Bill's Feline Family

Suzy and I used to have an Airedale, so I'm not anti dog, it's just that they require things like attention. Then we got a couple of cats. They sorta like a little attention, but mostly just like to be left alone. Sounded good to us. Heck, should sound good to anyone.

When I came down here, just had Abigail and that was enough. No, rather she was enough. Probably enough for anyone. But as you see, I just can't leave well enough alone. Get two or three so they have company. Get around four and you have your hands full. Get a half dozen or so, and by golly they start to take care of each
other. Get a dozen or so, and it's fairly easy except at the meal time feeding frenzy, and at night when you try and turn over in bed. But all in all they are worth what effort is required. If nothing else, I'll never need an electric blanket. The critter on the right is the original Abigail. After she died, I got Abigail Two, and the current one is Abigail Too. But please remember just how important the original Abigail was to me and to my sanity. If you don't remember, then go back to the home page and read Abigail's Lessons on Living Life. She was the true Alpha Cat in most every sense of the word..

Might as well let you know that all the cats have names that start with 'A'. That way each one can consider themselves the Alpha Cat. The hard part is that the name has to mean something particular to the cat. Can't just be any A-Name. It usually takes a week or so to see the individual personality and looks and behavior to pick a name that works. Anyway, here we go with the current litter of 25 cats.

Alex would take exception to the concept that all the cats are Alpha Cats though. He feels he and only he is the real alpha cat. One look at that face, and you know he's probably right. He is the official Innkeeper, and is wonderful with the guests, runs out to greet them when they drive up. Also helps them pack when they leave by getting in the trunk and showing them where the bags go. One of these days he's going to end up in the car return lot at Logan and have not the slightest clue how he got there. He's best when a guest decides to chill out in a hammock in the back yard. On their lap out of nowhere in a nanosecond. Purring as he goes. Can't understand why he can't get into the Inn (allergy thing) when half of his duties just have to be in there. Alex is named, of course, for Alexander the Great. He is also one of the official tour guides in Toad Hall. He thinks the cars all belong to him. He got a small tumer in his mouth in April 2010 which we had removed. But by May more came and grew to size of golf balls all under his throat. Vet gave him a week or so but he made it six more until June 7th when he let me know he had enough. Really miss this guy.

Adrian, the little one, is a Somali. They are Egyptian, and are basically long hair Abyssinians. Therefore, like Siamese, he talks all the time, but usually has something interesting to say. Or thinks he does. He is a very sweet cat, but Alex seems to be threatened by him so goes through his hissing thing. Adrian generally ignores him,but every so often, he squints his green eyes and lets Alex have it. Lots of orange hair flying, and Alex will leave him alone for another thirty days. Bob Newhart, another Innkeeper, had his Larry, his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl. Well, not be outdone, I have Alex Adrian and Adrian. Little Adrian is named for Adrian Newey the technical director for the McLaren Formula One race car team. Fast company here folks. Here are both of them, this Adrian is the smaller one. When he was 11 his kidneys let go and they didn't give him a lot of time. Medicine and special food kept him going about seven months, but in May 2010 they completely gave up and so did he a week later. He was always very independent, but as the end began coming he decided enough was enough and he stayed a lot closer as he knew I was there to help him and not drive him nuts. Take a look at his eyes and you'll see what I mean, or rather what he means. Damn good guy!

