Once upon a time, I had no cats. The two that I had grown up with had died, and I had no desire for another feline heartbreak. Sometime before I got married, I started thinking that I'd like a cat again someday. My husband said that I could have a cat. Fun fact, he doesn't remember that comment. He hated cats, and is allergic to them.

So, two weeks after our wedding, I went out for groceries. On my way out, a lady was standing at the curb with a box of kittens. I just wanted to hold one, to get that kitten fix. Well, teeny tiny kitten latched right onto me.
"She likes you!"
I asked what would happen to the kittens, and the woman shrugged and said that she would have to drop them off at the shelter, because there was no way she could take them home again.
Second fun fact: We lived in a county with a fairly high kill rate, and in the middle of kitten season, these little babbies wouldn't be there long.
I thought about the possibility that this tiny, snuggly kitty would go on to meet a sad fate. I couldn't stomach it. So I called Matt and asked him if I could bring home a kitten. Flabbergasted, he didn't say no.
On the way home, I decided that this little furball needed a name that would make Matt fall in love with her, since the odds were stacked against her.

Having recently finished re-playing Final Fantasy VII, I knew that he liked Aeris. Being that she was a tiny, quiet little thing, I thought the name fit perfectly. When I got home, I unloaded the cat and the groceries and introduced Matt to his new little buddy. Then I asked him to hold her while I went to get a litter box from the store. (A different store, lest I come back with another kitten)

By the time I came back, they were best friends, and they have been ever since. I'm not sure whether Matt just never met a decent cat before Aeris or what, because he learned very quickly that he actually likes cats. As for the allergies, well, allergists exist for a reason!

When we adopted Aeris, she wasn't the only animal in our household. We also had my almost four year old westie, Mikenna. I was a little nervous about how they would get along. Mikenna had been raised around cats, but they were much older, not a tiny, inquisitive thing.

Within a couple of days, Aeris decided that she was Mikenna's best friend, and it was so for the next ten years.

Ironically, while Aeris loves me, I think she was closer to both Mikenna and Matt than she was to me. That's the thanks I got for giving her a home. Sheesh, Aeris.

Aeris has been a great cat, if a bit of a brat. We fully admit that we had no idea what we were doing when she was a kitten, and she got away with things that she definitely shouldn't have.

More so than our other cats, Aeris enjoys knocking things off of ledges, including, but not limited to, her own food. She's a bitey cat, and instead of meowing for food, or even waking us up, she'll misbehave until we somehow stumble on the fact that there's a tiny speck of emptiness in the bottom of the food bowl. She's a character, but she's undeniably Aeris.

In May 2017, we did the unthinkable and brought kittens home. We didn't intend to keep them, but, well, oops. They just fit the hole left behind by Mikenna so well. A couple years prior, we had adopted Gwen in hopes that she would be a friend for Aeris, but that didn't turn out as we had hoped. Aeris, as it turns out, speaks dog quite well, but was completely unable to 'speak' cat. She wanted to be friends with Gwen in the worst way, but Gwen needed time, patience, and space. Aeris was not about to give her any of that.

But I digress. Kittens. I thought Aeris would enjoy some little cats to boss around and train up into her minions.

The first time I set Cuppie down near Aeris, she froze. WHAT. IS. THIS. TAKE. IT. AWAY. OH NO. WHY IS IT GETTING CLOSER. STOP. HELP.

She really didn't want much to do with the kittens, but she couldn't deny her curiosity.

Over time, she gradually warmed up to them. Or she figured out that they weren't leaving and she had better make the best of it. Either way, she started snarling at them less. She also figured out that these extra cats were good for getting more treats. So maybe they weren't so bad after all.

After several months, she started playing with them a little bit, and they all kind of became a little pride. Aeris finally had cat friends. :SNIFF: She spends her time these days snuggling with her humans, hanging out with her kittens, and knocking things off of our desks and dresser. Some things never change.