I have the sweetest mini dachshund named Chakka who now lives with my mom in South Carolina. Since becoming a flight attendant 5 years ago, I couldn’t properly care for her with my hectic schedule and constant traveling. Although I visit Chakka and bring her to NY from time to time, I desperately missed having a furry friend to come home to.
I tried to fill that void by walking dogs at BARC shelter whenever I could. I follow BARC on Instagram, and this past summer they posted about the ACC being slammed with animals, urging people to help clear the shelters and consider adopting. Since cats are pretty low maintenance (compared to dogs), I had been toying around with the idea of adopting one for the past year or so, and I took the post as a sign. I mean, there was no harm in looking, right?It started off as “just browsing”. But when I finally saw Chai, formerly known as Luna, on the ACC’s website, I fell hard. She was so pretty to me and very unique looking, and she stared curiously into the camera- almost as if she were posing. Under her pictures, a volunteer had written a blurb about how lovely and social she was, which was the icing on the cake. I took the bait and inquired.
She was found as a stray in some random building, super underweight and covered in fleas. They put Chai in their foster program until she was healthy enough for adoption. The foster let me visit and I was immediately smitten. She was so tiny and adorable, and very friendly! She even gave me a little smooch when I picked her up, which obviously sealed the deal for me.
Chai was really sweet and innocent when I first brought her home, but she’s becoming a little naughty now. She moonwalks all over our kitchen counters when we’re not looking and has rock climbing sessions on our velvet couch. She loves to jump into a sink full of dirty dishes (why?!). But her favorite way to sabotage us is by messing with our other children—our plants. She gave my roommate’s favorite one an Edward Scissorhands-style haircut by biting off every. single. leaf. She’s chomped on my succulents for no reason. And more recently, she peed inside the pot of my big, brand new plant. The soil now smells like straight up ammonia. So disrespectful!Leaf biting aside, I love love love Chai. I love her yellow-green eyes, her tiny white chin, her giant whiskers, and her front legs that are different colors. She’s everything I wanted in a kitty. She’s really playful and sassy, sleeps all day and night, and is extremely food motivated—she’s basically me in cat form. She likes her own space, but lets me pick her up like a baby and smother her with kisses whenever I want to, which is, hint: all the time. When she’s had enough she’ll put both paws on my mouth as if to signal, “alright, back up woman”. At night she loves to cuddle, spoon my neck, and knead my pajamas, but ONLY between the hours of 3am and 7am. God forbid she show any affection while I’m awake! When it’s time for breakfast she sits on my shoulder and purrs loud as hell into my ear until I wake up. I’m a heavy sleeper though, so if that doesn’t work she’ll go ham on my jewelry—biting my earrings, necklace, and rings. Once she’s had breakfast, she jumps back into bed, only to pretend my feet are mice that she must catch and bite through the blanket. She then spends the rest of the day staring out the window, talking to birds and making strange noises.When I’m away for work, my boyfriend, roomie, and landlord all pitch in to feed and play with Chai. I’m so very grateful to have such an amazing support system. I feel so lucky. It’s so funny how and when pets come into our lives. It almost always feels meant to be, right? Although I’ve only had Chai for a few months, she brings so much happiness into my life. With a career that’s literally all over the place, she makes me feel grounded. Chai truly makes our house a home, and I look forward to coming back from each trip knowing she’ll be there.
Born in D.C. to South Indian immigrants, Daphni Edwards is a flight attendant who’s made Brooklyn home. When she’s not flying, she’s most likely catching up on Zzz’s and anxiously waiting for the day Chakka & Chai meet. She also blogs about her travels and life in the sky at http://www.yungjetlag.com.