I got Fi in 1999. He was a Christmas gift. A tiny little ball of black who was more than a little bit skittish. I understood completely where the phrase “scaredy cat” came from!
I’d always thought black cats were good luck. When I was in college, my roommate Heather had a black cat named Magic who I thought was so cool. His silky fur, his pretty eyes. I knew that when I owned my first cat, it’d have to be a black cat.
One of the main questions I get asked is How did you come up with the name Fi?
… Yeah. About that. The person who gave us Fi told us that he was a girl named Fiona. “Fiona” was also allegedly healthy, had just been dewormed, etc.
Fi was very sick. Dehydrated. Fever. Ear mites. Two types of worms. Fleas. A lot older than the few weeks the person had told us.
It took a lot of mental shifting to switch from “girl cat” to “boy cat.” I mean, it’s silly, but there it was. I felt betrayed. Not by the cat–it wasn’t his fault. But by the person who gave him to us, who clearly knew NOTHING about cats. Although to be fair, even the vet didn’t catch that Fi was a boy–certain things didn’t drop until later. But there were the huge vet bills that Chris and I could ill afford, the lectures from the vet about how sick Fi was (well duh, that’s why we were bringing him in), and the sinking feeling that I’d maybe gotten in over my head.
I wasn’t a very attentive cat owner back then. I’d just discovered Internet Girl World and also the joys of high speed internet, so I spent a LOT of time on the computer and not enough time with Fi. It’s no wonder that as he got older, he grew less affectionate toward me. He’d be on the floor and I’d sit by him to pet him. Within two minutes, he’d get up and leave. He wasn’t a lap cat at all, and he didn’t care to be picked up. He definitely kept his distance.
Then Aidan came along.
I realized how amazingly patient Fi was because he let Aidan squish him like this ALL THE TIME. When Chris and I separated, I left Fi with Aidan because he’d clearly become Aidan’s cat. I’d gone back to visit a few times, but Fi only seemed interested in me if I had food. He’s a champion beggar, that one.
In 2011, Chris and his partner had a total of six cats. They were moving and he told me that he needed to think about getting rid of some of the cats. I told him, IMMEDIATELY, that I wanted Fi. I told him a million times. And one weekend in July, Fi was back with me.
Fi had changed. Another question I get asked a lot is What is wrong with his eyes?
Fi has conjunctivitis, and needs eye drops. He’ll likely have it the rest of his life. He also has allergies and makes the cutest little sneezes and sniffles. But the most remarkable change is how affectionate he’s become. I’m pretty sure he remembered me, because when Chris handed him over to me, Fi immediately started purring. He’s been my baby boy ever since. He doesn’t distance himself from me anymore, and anytime I walk into the room, before I even touch him, the motor starts. Sometimes, he even gets on my lap, and remember, Fi’s not much of a lap cat.
Fi is a completely chill cat. He’s quiet, calm, and relaxed. The only time he gets mad is when it’s time for eye drops. But even he seems to know when he needs them the most, because then he just kind of sits there resigned. He’s such a good cat, often demanding pets, purring loudly, and just being awesome. He often goes off by himself to relax and be still. He’s still super patient, and he’s super sweet. I love my Fi.