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Layla, the orange tornado

This was "My Nikkel's Worth" column by editor Greg Nikkel
This is golden tabby Layla, in one of her calmer moments, sleeping in her favourite warm blanket.

WEYBURN – We have been busy with a new addition to the household in recent months, a baby of sorts.

No, it’s not a human baby, but an orange-coloured tornado of activity, lots of purring, and at times some frantic energy.

We brought a golden tabby kitten into the house, name of Layla, and she can be quite the handful at times. This is in addition to the adult black cat of the house, Nigel (a female) who has at times been not very pleased with the kitten.

Apparently golden tabbies can be rarer than the usual colour for tabby cats, and only one in five golden tabbies are female.

A test of our patience was putting up a Christmas tree. As any cat owner will know, this always brings out the kitten in a cat, but when you actually have a kitten, the tree is basically one giant cat toy that can be climbed in.

It became a normal sight in the morning to find a number of the decorations on the floor, after being batted out of the tree.

Layla has developed a play routine that I thought only pertained to dogs – she plays throw-and-fetch. She has a favourite little brown bear she will carry in her mouth and fight with, and she’s begun bringing it to me so I can toss it. She launches herself after it, grabs it and promptly brings it back to me. If she drops it on my lap she makes these little mewing noises until I pick it up and toss it, and she’s off to get it again.

I’ve lived with cats since I was a kid, and I’ve never had a cat play like this before.

Layla has a bit of a farm background, which  you can see in regard to food and affection. As a younger kitten, she could be extremely aggressive about her food, but she’s settled down some in that regard.

In terms of affection, she’s very, very persistent and insistent, even if you’re busy doing something else like eating or whatever. She’ll climb up onto my lap, often using her claws to do so (you should see all the scratches on my legs) to be petted, or to bring me her bear for tossing.

I’ve even had times when I’m dressing, and she gets into a position to leap onto me. I move to keep out of her reach, and she just finds another nearby position, until I can finally take her in my arms and pet her. She also likes chasing and leaping onto Nigel, but Nigel can usually take care of herself.