As Facebook attests, many of the Jane Austen Variation authors are owned by cats. Lots of them. Today they are taking over and making their furry presence known…
Muscling in first are Maria Grace’s feline crew: These three, now enormous boys came to us as fuzzy handfuls, looking as though someone had not read the laundry directions and washed the color out of two of them. That being said, Din, Nayru and Farore (yes, my family plays Zelda) do their best to embody Jane Austen’s attitudes.
Their old uncle is rather set in his ways. With huge fangs, Tosh resembles a vampire–that is, until he starts drooling when you scritch behind his ears.
Our newest arrival inspired Rumblkins, a dragon in Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon. Minion’s a polydactyl whose hobbies include chasing invisible goblins and gnawing cardboard boxes. He does not approve of my other desk dragon though.
Next up we have Abigail’s clowder of cats. Yes, a clowder of cats is like a pride of lions! The eldest of our five is Floof who is a medium haired grey cat and, well, floofy. She generally looks rather like a tribble from Star Trek, a big blob of fur. She thinks I should learn to type without my left hand so she can snuggle it. The triplets come next – they aren’t from the same litter, but we got them at the same time. Beatrice is an dilute patched tabby who seems to be mostly Maine Coon, Satsuki is a ditzy calico, and Pip is huge, mostly Bengal, and a cowardly lion.
We adopted a special needs cat, Snowdrop, along with them, and she was very special indeed. I was devastated when she died last spring, and somehow I had the feeling her spirit wanted us to get another white cat. We ended up with Pfeffernusse, a Turkish Van who looks very much like her and has a spooky ability to take on Snowdrop’s habits. Snowdrop’s favorite closet is her favorite closet. Snowdrop’s favorite hiding places are hers as well. We figure Snowdrop must be giving her lessons. Pfeffernusse is also technically special needs, but her problem is so tiny compared to Snowdrop’s severe heart failure, kidney failure, short gut, etc. that it seems unimportant that she sometimes has little seizures when she’s asleep. She’s also a pen thief. I start each morning with a dozen or so pens, and by mid-afternoon I’m always scrambling around on the floor to find even one! Pfeffernusse also shares Snowdrop’s habit of forcing her way into my books, as you’ll discover when the next one comes out. 😛
Leslie has two cats, though if you probably asked them, they’d tell you they belong more to her daughters’ than her (She’s just there to be at their whim while their mom’s are at school). First is Flora, who is the antisocial mistress of the household and who is often called Flora Jane when she is in trouble. She came in with a bang as a kitten, tearing up anything she could get her claws into, but has mellowed out into a fat (if she can help it) lady who will not sit in your lap even for treats. While she doesn’t prefer it, she’s on a prescription diet for her weight and her kidney issues, which is why she goes after Shadow’s food as often as she can. She loves scratches, but only on her terms.
Shadow is Flora’s biggest nemesis. Since his entrance into the house, he has chased her from one end to the other and treated her as his own particular play toy. The rest of us are rather similar. We are here for pets, food, and entertainment value. He likes to lick your hand before he bites it (It has to be clean!), and it isn’t uncommon to find him staring down from some vantage point or another during the day. He also has nerve endings in each and every strand of hair in that tail. You barely touch it and he’ll twitch it!
Caitlin Williams’ cat ‘Milo’ was born in a crack den in South London and was rescued by the marvellous volunteers who form the Cats Protection League in the UK.
He has gone from a shy boy who hid in corners, and under beds, to a cat who stretches out on the sofa and demands a tummy tickle. He is a true family cat. He knows when the kids bedtimes are and comes up to lay on their feet while stories are read. He is such a big part of our day, and the focus of much love and cuddles.
Thinking about getting a cat? Please do. They are a constant source of amusement, and they truly make your house a home. We often wonder what we do without our boy. Please also consider a rescue cat, rather than buying one, ours has been so eternally grateful for the safety of a warm house, a loving environment…and plenty of food.
We have 4 cats in our house, and they all have different personalities and came to us in different ways. They were either strays or born to the sweet female who was a stray.
