Meet the ASL Spokes-animals: Runa Iwovolk!

Welcome to the second piece in a series of bios about the Spokesanimals of ASL Solutions!

Runa "Slayer of the Nine Realms" Iwovolk

Runa looking both inquisitive and beautiful.

Runa is an affectionate, vocal, and sweet orange tabby cat. Her medium-length hair is extremely soft and fluffy, and she's more than willing to let you pet it. She loves meeting new people and getting attention from them. Runa is an extremely social cat, and she really likes to hang out around humans. Dogs, she could do without  she had two as roommates once, and she never quite trusted them. They were excitable, and she wasn't a fan.

Her humans adopted her from a shelter in Bemidji, MN, in December of 2019. She had been in the shelter for two weeks when her future humans walked in, and she rubbed up against the side of the kennel and pressed her face up against the bars. Her future humans had no chance of walking away. She clearly wanted attention, and she got it right away. She was immediately curious and affectionate, and sat on one of the humans' laps right away and began purring. The other human was already filling out adoption paperwork.

Lounging in the humans' bathtub. Why not?

She's two years old, and she got her name from the shelter workers because of the gorgeous swirl patterns on her coat resembling ancient runes. She almost looks like a cinnamon roll when all curled up in a ball. She's also a bit of a large cat, and her fluffiness enhances her apparent size.

Her nickname, "Slayer of the Nine Realms", is a joke, because she's affectionate and silly. Whenever she's trying to hunt an animal outside, she meows excitedly and announces her presence, blowing her cover. She once tussled with a chipmunk, but the chipmunk made it out okay. Her humans are also nerds who play Dungeons and Dragons, so a dramatic title for their animal companion was inevitable.

You can look at the paws, but you can't touch. It's like being in a museum.

Runa is primarily an indoor cat, but she does like to wander the backyard. Her humans insist on having her wear a harness and on following her around, but she makes do. Listening to the birds and eating grass is worth it. She'll settle for staring out a window when her humans are busy, and she likes to patrol between the windows of the house while making vague threats to the birds outside.

Runa's favorite spot to sleep alternates between the big, cushy papasan chairs, the humans' bed, and the carpeted stairs. Her sleeping positions are vast in number and varied in appearance, and always make her humans go "Aww" or say "What? You're sleeping like that?"

Sleeping with your head on your paws is +5 charisma.

Runa also likes sitting on things that her humans have just set on the ground, especially if they looked like they were about to do something with the object. She loves the texture of yoga mats on her claws. They're just so much fun to tear up! Runa's human seems less thrilled about it, but she can't understand for the life of her why. If the humans just had claws, surely they'd get it. She also enjoys sitting on game boards that are in use, and batting her paw at dice, to the delight of her humans. They were less delighted when Runa tried to eat their miniatures.

Damp towels are another favorite of Runa's  she loves flopping down on them and rolling around. She also likes standing in showers post-use, and rubbing her head vigorously against her humans' heads post-shower. Sometimes, she gets so excited that she bites their scalps. It's not her fault that they don't smell enough like her. They keep washing themselves, darn it.

Getting in a good mid-nap stre-e-etch.

Runa also enjoys licking mattresses for half-hour increments, but only when they don't have sheets on them. She enjoys scratching canvas bins, as well, and has done respectable amounts of damage to them. On the few occasions that she's scratched leather and pleather, her humans seemed especially deranged. Who cares? She'll scratch her scratching posts if they're the only surface available, but they're just really not her preference.

Runa loosely knows a few commands, too, assuming that there's a bribe of a treat involved. If there's not, it's a waste of her time to "sit" or jump "up" onto a chair or "come here". Look, if she wanted to do those things, she would.

I mean, look at her. She's adorable. Who sleeps like this?

