Louise Androlia and Princess Kitty Tiger Pants. 'Living with Cats'
In this blog series 'Living with Cats' I want to explore the strong bond that people share with their cats, look at the varied and unique personality traits that cats have, understand what it means to share your home with a feline and how they might influence and even alter your path in life. What is it about cats we find so irresistible?
On a crisp and bright October afternoon I went to meet Tarot card reader, life coach, artist and all round magic maker, Louise Androlia in her North London flat. Louise shares her home with Princess Kitty Tiger Pants, a smart and sassy black cat with striking gem-like eyes. Louise got Kitty as an 8 week old kitten and has been enjoying her company and strong personality for the last 10 years.
Soon after I arrived at Louise's flat, Kitty slipped quietly into her teepee to do what cats often do best: ignoring you but making sure you know about it. I find it hard to be in a room with a cat and not shower them with attention but I could tell Kitty wouldn't be a fan of that. This was her space and she was slightly miffed about me invading it!
C&W It's lovely to meet you in person. I've been following your blog and monthly Tarotscope post for The Numinous. I'm so pleased you agreed to spend this beautiful Autumnal afternoon talking about cats! Have cats always been a part of your life; did you grow up with them?
LA Yes, actually if you look on that shelf beside you. That's a picture of me and my first cat, he died when I was 9 and I think I cried every day for 4 years. It was like the great loss of my life that cat, because he was my best friend.
C&W What was his name?
LA His name was Pussy (Laughs). Yeah I know! Not too imaginative. He was a rescue cat. My Dad's brother was a fireman and he turned up at the fire station as a tiny kitten. My Dad's brother gave him to my parents; they were responsible for the name. Pussy was 17 when he died. I didn't have any cats for a while after that - we had other pets. I had a rabbit which was basically the exact same as Kitty but in rabbit form. Black and didn't like anyone apart from me and was a bit cross all the time.
C&W I read somewhere that you used to cast spells and dress up in full witches regalia as a child. I'm guessing there was something in particular that drew you to getting a black cat?
LA (Laughs) yes...obviously. Well actually, when I went to get a cat, in my head I wanted to get a male, orange cat but then I ended up getting a female, black cat - she is the perfect witches' cat! Me and my sister have a continuing joke about how Kitty's not very available during the month of October, because she does a lot of appearances for Halloween. I like to pick professions for people's pets - I met a dog the other day who was definitely a pastry chef in his spare time! Kitty does part time modelling, Halloween appearances and she also writes erotic fiction under a secret name.
C&W Do you think people have a spiritual connection to cats? Is there something special that draws you to them?
LA Yeah I think so. I think that all pets, like children, can see spirit because no one has told them they can't yet. Children have imaginary friends and I think that generally pets are quite attune to your energy and their surroundings. They will come and look after you if you're feeling sad.
C&W Does Kitty do that with you?
LA Yeah, I mean all she wants to do is just hang out with me. So her dream is for me to live in my bed and for her to sit there, stare at me and purr. I do remember once when she was really little - I had a sickness thing and was lying on the bathroom floor - she came and sat on my hip for the whole time. It was so cute.
C&W I Know you became very ill with a chronic pain condition at 21. Did Kitty help with your recovery?
LA I got her when I was 23; at that time I was recovering from Post Traumatic Stress. So I actually did specifically get her to look after me. I was really ill and essentially when you're that ill you don't think about anything else apart from being ill... I think Kitty really helped me in that sense because I had something to look after, something which could take me out of myself; even just for a moment. She was my companion and comforter. Maybe that's why she's jealous of other people and protective towards me - because I got her to look after me.
C&W She stepped into that role?
LA Yeah she became my protector! (laughs)
C&W So you'd say black cats are good luck and not bad luck?
LA Definitely good luck! I've always loved black cats. A couple of years ago, I was staying in a friend's apartment in LA while she was away. She was telling me how there was a little cat that lived nearby that I might see. I was so desperate to see this cat but hadn't come across it at all. Then on Halloween eve I was walking back to the apartment and this thing shot out of the darkness and across my path. I got woken up the next morning by scratching at the front door. I went to open it and this tiny black cat came in for a cuddle. It was like 'Happy Halloween! A black cat has just come and woken me up' - it was so strange!
C&W Did you see it again after that?
LA That was the only time I saw it! It just showed up on Halloween and then that was it.
C&W There's definitely something quite mystical about black cats. Maybe all the folklore and symbolism that surround them has something to do with it.
Apparently black cats are the hardest for shelters to re-home - I always think that's so sad.
LA I know! It's heartbreaking. There was something in the paper about that recently actually. They claimed that they weren't so good for taking selfies with! Apparently - according to this article, because they're darker they don't show up as well in photos.
C&W I really hope that people don't buy cats according to how good they will look in a selfie!! I'm not sure what they're talking about - Kitty looks fabulous in photographs.
LA After I read that I was looking at the cat homes and sending my sister pictures of all these cute black cats that don't have a 'forever home'! I can't bear it - the 'forever home' it's the saddest term ever!
C&W Aw well at least Kitty has her 'forever home'.
LA Yeah. I'm so used to having Kitty here. Especially now that I live on my own, I talk to her all the time, she sleeps on my bed. But I always say to people that having a pet is proof of magic. Because every morning I wake up and think that it's so hilarious that there's an animal living with me! It just seems so ridiculous that I share my house with a creature that is made of fur, has a tail, 4 legs, is scared of Sellotape, heights and loud noises! It just doesn't seem normal but it's a totally accepted thing to keep a pet.
C&W Kitty's full name is quite spectacular. Princess Kitty Tiger Pants! How did you come to the name?
LA You know what, it was one of those annoying things. I got her and was obsessively thinking about what I was going to call her. In the meantime I was calling her Kitty - then all of a sudden I was that person who calls their cat Kitty! It ended up sticking. I sometimes think that giving her the Princess title has imprinted on her personality a bit. My friend named her Tiger Pants because these little brown stripes show up in the sun and it looks like she's wearing stripy knickers. I have a few other names for her. The main one is Boobug or any variation on that. When she's cross I call her Grumblepuff!
Louise's flat felt so serene - filled with beautiful things: little paintings, flowers, handwritten quotes, crystals and colourful ornaments. There's a calm and quiet area by the window where she does her meditation and Tarot card readings. This is also Kitty's favourite place to sleep.
Towards the end of our meeting, Kitty was drifting off, almost reluctantly to sleep. There's nothing quite like the mystical energy that a sleeping cat gives to a room. You'll know what I mean if you have a cat. It goes without saying that Kitty is Louise's most treasured possession. And despite all the carefully placed objects and the soft, October light flooding in though the big windows - I left feeling that it was the connective energy between Kitty and Louise that was the true source for the serenity of the space. Princess Kitty Tiger Pants really is proof of magic!
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Visit Louise's website for more information on her Coaching, Tarot Readings and Writing.
Louise has recently launched a beautiful jewellery collection in collaboration with Jessica de Lotz.
A special thank you to Kitty for agreeing to a home visit during her busiest time of year!
Do you know someone who has a special bond with their cat? Please get in touch!