The Shiva Chronicles: The Terrible Threes

The terrible twos is a normal stage in a child’s development in which a toddler can regularly bounce between reliance on adults and a newly burgeoning desire for independence. It is a stage that most toddlers will go through in varying degrees.” (Verywell Family, ‘Terrible Twos and You…’)

I had great hopes that when Shiva turned three that she would pass out of the Terrible Twos. I’m sad to say, however, that our feisty, multiple personalitied (new word- work with me here) Tortie has gone full steam ahead into the Terrible Threes with no sign of slowing down. I’m afraid that Chez Gainey will never be the same.

Now, to be fair, our girl is a beauty. People often see her and say, “Oh, you make her sound just terrible! She’s such a pretty petite little girl.” Yeah, well that ‘pretty petite little girl’ has a soul as dark as the underbelly of a Buick on asphalt at midnight. Just touch her the wrong way (which changes minute by minute depending upon her mercurial moods), or look at her too long, or walk in her general direction, and you are likely to come back with a scratch, a bite, or minus a body part. Oh, and the little demon will eat your clothes…okay, maybe only my clothes. <sigh>

There are wonderful moments of serenity in our home, mostly when Shiva is asleep like the undead in her crypt upstairs. Once the Cracken has awoken, she begins her ritualistic racing up and down the stairs through the house over and over, eyes wild and unfocused, sometimes a result of poomania (no, really- it’s a thing). she tries to trip me on the stairs, races across the furniture, jumps over Marley (inevitably sprawled in the doorway between the living room and dining room if she’s not on the couch with Dan), and races into her litter box in the laundry room, litter box door swinging. From there we hear endless whooshing sounds as our OCD Tortie meticulously attempts to cover whatever atrocity she left behind. After that, a few more fiendish tears around the house before she again heads upstairs to curl up on our bed and sleep the day away so that she can torment us (aka, ‘me’) all during the night.

Of course there are some sweet and tender moments…at least on the surface. In the evenings when I’m sitting in my chair with my mom’s afghan covering me, Shiva will jump into my lap and begin furiously purring and kneading, allowing me to stroke her silky coat. Oh, how sweet! Yep…as her nails dig into my leg through the gaps in the afghan. It has nothing to do with me- she is obsessed with her blankie. I’m considering wrapping myself in it each day as a means of self protection…sort of like wearing garlic to ward off vampires. I’ll let you know how it works out. At least Shiva loves Marley, following her around and carefully examining our sweet pup every time we come in from our walks. She especially loves to sniff her paws to get the story on what’s out there in the great outdoors. Marley patiently puts up with whatever Shiva dishes out, thankfully, with the patience of a saint. Shiva does bring humor into our household with her antics, along with lessons of patience and letting an animal (or person) be who they are. She also teaches me to make sure that my closet door is tightly closed and all clothes put away at all times. My best friend says that if Shiva poops out lace and a Steinmart tag, we know we have a problem. Maybe someday she’ll mellow. Mary Poppins is my nickname, after all, and I never give up hope.

Damn cat…whatever you do, don’t tell the little demon I sort of love her.


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