Hello. My name is Christopher Bays. I’m a writer and editor with a Russian Blue named Olga, and every week, I’ll provide a new account of my experiences with my favorite four-legged freak. In 2015, my Siamese cat passed away after 19 years, and I hesitated to get a new pet. After living in a quiet house for 6 months, I finally decided to look for another roommate.
My Life With Olga
I went to PetSmart to check out the adoption area set up for the Humane Society. It’s a small room with plexiglass walls, and when I visited, it had 10 cats, and most were kittens. All the cats, except one, were running around and play fighting. An older calico cat seemed to be the instigator, and he hit a gray kitten who wasn’t participating to convince her to join in the fun.
She responded by smacking him in the face and curling back into a ball to go to sleep. At that moment, I fell in love with the cranky Russian Blue kitten. After completing the adoption paperwork, I bought a new carrier, posed for pictures with my new pet (the Humane Society volunteers requested them), and headed home.
It was July, and a summer storm, complete with heavy rain and lightning, didn’t seem to phase Olga. Unlike my Siamese cat, she didn’t make a sound in the carrier on the way home. She didn’t meow for several days, but sometimes, she looked like she was trying to. She opened her mouth to cry, but no sound came out.
Initially, I was worried she couldn’t speak, but she didn’t stay silent for long. One day, when I tried to pick her up and carry her into the living room, she whined, curled into a ball, and bit my hand. She wasn’t a cuddly cat that started purring as soon as I touched her like my Siamese, and it took several weeks (or possibly longer) for her to get comfortable with being handled and picked up.
When Olga was a kitten, I believed some of the online articles I read about the aloof nature of Russian Blues, but as time passed, I formulated another opinion. Although she has few similarities to Fripp, my Siamese cat, she is incredibly affectionate and spends most of the day in the office with me while I’m working.
However, Olga needs her “alone time,” and every day after she eats breakfast, she wanders into the spare bedroom to meditate. After a few hours, she comes into my office and grunts, signaling she wants to be picked up. If I ignore her, she jumps in my lap or runs to the window by my desk to attack the blinds.
She doesn’t attack the blinds as often as she used to, but as a young cat, blind diving was one of her favorite pastimes. Most cats, especially before their senior years, get bursts of energy at odd times and run around the house like they’re possessed. When young Olga got possessed, she would charge the blinds of my French doors at full speed and leap into them.