Kiya first appeared in my life as a very sick four week-old kitten that was covered with fleas.
I was waiting for a cab when she suddenly appeared in a driveway three feet from major traffic. Looking around I saw no mother cat or siblings, just two abandoned buildings. It was as though she dropped from the sky.
I assumed that she was in need of help, but for some reason felt the decision needed to be hers. I cupped my hands together at ground level and asked, “Would you like to come home with me?” Immediately this tiny kitten crawled into my hands and flipping over on her back she looked right into my eyes and purred. I took that as a very emphatic yes, and we’ve been together ever since.
Naming her took a bit of thought but I finally named her after the “Ki” in Reiki since the universal life force energy helped her heal on many occasions and she loved it so much.
Over time she also earned the nickname “The Princess” because Kiya has always felt that she is entitled to the finest and best that life has to offer. This can take the form of the food on anyone’s plate, my desk chair (apparently viewed as the throne of command), and how she is to be carried.
If I wish to pick her up it must be done a certain way otherwise she gets quite irate. One hand goes under the front legs, and the other under the back. Once in place Kiya settles into a resting position very much like the Sphinx in Egypt. And she purrs loudly, her way of letting her lowly bearer know that they have the royal seal of approval. From this lofty position she loves to take a walking tour of the house and grounds, inclining her head in greeting to her loyal subjects as we go.
But she’s not all dignity all the time. In her younger days (before the arthritis) Kiya liked to dance. And not just to any music, she liked dance party music—the livelier the better—like Pink’s Get the Party Started (she prefers the remix version with Redman).
She’d take up a position at my already moving feet and ask to be picked up. Reaching down I’d swing her up into Sphinx position, and off we’d go. Together, in time to the thumping beat of the music we would rock, spin, dip and twirl—Kiya loved it all!
In case you hadn’t noticed Kiya loves attention and admiration, and being beautiful, charming, and filled with confidence she would receive a lot of it when sitting outside the house. Passersby would stop and admire her, and she would bask in the sunlight of their appreciation. You could always tell how much she enjoyed it by watching her tail. When she was pleased the tip of it would sway back and forth in rhythm with the words. People loved her so much that I felt I needed to put a collar on her to let them know that she did have a home.
And I thought long and hard about how to do that since I did not want to wound her royal dignity by having her feel that it was a mark of ownership, but one of respect. For her first collar I chose one with shiny jewels (suitable for feline royalty), and appealed to her vanity. I told her that it was specially chosen to enhance her beauty and people would admire her even more. She liked the idea, and tipped her head to have the collar put on. From that moment on Kiya strutted her bling. On the rare occasions when I had to remove her collar she was not entirely happy until it was restored to its rightful place around her neck.
Kiya has been with me almost 17 years now, and I thought there were no surprises left—that I knew all there was to know about her until I visited the King Tut exhibit here in Seattle.
I felt awe as I stood in the commanding presence of the statue of Pharoah Ahkenaten but when I turned to view the next exhibit I was shocked to find myself looking at a glass case containing the canopic urn of his second wife, Queen Kiya. It wasn’t just shock at the similarity of the name—a name I might add that I thought I had made up—the profile reminded me of my Princess Kiya!
A little research on Google yielded the information that, “Her name was unusual for an Egyptian name and because of this it is thought that the name Kiya may originate from Syria north of Egypt.”
And further, “In inscriptions, Kiya is given the titles of “The Favorite” and “The Greatly Beloved”…Her full titles read, “The wife and greatly beloved of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Living in Truth, Lord of the Two Lands, Neferkheperure Waenre, the Goodly Child of the Living Aten, who shall be living for ever and ever, Kiya.”
Such a long and illustrious title, it suited my Kiya as well.
So, after all these years together, Kiya has now been upgraded from Princess to Queen. In her opinion this means she is finally getting the respect she so richly deserves. I have promised her some new feline jewelry in honor of the occasion because my Queen Kiya loves her bling!
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.