When autumn rolls in, things get cooking. Literally. With the orchards full of apples and a chill in the air, it’s time to bake cakes and make applesauce. It’s also time to get cozy. What better to get cozy than by snuggling with cats?
Both arrived over the summer and are bolstering autumn with their dazzle and flair – albeit in the slightly nervous way of shy kitties in a new environment. Each of these sweet girls is perfectly named. Aoife means “beautiful, radiant,” while Zoya (related to the name Zoe) means “life” in Russian.
Together, Zoya and Aoife are bringing zestfully, beautifully, radiant life into an environment that is often a snoozefest – a literal nap-a-thon for the likes of Tux, Consetta, and Shelley. Okay, maybe this is a leap ahead, but anyone who can read road signs would agree.
Upon initial post-crate-introductory-period, Aoife took a liking to cozying up underneath a set of cat stairs (admittedly, this shy girl still has a preference for protected underneathness, including the conference table). Aside from the awkward positions required for contact, Aoife’s love for love was readily established. Although she startles easily – for now – scratches and pats are worth her reaching out for. Slowly she will inch forward, then back again.
Coaxing Aiofe to stretch her neck out and take a chance on love is well worth the effort and the contortions. A look into her beautiful eyes is to dive into sweetness. The rewards of twisting and rearranging to reach her include the grace of a soft, steady purr. To engage with Aiofe is to watch the sun rise with a gentle glow that blossoms into the brightest light of day. Eventually, with enough attention and affection and time, this beautiful tabby will come forward fully into the actual sunlight. If it doesn’t take her too long, it will still be the sun of a welcoming New Jersey autumn that warms her face.
Zoya, on the other hand, has already made intrepid forays to enjoy that very autumnal light. Queenly and lovely, yet silly and feisty, her initially preferred safe space was a cat-sized, cardboard castle that suited her perfectly. With a very little coaxing – mostly with gravy-soaked tidbits – Zoya has found her inner, semi-braveness. Post-dinner, an offered lap becomes another safe-space that makes this mini-marmalade show her true zippernutter flutterbutter (On my honor, I did not make this up!) form.
The exuberance for life that Zoya demonstrates becomes apparent as soon as she is situated upon a human. She chirps and sings and dances to tunes and themes of her own making. Bordering on overstimulated by EVERYTHING THAT IS SO EXCITING, Zoya still needs some guidance as to how to express herself and her zest appropriately. She’s a pretty smart cookie (unlike Nutter Butters, which are good and kind of cute, as far as actual cookies go). Reiterating: zippernutter flutterbutter. No other words will do.
Describing Aiofe and Zoya presents challenges. They are each so little, yet so much. One is rich and muted shades of chocolate blended with lush brushstrokes. The other is marshmallow and marmalade. Both are overflowing with sweetness. Both are stunning and charming and lively and radiant. Zoya, in fact, has already charmed herself into the sweetest road ahead – a forever home of her very own. Being more shy, Aiofe may take more time to enchant her way into her own family. Nevertheless, the life within Aiofe will resonate with the right someone when that someone comes along. For the lucky humans who get to share their lives with these cats, bedazzlement is surely going to sparkle in their eyes.
Zoya, Aoife, and their kindred remind us that there is much in nature to dazzle us daily. We are surrounded by beautiful radiance. We are encircled by the richness of life. Take a look down that hill into that vale just as the sun sets. Watch how the light glimmers on the leaves of gracefully swaying trees. Breathe deeply of the freshening breeze that awakens and restores one’s senses. Allow the magnificence of this brisk, magical season to enfold you.
The name of this spectacular season? Autumn. The name of the vibrant, adopted kitty? Zoya. The name of the very soon (I just know it in my deep deeps!) to be adopted, endearing kitty? Aoife. The name of the location where it all happens? Tabby’s Place: A Cat Sanctuary.
Are you are left wondering what’s in a name? The answer is EVERYTHING.