Adrian, the big one, is a Maine Coon with a head the size of the other cats' bodies. But he is the gentlest cat I have. When you are that big, you don't have to show off. When I bring home a new kitten, he sorta adopts it. After a few days, Adrian takes the little thing outside and shows it the 'bounderies' and where it is okay to wander around. Does my job for me every time. He is the one that the kittens, and others, like to wrestle with. They have fun, but make a real racket. As big as he is, he is about my most agile cat. He loves to wander all over the roof of the Inn. Typical of a Coon, his voice is kinda a squeak. Gets his mouth wide open, but a whisper of sorts comes out. This Adrian is named for Adrian Reynard, the designer of the Reynard chassis that CART and F-3000 type cars use, and is part owner of the B.A.R. Formula One race car team. He went missing on August 6, 2009, and then showed up on Sunday morning the 9th lying on the floor and not able to move. Took him to the Vet that very moment. He had been poisoned or eaten poison. All the lining was gone from his stomach and intestines and bacteria was contaminating his insides. Monday morning he could lift his head and by night kinda sat up. Tuesday he was better, purred and looked at me. Stood a bit. Hadn't eaten in a week and was on all sorts of IVs and meds and stuff, but looked better. Thought he might make it. Wednesday morning had his whole body infected, blood very bad and he didn't purr or even look at me. He did look up once and told me he wasn't going to make it ever. I put him to sleep and cried like I haven't in a long long time. He's buried in the shrubs where he used to lie to get out of the sun. My biggest and my bestest. Not replaceable.

She is another Maine Coon, but tiny, and is named for June Allison, as she gracefully dances all over the place. Loves to stand on her hind legs in order to entice you to pet her. She has a somewhat split personality though. Very sweet cat, but resents the fact she is no longer the only cute little chick in the house. When I got the kittens Annie and Amanda, she went into a snit, and took off for about a week. Came back for lunch, saw the two little gals, hissed and split again. I went a block away, toted her home and locked her and the two kittens in my bedroom and told her to deal with it. After two days, they were best of friends. Allison even seemed to like the rest of the cats better as well. She realized she had over estimated the 'threat' of having a sister or two. There could be more than one sweet little gal in the family, and she sorta accepted it. And she always has a sad look on her face even when she's purring away like crazy. A sweetheart. In 2012 she was 14, a little thin but eating well, doing fine and grabbing attention as much as she could and purring like a motorboat. At the end of October she ate breakfast one day as usual, headed out as usual and never came back. She was in perfect health, there were no coyotes anymore but she was sooo friendly. I'm sure the same woman who 'kidnapped' my three other gals had lured her in and then locked the door behind her. When the others were taken, Charlie the animal control officer and I went all over neighborhoods but couldn't get warrents to enter houses so no luck. I asume Abigail or Arnez had died and she wanted a replacement. I wish she wouldn't do this, but I assume she gives them a nice hme and that counts. Hopefully Allison can escape soon and come home.

Adam is about the most laid back I could ever imagine. Absolutely nothing bothers him in the least. If it does, he just lives up to his name and heads for the high ground. Remember Abigail did that too. He is named, of course, for simply Up and Adam. The hi boy he is on here is over six feet tall. No problem at all. He gets along with all the other cats, and visa versa. He is also my only cat that really uses his paws for something other than batting at a colleague. Most cats when they attention get in your face and rub where they want to be rubbed. Adam reaches out and rubs your face with his paw to show you where he wants to be rubbed. Maybe be able to teach him to write one day. I may have been too limiting when I said he gets along with the other cats. He gets along with anyone. Here he is 'entertaining' a dog of one of the Inn's guests.

As I told you earlier, she is officially Abigail Too, named after the original Abigail. Can't remember why Suzy and I named the first one Abigail. Think just because it was just a pretty name. Now I'm committed to always having one as there are just too many signs around the Inn telling folks not to let Abigail in the main building. Cheapskate that I am. Anyway, this one is small, but a knockout. Great ear hair like the Maine Coon she is. Small for a coon, but has all the markings and such, and the long tail you can stretch way down over her head from, of course, the rear. Abigail, never Abby, is slowly getting to be like her namesake. Kinda a loner. Thinks all the new tan guys are after her body, sexy little thing that she is, so she tends to keep her distance. Abigail was catnapped along with Arnez (her 3rd time) in June 2007.

