Ella is our cat at present. She is our third, and she is certainly her own lady, her own fluffy little ball of correct feline behavior.

We got her from the local shelter. We walked into the facility, asked to see a cat, and were directed to a room that was the home of all the available cats. There were a good twenty cats in the room…some in cages along a wall, some in the cat houses , some milling about the food dishes, and some merely enjoying themselves. Large cats, small cats, black, white, tabby, calico – and all we had to do was find the one that fit us.

I can honestly say it was quite the opposite. Ella picked us. I was standing there, scanning the room for a likely pet, when I felt something against my leg. I look down, and this tiny little creature was attempting to crawl up my leg. I picked her up, and she immediately cuddled into my shoulder. You can bet I walked over to my wife who also held her. My wife put her down, but the cat again went for the leg climb. Yes, that was Ella, and so we filled out the paperwork and took her home with us.

Ella is not given to terribly aggressive cat acts. She will not bite – she delicately holds my fingers or little chunks of meat in her teeth – in her four and a half-year with us, she has never broken skin. She is declawed in the front so that she could go live with a friend for a while when we took a longer vacation – and she has been resourceful enough to use those clawless paws as little tiny boxing gloves, giving us good whaps once in a while as we frolic and wrestle with her.

She sleeps – oh, how she does sleep. You know she’s deeply asleep when she’s in a ball, tail wrapped around her nose, with her eyes safely under the tip of her tail. She will sleep in the chair, on the couch, on my wife’s bed, on her pad in the bay window in the kitchen, or anywhere else. She will doze as well, sometimes even when she’s sitting. You can see her eyes go blank as her head drops so very little. She’ll flop across my lap, her head to the right and laying on the flank of my leg.

And cuddly? She can be intrusive as she climbs up on my lap, feet on my chest, her chin rubbing mine – my right side first, then the left. Once this task is complete, she will put both feet on my right shoulder, her body against my chest, and finally her head between her own feet. Purr, you ask? Only all the time she’s doing this very pose. She has other cuddle poses for other occasions, but this one described is her favorite.

Her appetite is quite unique. She will not drink milk. Well, really, very little. She will take a few laps out of my cereal bowl at breakfast after I’ve finished off my Cheerios, but otherwise, no milk. Dry food is always out there for her, and every night, we give her treats, a habit she picked up from our friend who took care of her when we had that longer vacation a few years ago… she loves those treats, that’s for sure. She likes small pieces of ham or other such cold cuts, but she just never got into tuna from the can… not even caring to lick the can. So, she’s a bit different when it comes to food.

She keeps a nice litter box – never misses, and is as delicate about that whole process as can be. She’s never messed in the house – and she’s an inside cat, so one would figure that would happen at least once in a while.

She is only 5 years old, so she still plays actively. The vet told us once that Ella may have had a broken leg at one time – and this is apparent when she runs… well, no, not run. This little dang feline gallops full tilt through the house, which makes for some good visual treats and some interesting sounds.

She is pretty good in the car, but we always use a carrier. She gets outside some, but she’s on a leash or tethered on a line attached to her harness. She likes it outside, but so much does prefer it inside.

She is a fine little cat. I’m glad she picked us that day.