By Diane Ako
I have a walking reminder of KHNL. It's called Ocho, the feral cat I saved from the old parking lot a few years ago. She got sort of domesticated by the staff, who then bugged and begged me to take her home. I had a dog and I didn't want another dependent, but I do love cats, so I finally conceded.
I called her Ocho because she probably used up one life foraging for her food in the wilds of Kalihi. Also for the reference to News8. When I first took her home, she would still look for food in the garbage can.
She reigned queen of the house (bossing around the 70 pound Labrador) for years, until I had a baby. Then, she demonstrated her jealousy by peeing on the sofa immediately after we brought Olivia home. It happened twice in the first couple months, but then she seemed to settle down. We let her continue living inside.
She picked the expensive sofa to pee on, but I was luckily able to rehabilitate it by washing the cushion covers a dozen times and letting the cushions air out on the lanai for a month straight. I let the hot sun dry it out. It worked.
However, she did it again this summer. What the--?? Why?
So, out she went. I tried making her a bona fide outdoor cat, but she fought with the other, larger cats in the 'hood. She has lost every trace of her feral-ness. She would come by the screen door and cry and cry.
As a concession, I put her on the lanai. Luckily, it's pretty comfortable out there, with a regular assortment of birds to keep her amused. She got used to it and stopped crying to be let inside. She seems to like it, and accept it out there.
Olivia has always loved our pets, and I've come to realize that Ocho is now worth her weight in gold. You see, Olivia likes to go out at least once a day and play with the cat, who is now captive in a small balcony, so she has nowhere to go. Before, Ocho would hide under the bed and that would be that. Now, she can run, but she can't hide. Heh heh heh.
Ocho is now subject to tea parties, book readings, doll dressings, wardrobe changes, and whatever else little girls like. Awesome. It keeps Olivia occupied and out of my hair for half an hour. She hugs the cat all the time and says, "I love you, Ocho."