Got this old guy when he was eleven. First owner obviously gave him too much food and too much attention. As to food, got him down six pounds in the first year and a half. As to the affection part, told him if I wanted a dog I would have gotten a dog. Arthur is constantly under foot and very vocal when it comes to demanding attention. Anyway, being the senior guy (in age only), he is named for Arthur Godfrey who always referred to himself as 'the old redhead.' Same goes for this Arthur. Based on his very gentle disposition and loose tummy, each and every new kitten is thoroughly convinced that he is their mother. Try and nurse him and let him clean them off with his tongue. Kittens love it, Arthur relishes in in himself. Sweet, but wish he would leave me alone at times. Sadly in June 2007 I had to have him put to sleep at age 17. It was very sad. He was just the grand old guy. Still is.

Then we have Amanda. She was named for the costar in Gunsmoke, Amanda Blake, whose stage name was, of course, Miss Kitty. Well, Amanda is a Tortoise Shell cat, and like all calicos has a typical attitude problem, but not if you ask her. Amanda feels she was born to be the reigning Bitch Goddess of all time. Absolutely beautiful, but kinda out there on her own. Miserable attitude with the other cats, me or anyone who dares to cross her path. Probably one of the sweetest cats I have as long as it suits her. If you walk by without giving her a stroke on the head or back, she'll simply bat at you with her claws to remind you of your 'duty.' Dare to pick her up and you'll get the cat equivalent of "Don't you dare touch me human!" If I got her first, I either wouldn't have bothered to get any more (enough is enough), or I would have conceded in her favor not to name any other cats with Alpha 'A' names. She does rule the roost, unless she gets on Alex's case and he'll simply chase her (screaming) into another room. Here she is going into hour number three trying to get this stupid frog band to play 'Amanda the Beautiful' and play it right. A good Jewish American Princess has to protect her image you know. An aside. When Carly Simon was at the Inn a bunch of years ago, there was a cat pillow in her room with the initials JAP. Carly said, "I'm one of those you know." I said, "No Carly, we had a cat once named Jennifer. Dumb as a brick but sweet. Suzy made the pillow, and obviously the J was for Jennifer, the P for Putman. Asked Suzy what the A stood for. 'Asshole' she replied with a smile." Right on target. No Carly not you, Jennifer.

I have two sets (so far) of twins, or at least kittens from the same litter. Annie is Amanda's sister. She has the same long hair, not fur, as Amanda, but that's truly the only thing, outside of their mommy, they have in common. 99 out of 100 orange cats are males. That's probably why the local SPCA gave this kitten the name Chuck. Well really, one look at the sweetest face in the world, and how could anyone think this love was a guy critter. Well, Annie is 1 in 100 in virtually any category you could think of. She's as laid back as Adam, and also has a mad crush on him. Might be the reason he goes for the high ground, but by the time she was nine months old, she could leap up and flirt on top of anything he could find. Same way with level playing fields like the deck. Adam is right behind her, and notice how much attention he is giving her. And she does look rejected doesn't she. That's little Adrian in the background kinda leaving well enough alone. She was taken in by the same peson who already has Abigail and Arnez. She is also friendly and was snatched up in August 2007. Whoever is taking them has 2 now. Had 4 but little Adrian escaped or his talking drove her crazy and he was back home 4 days later. Arnez was gone 6 months before escaping.

Ah, didn't learn my lesson with Amanda, and got another tortie or calico last year. She's named for Amelia Earhart 'cause she simply flies around all over the place. But, take a look at the stripe of war paint on her nose. Maybe should have called her Apache instead. But leaping all over the place as she does, Amelia it is. When she wants attention, she'll snuggle between me and the computer and do a pretty good job of purring. But, if she's not on the look for that, another story all together. Reach down to rub her, and she'll cringe like you are going to axe her, and then fly away, of course. I don't think she's ever going to get any bigger except in attitude. Tiny, but about the toughest outdoor cat I have. Loves it out there. She's a chuckle when eating. If Archie tries to help her finish her bowl, she won't bother even lifting her head, just whack him on the side of the head. Whoop. The tan rings around her eyes make them seem bigger than her head. Another cat you just aren't going to screw around with. In looking at her later, maybe with the War Paint down the nose she should have been named Apache after all. From around 2009 she stayed away during the day a lot and later on even at night. When she would come home, she was good and hungry, so wasn't 'taken in' by someone. Saw her once up a couple of blocks cutting across the road. When I got her back, we went up there and she got some good yelling at. Did well for a while, but one night got hit after dark and died September 16, 2010. Tough little gal, but a great one!

