Though I confessed to being a Catless Cat Lady, that hasn’t always been the case.
When I lived for a year in Romania, I adopted a sassy little calico kitten named Maitreyi (pronounced ~ my-tray).
Woah, back up a second, Kristin! Why Romania?
Well, my pre-fictionista career I was a corporate banker. My first job after earning my shiny-new MBA degree was to help Citibank open a corporate bank branch in Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. I’d already lived for many years overseas, but this assignment was a bit of a culture shock as few single Western expats signed up for jobs in Romania. Life was long work weeks with few socializing opportunities on evenings and weekends. So, when one of my Romanian colleagues was scrambling to find homes for a new litter of kittens, I raised my hand.
Maitreyi was my *comfort pet* before I ever even knew that was a thing. She was an early riser with a preference for prowling my villa at zero-dark-thirty. Her purr projected from several rooms away, and she held court at the local Romanian jellicle ball. Yes, her many beaus would come a-courting that spring to see if her dance card was empty.
What does this have to do with anything literary a la Pens, Paws and Claws?
Glad you asked! Maitreyi was a literary cat in two regards.
First, I figured a Romanian kitten needed a Romanian name, so I polled my Citibank colleagues. They all agreed the best name was Maitreyi, which was the name of the romantic heroine of a novel by the Romanian author, Mircea Eliade. The novel’s erotic story arc mirrored my kitty’s secretive escapades as she came of age. Want to know more about the story? The Goodreads synopsis can be found here.
Secondly, as most cat *owners* can relate, Princess Maitreyi ruled me with an iron paw. I was well aware that while I had no rights to proactively pick her up, she could make herself comfortable on my person whenever and however she pleased. Her one particular pet peeve (pun intended!) was my reading. She couldn’t abide my being distracted by books. Anytime I erred, she’d hop on said offending item and stare me down until I redirected my attention toward her.
So, what became of Maitreyi?
When I relocated back to the United States, I found a local Romanian family to adopt her. They promised to adore her in the manner to which she’d become accustomed.
As of today, I remain her loyal subject.
Let’s be social…