Runa's favorite toys are a decimated, formerly round roll of washi tape (and anything that resembles it  a pink rolled up measuring tape, a round lip balm tin with a pink label) on a string and two bouncy balls covered in fabric starfish costumes. She loves chasing toys. If it's not moving, what's the point? She especially likes chasing toys up and down the stairs, because then she can dig her claws into the stairs and thrash around, maybe tear up a few carpet fibers. Her new favorite is a catnip-stuffed toy mouse tied on a string.

Mealtimes make Runa extremely excited. This is when she is the most vocal. She will not stop meowing until the food is in her bowl and her bowl is in front of her for her to stick her face into. She will nudge your hand out of the way if you're too slow (which is most of the time). The rustling of a treat bag always gets her attention, as do unexpected sounds around the house. She might need to try to talk to the pipes if they make noise.

Runa has a plethora of interesting sleeping positions, many of which take place on these stairs.

Even when all of her needs have been met, she will often meow, chirp, or make small inquisitive noises when people are present. Her purrs are nice and deep, and a good way to hear them is to catch her when she's sleepy and give her some ear scritches. She also likes to knead fluffy blankets with her paws, which is another surefire sign that she's about to start purring.

Runa is fascinated by watching front-loading dryers and washers spin. They're almost as interesting as windows. They just go 'round and 'round and 'round...and 'round....what was she even doing before they started laundry?

Oh, you wanted to read? Too bad, because I'm adorable. You wouldn't dare wake me.

Runa loathes her paws being touched. She also isn't a huge fan of being picked up or hugged, but she'll put up with it for a little while, until it gets egregious or too frequent. Then she will yell at her humans. Runa also despises car rides. She does not like sitting in her carrier in the car. When her humans moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin, she meowed twice a minute for four straight hours. She's really not sure her humans are too bright. Surely it's obvious why she's yowling?

Runa's biggest pet peeve is closed doors. She will sit, meow, and try to claw underneath doors until they're opened. She hates not being able to go everywhere.

Covered litter boxes are also very unpleasant to Runa, and the whole business of humans stealing her poop to put in a little plastic bin is thoroughly unsettling to her. She tries not to think about it.

She just likes chillin' in there sometimes. Usually, this is combined with staring off into space.

Runa is really good at reading her humans' emotions. When they're feeling down, she just knows, and will meow inquisitively and be extra affectionate. She might also lay down on them and demand pets, and then she'll start purring. They usually seem happy when she does that, so she figures it'll help.

The humans seem less happy when she wakes them up by yanking things off the wall and yowling, but dawn and dusk are her zoomies times, and it's just part of who she is. The humans gotta deal.

She really enjoys being around humans, so long as she's the one initiating the attention. If you and Runa are lounging on the bed, she might steal your foot and pull it towards her so she has a pillow to rest her head upon.

Could you humans keep quiet? It's time for my afternoon nap, thanks. Ugh.

Runa shows affection by headbutting, rubbing, demanding attention, and licking if she truly loves you. She will profusely groom hands for 15-20 minutes at a time if she's in an affectionate mood.

Runa is an accomplished floor flopper. She can be mid-walk and suddenly decide she needs a rest and she flops on the floor like a pro, almost as if she'd been tackled. If she sees you eating something, though, she'll un-flop and insist on inspecting your food. She might bat lightly at your plate or bowl until you show her what you're eating. She has been known to steal entire bread slices (which were then retrieved, because her humans didn't think she needed to eat that much grain). She's also taken to eating lettuce, as of late.

Runa's talented aunt, Abri Iwanski, made this fan art for Runa!

An ideal day for Runa would consist of being fed at 5 AM, being cuddled and scratched by her humans until she fell asleep, going outside whenever she wants, sunbathing at an open window, playing with the starfish toy for an hour or so, and then being fed two hours early for dinner. With a healthy dose of uninterrupted naptime sprinkled throughout, of course.

Her humans love her very much, and she has changed their lives for the better. They hope they have done the same for her.

Runa sitting in the backyard tortoise enclosure (sans tortoises, of course). She is delightfully orange.

Photo credit: Skye Isabella Rose Iwanski
Written by Skye Isabella Rose Iwanski


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