The oldest is Sunny, a yellow tabby cat who rules the roost, despite being at least 12 years old. (Sunny is shown in the picture at the right, with Stormy, our little tortie, who we lost this past December. They were both strays and best buddies!)
Misty is our sweet little barn kitty, who was so tiny and thin when she showed up. She is probably the sweetest cat, ever, and we had to welcome her into our family. About a month later we discovered she was pregnant! We assumed she would only have one or two kittens, as she was so tiny. But no, she ended up having 7 kittens!
There were 3 yellow and white ones, 1 grey one just like Misty (with a lightning bold on her forehead), a black and white one, a white one, and a faint colored cat with unique markings. I knew I wanted to keep that one. (He’s the one on the right above the grey and black kittens.)
My husband wanted to keep all of them, but I put my foot down to that. We found homes for 5 of them, and kept Snowy (the white one) and Hazy (the faint colored one).
Here is a picture of Misty (the grey cat) with her two boys. Snowy is our treasure hunter and brings in treasures and drops them into the food dish. We’ll find leaves, feathers, acorns, twist-ties, etc. in the dish. I don’t know what the other cats think! Hazy’s color deepened within a few months (no longer hazy colored), and we discovered he is a Snowshoe cat, which is a Siamese mix. Both he and Snowy have blue eyes and are very similar in size and shape, so I think they had the same Siamese father. (The other cats were bigger and had either green or gold eyes.)
All our cats are over 11 years old. They have always gone in and out of the house through a pet door, and we consider ourselves very fortunate that they have all survived, especially with coyotes occasionally making an appearance. (Stormy died of an apparent seizure right at my side. I was so glad I was there; I knew we were losing her and just tried to comfort her.)
We figure our cats are just really smart and know how to keep out of trouble!
Here is the story of Diana’s cats. (Below, left to right, Marshy, Tully, and Pindy.)
Nine years ago, my husband Peter was suffering depression, owing to a pain problem. We tried a stay at a peaceful cabin on a Canadian lake, which made him feel much better, but the chief cause of the “cure” seemed to be our host’s two cats! So, when we got home, my son Paul and I agreed we had to have cats. Never mind that he and I were allergic; they were necessary for Peter. I started haunting the local shelters, searching for “the one.” Actually we wanted two, to keep each other company. Unwillingly, however, I kept coming back to the same threesome. They were a litter, three little girls, four months old. One, a brown and red patterned short haired tabby, had the prettiest, sweetest cat face I’d ever seen, and I knew I wanted her. But – she had two sisters.
We couldn’t go from zero to three cats, that was unthinkable! The other two were round little fuzzballs, long haired tortoiseshells with funny faces. The three kept hopping over each other, and were simply adorable. So I made the ghastly “Sophie’s choice,” and told the manager I’d take the pretty one and “one of the others, you pick.” (Today my blood runs cold when I think that I ever said that about a family member!) But when I got the box home, there were the two fuzzballs – not the pretty girl. I called the shelter and said they’d given me the wrong cat, and the man said I could come back and make the exchange. “No,” I said thoughtfully, “some things are meant. I’ll take all three.” So I picked up the pretty girl, who turned out to be both the Alpha of the group and a tortoiseshell tabby (torbie). As I brought out my credit card to pay the fee (which included neutering, etc.), the man stopped me. “Put that away,” he said. “If you buy two cats, the third one is free.”
So I brought them home, and we gave them the names of classical poets, Peter’s choice. Pindar is the torbie, and the other two are Martial and Catullus. Odd names for girl cats, so they very quickly turned into Pindy, Marshy, and Tully. Pindy became Daddy’s Girl, and Peter’s depression vanished as the two of them chirped happily to each other in his study all day long. Fat, sweet Marshy is very shy, but loves to cuddle with me. And Tully trots down the hall to Paul’s apartment every night to sleep, because she is devoted to him. We are certainly a very happy family, and with no sign of any cat allergy! Some things are Meant.