A beautiful story between Jessica Matlin and Jannetta

We welcomed Janetta home when she was 8 years old. It was pretty scary the first few months, because she was overdue for a tune-up at the vet’s. She needed a lot of dental work, and she was so scared that she initially stopped grooming her beautiful coat—she matted up badly. The vet recommended a lion cut to get back to basics. Of course, we couldn’t take her to a standard issue groomer. Janetta was too fussy for that sort of thing, and instead she required a couture styling service at the vet’s, complete with a soothing medicated bath. Feeling refreshed, she became more comfortable with every step.
Ever a little lady, Janetta was born in Moscow and carries herself like a proud and regal character, but at the same time she lets these moments of silliness slip. One moment she’s perfectly poised—paws together, head upright, waiting for a handful of Friskies Wild West Party Mix—but other times she acts like a little kid in the way she paws for attention. I work from home, and she’s always padding around the desk, lounging across my keyboard and nuzzling the monitor. Eventually she settles in and enjoys the tap of the keys and the heat from the laptop
We say Janetta is a cat of many looks. I say she’s like Madonna in that way. Sometimes she looks like a baby with huge eyes, chasing toys and enjoying a long paw massage, and then other times she is unknowable: She sits at the top of her cat tower with one leg outstretched, her fluffy tail swinging, and her eyes looking somewhere far away. I think she’s thinking about Russia.
Janetta and I have our own secret language. When I sneeze, she does the strangest thing: She opens her mouth and lets out this odd staccato, crackling sound that lasts for a good five seconds. She only does it when I sneeze, not when anyone else does. I think she’s worried about me. I’ve Googled this countless times—using every combination of words—but I’ve never heard of this phenomenon. Guess it’s just our thing.
She also kisses me when I have been away for a few days. When I sit on the couch or lie down, she rubs her heart-shaped kitty nose against my nose and lips. And when I shower, I come out to find her waiting by the door, her two front paws together. It’s so sweet


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