Lover of heroes.
Complicated little black cat.
These definitions are not, in fact, in conflict.
You, however, are a different story. You’ve met Valkyrie — feline edition — and you will countenance no talk of this slaying sorceress business. Valkyrie is simply a dumpling of love, say ye, a warm honey-heart wrapped in seal-soft black fur.
Let’s bring in the Brits to arbitrate. Specifically, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, which offers the following insight:
(Valkyries were) associated with fairness, brightness, and gold, as well as bloodshed.
It seems, my dears, that our definitions are in a certain strange agreement.
Don’t be befuddled. I wouldn’t have believed it myself when Valkyrie first ferried onto my fjord.
“You’re getting new old ladies,” they said. “Angelo and Louie don’t need your attention as much as these old gals,” they said. So off went lumbering Angelo and luminous Louie to Suite A, and in came one elderly entity after another.
Valkyrie was my first new old lady. This marks the last time I shall call her “old.” Or, for that matter, a “lady.” She’d come from that saddest of situations, “owner-requested euthanasia.” For reasons we’ll never know, Valkyrie’s caretakers brought the perfectly healthy cat to the vet to be put to sleep.
The vet, clearly a person of Valkyrian valor herself, said “no friggin’ way.”
Through a happy series of circumstances, Valkyrie vaulted on to Tabby’s Place, and then to my office. From the start, Queen Valkyrie was nothing but nuzzles. Black as a moonless night except for a shining white locket and eyes as bright as the midnight sun, Valkyrie was as beautiful as she was sweet.
All chirps and chatters, silky softness and snuggles, Valkyrie rubbed my legs until I appeared to be wearing yak-hide boots over my jeans. We sang songs and made merry and drank mead and got to know each other. She was all golden goodness, this Valkyrie.
Funny, though; Valkyrie took no notice of Bucca. This, despite Bucca’s patented agony-aunt agitating, pacing and preening and hissing and huffing. Bucca’s bark is worse than her bite, but she most assuredly does bark, a mysterious little non-feline sound along the lines of “agh!”
Valkyrie minced on by, all studied ignorance. She was only interested in peace and the pleasures of friendship.
For a good two weeks.
That’s when the second new old lady arrived. You shall be pardoned if, upon visiting my office, you only counted two cats. Carley Rose preferred it that way, burrowing miles and miles below all available blankets/pillows/persons to find something like security. Only after a string of subterranean days did this wide-eyed, ginger-white wonderer wander her way out and let me love her. (And then wander back. Never abandon a good blanket.)
Valkyrie wasn’t so very interested in Carley Rose either. But the arrival of A Third One redefined everything.
Faster than you can say “Helgakvia Hundingsbana II,” I learned Valkyrie’s true powers. And so, unfortunately, did chosen-to-be-slain Bucca.
One massive morning — the kind of morning about which they write eddas and leitmotifs and epic poetry of all persuasions — Valkyrie unleashed her inner…well, Valkyrie. One moment, we girls were all sipping coffee and discussing
fundraising strategies for 2018 tacos. The next…
Valkyrian screams. Valkyrian sprints. Valkyrian warfare, as Valkyrie unsheathed her swords and sailed into one Bucca Rosenberg, teeth and claws and legendary Norse weapons flailing. Bucca is fast; Valkyrie was faster.
It was all I could do to keep the conquering queen from conquering one very confused cat.
(Carley Rose missed the whole thing. There are advantages to hiding under your bed 22 hours a day.)
Now, before we judge Valkyrie too harshly, let’s return to that original definition. The Valkyries of Norse myth didn’t just choose who should die in battle. They also chose who was worthy to go to heavenly Valhalla. Maybe Valkryie Rosenberg just intended for Bucca to go to paradise, just a little ahead of schedule.
Maybe I’m being kind.
But that’s just because I still feel guilty. A little. Naturally, I had to report the incident to the rest of Team Tabby’s Place. I
strode calmly out of my office went flailing down the hall like Hrimfaxi with her tail on fire. The outcome was obvious; Valkyrie needed to sail far across the sea to Norway, by which I mean the Lobby.
We’ll see how the elves and dwarves and golden boars of that land like their new Queen.
Don’t worry about dear Valkyrie. I miss her already, and we’re giving her lots of love as she settles into the Lobby in her getting-to-know-you crate. As of this writing, she’s a few days away from facing
Odin Olive and company. We’re confident she’ll handle herself just fine, and that her new neighbors can handle all she hurls at them.
And we’re smitten, to the Sognefjord, with every last one of them.