By Victoria Cumings
Meet Lion, an UWS kittycat wielding a fierce name and adventurous spirit, but also possessing a gentle, calm, and sweet nature, which perfectly complements her feisty roar.
Born in New Jersey on July 4, 2020, upon being the last adopted from a litter of kittens, baby Lion moved to the Upper West Side at eight weeks old and has since become a fixture in the neighborhood. Growing up big and strong, Lion has taken the City by storm, calling the shots in her classic walk-up apartment, enjoying leashed strolls and chasing fireflies in Riverside Park, and, with her fun antics, keeping her proud pet parents amused and on their toes.
Lion got her name from the football Lions at an UWS institution, Columbia University, which her pet mom attends. A gorgeous, gray-toned tabby, Lion’s beautiful stripes and markings could equally have seen her called Tiger, but her name suits her perfectly given the boldness and intrepidity she’s shown since a young age, and her resemblance to her namesake!
Very little fazes Lion – she won’t hesitate to grab at a pair of passing legs when asking for a snack, will dribble a full-size soccer ball around the room, attack a toy mouse, scare puppies in the park, and even once bit a vet helper trying to administer a vaccination, thereby getting banned from PetCo (story for another time!). Contrast this, however, with the quirky and cute ways Lion keeps herself and others entertained…playing hide-and-seek with Q-tips is a favorite pastime, as is rummaging through tissues and paper bags. Quite remarkably, Lion is also adept at leaping into arms held open for her, as well as giving ‘high-fives’ (usually in return for a treat).
Due to her fearless and outgoing nature, Lion is very sociable and has a special knack for making friends. Not long into a visit at home from a doggie pal, after a brief introduction and some playtime Lion persuaded her buddy to participate in a mutual siesta, the two furry friends relaxing on the floor side-by-side, completely at ease, enjoying the moment and each other’s company.
As with all cats, big and small, Lion loves to sleep. When tired-out from her exploits, she’ll stretch across a chair, curl up on a warm computer keyboard, or slip into a pillow fort or her pet-tent for a good old-fashioned catnap. Other times, in the search for somewhere warm and dark to hide, Lion has been known to pull out all the clothes from her parents’ under-bed drawers, creating a messy but cozy little nest. Anyone visiting might fear the apartment had been ransacked by a thief, but those in the know realize it’s just Lion making room for a comfortable kip!
Because Lion’s pet dad works from home, the two are lucky enough to spend a lot of time together. During lunch breaks, Lion often joins him in a hammock in Riverside Park (which of course draws curious onlookers). She also loves meowing hellos to the occasional apartment bug she spots on a wall, as well as being taken up to her building rooftop to sunbathe and glare at pigeons. Quite the character, Lion has a life about as perfect as any cat could hope for.
Lion’s mom and dad hope a kitty friend may be in Lion’s future. Meantime, she thrives on being the center of attention, showered with affection and with all her wants and whims catered to by her wonderful and devoted pet parents.
Lovable Lion – likely snoozing in a hammock in a park near you!
Read all our West Side Mews columns here.