all by then, except when Momma and Daddy slept. Brainball was still moping. Any time we crossed paths, she'd glare at me, then stalk off in the other direction. Mom was doing her best to look after me and reassure Brainball. I kept Mom pretty busy, though. Kittens are good for keeping humans on their toes.
Day Four and Day Five: Pretty much the same as Day Three, but then something very special happened...
Evening of Day Five: Brainball was laying on the bed with a case of the blues, and Momma lay down beside her and cuddled her close, telling her again and again how much she loves her and how she doesn't need to be jealous. And Brainball understood her and started to relax. After Mom and Brainball's cuddle session, Mom came back into the living room and sat down. I jumped into her lap for a cuddle. And then Brainball came in, jumped on Mom's desk, and lay on Mom's leg. Me and Brainball touched for the very first time, and Mom got a picture of it. She was so happy that she cried. Softly, though, because she didn't want to make either one of us move. I look huge in this picture because of the camera angle, but I was really very teeny.
It was love at first touch.
And from that day on, Big, Tough Brainball loved me like I was her own kitten. Here are a couple of baby pictures of me with Brainball. She helped Momma raise me, and we are still very, very close. I love how Brainball looks protective of me in the first picture with her big fluffy paw keeping me safe, and how, in the second picture, I am happy and smiling, snuggled against her floofy tummy.
And here are me and Brainball now (she's nine years old, and I'm going on three). I love Brainball. She's my other momma.