If you can handle one set of siblings, why not try another. So I did. This guy and his brother are both redheads, and are named for the comic book character Archie Andrews. And that's who they are, collectively. But as individuals, this guy is simply Archie, his brother is simply Andrew. Got the two of them trained only to steal food from each other's bowls though. Archie is the one with the tail (see the comment under Andrew). It's longer than his body which is long and thin itself. He's got great metabolism. Eats like a horse, but is thin as any cat I have. He is also 'nosey' in more ways than one. He is always into something of course, but the chuckle is when he is outside in the cold. His whole nose, even the top, turns dark brown until he/it thaws out. Arch just became better and better as time went on. Very friendly and was the only cat that would draw his lips back in a kinda smile when petted. In early November 2009, he just didn't seem okay. Didn't eat like he used to. Turned out he had a big tumer that had leaked liquids into the body, pressed against the stomach and made it hard to get food in. The Vet said probably days not months or many weeks to last. He pretty much stopped eating and a couple of weeks later, having not eaten in at all I figured his time had run out. He sensed it and started acting up. By the end of another 2 weeks of no food or water, he was skin and bones but with a huge bloated middle. Slept under the quilt on my bed 23+ hours a day. Went outside to go walking but would be back in half an hour. I discussed it with the Vet as I really think I was keeping him going for my sake, not his. On November 30th we gave him a sleep injection and he is buried under the front porch where he used to (and now still does) hang out. Only 8 years old. Lost him and Adrian Also, two of my very best guys, in less than 6 months. Miss Archie a whole lot.

All the cats come from the same SPCA, but these guys came from the same mommy. Egyptian Cats. Long faces and much more tan than red. Andrew has the longer face, but got literally 'shorted' on the tail section. His tail is about half the length of Archie's. Read someplace where tails give balance for, say, a squirrel leaping to the next branch. Gotta be true as Andrew is not the most steady leaper in the pack. When he was a kitten, he would jump for a table, and miss most of it. Gotten a whole lot better as he grows up though. He did manage to get up on this one, and is helping me fix the Weber carbs right behind him. In 2005 he decided he just couldn't handle all these cats. He spent 2 months on a neighbor's deck starving. I would bring him back and try and convince him it was okay, and he was okay. Didn't work. Finally dragged him home and locked him in the house for a week. One morning he came up and told me it was okay. I let him out and he was the first one back for lunch. Been very good since, hangs around and only hisses about once a week. Also put back on the 8 pounds he lost. The top right photo is recent and I think he looks content. When his brother Archie died, another good thing then started to happen. He started to take on his brother Archie's personality. He was friendlier, hung around a lot more and kinda tried to combine both personalities in himself. Doing very well at that!

Just got this guy this winter, and he may give little Adrian a run or his money as to being a very active cat. Gonna be small, and that's why he is named after Alan Ladd. Both were short tough blond guys. This one really likes my four monitor setup on the computer. All the cats when young are spell bound by the mouse arrow moving on the screen. Think what it's like to try and catch it on four screens. But then mice aren't really impossible to catch. Ask any of the older cats. Got Alan when he was nine months old. Not sure if he had ever been outside, but no question now, hardly ever get him in. He and Amelia are about the only ones that love to dive into snow banks feet first.

He looks like a twin of Alan. Light tan and big brown eyes and brown nose. Name is perfect, as he is named after Famous Amos' Chocolate Chip Cookies. Dead ringer for one of them. Like all the cats, he came from the SPCA. When I first saw him, there was a 'warning' sign that said, "Doesn't Get Along With Other Cats." Well, they kinda had it wrong. He was too eager to get along with the others. He loves to ambush them and wrestle just like Alan. Heck, he'll grow up, and that'll be a shame. But that won't be the case. A coyote got him the night of September 13, 2003. We were able to find a few pieces, and buried them under the Austin Healey that he loved to climb all over. He had become my favorite and I'm gonna miss him for a long, long time. The too eager to go play was what was his downfall. I'm sure he just trotted up to the coyote to say hello.

The local SPCA called to say they had a great looking red kitten. I went the next day to gather her up. But, they failed to say that she had two sisters as well. One look at those six huge eyes left me no choice but to say, "Damn, I'll just have to take them all!" Ever had the feeling you may have bitten off more than you could chew? Here they are, and, by the way, the toad had been here before, part of the Toad Hall Collection. From right to left, the sisters are Arnez, Amie and Aretha. I'll explain the first names shortly. Their last name is probably Altogether-Awesome. The three sisters were sick as dogs when I got them. Had them at the Vet's for a week and then locked up in my bedroom for another month till they started to eat, get some energy and get over their upper respiratory infections. All's just perfect now.

She is the Redhead (very much so) that I went to get. And as I said earlier I was 'reserving' that name for some totally unpredictable little kitten, Named for the song and lyrics, "Amie, what ya gonna do. Amie, I'm in love with you. Amie, I could stay with you. For a while, maybe longer...." Anyway she is just great. Longer, redder hair than her sisters, or most any of my other cats for that matter. Problem is that it mats like crazy. As to being unpredictable, in July 2005 she just disappeared one morning. I finally figured she had gotten into a delivery truck that was here that morning and just went to the next stop or so. I tried to get a hold of the delivery people but it was the start of the 4th of July weekend. So I couldn't get in touch with the trucking company till after the holiday. By Tuesday the 5th still no Amie and the driver says he never saw her get off or on for that matter. I ran a photo in the 'Lost & Found' section of the local paper. Got a phone call from some folks 5 miles away that had seen a poor little starving orange thing. After 10 days Amie was returned home rather hungry. She didn't leave my side for two weeks. I think she blamed me for shipping her off. Told Ya, not overly predictable.

I was gonna name her Annabelle after Pat Butram's Jeep from the Gene Autry Show. But she was pretty darn vocal and 'meowee', so named her for Aretha Franklin based on her vocal chords. She is not singing here, just giving a big old yawn. And for, no racial slur here, her darker color than her sisters. She was the sickest of the lot, but after three months was doing just fine. Like Annie, she is a licker. That's just fine until she is still licking away 20 minutes later. Those little sandpaper tongues can go right through to the bone. But to her credit, she has the largest eyes of any cat I have ever had. She had gum problems that led to some tumors in her mouth that spread to the point there was nothing that could be done. She had to be put to rest December 30, 2011. She's buried under the front porch where she used to like to hang out.

When I first got this bunch, this little girl would squint her eyes, arch back and let go of the biggest, loudest MEOW anyone has ever heard. Was going to call her Alice, but she needed something more rational. Remember the I Love Lucy Show? Lucy Ball's hubby Desie Arnez used to call her 'Loud Mouth Redhead.' Trust me that's what this little critter is. Maybe should be 'Louder Mouth Redhead.' But anyway, Arnez fits perfectly. This picture is her up on the counter letting me know in no uncertain terms that it is time to feed her. NOW! She is also like Lucy: lively, very active, very friendly, very cute, and very vocal. And, of course, Lucille just isn't an 'A' name is it? She is not my brightest cat. About every couple of months she disappears for a day or two up to eight days once. Comes back in the morning starved and screaming. I figure she got locked in a shed or garage or something. In June 2006 she was around for the 10 AM feeding and then gone. Checked the whole area, ran a lost and found and no luck or 'sightings.' She must have gotten in a car or truck like her sister Amie did and then got completely lost. By June 30th it's been over 2 weeks, and I just don't know if I'll see her again. Pray every day though and look up the path she used and hope. 7:30 in the morning of November 10 I let the cats out for the day and noticed a little orange thing in the path into the woods. Then I heard the loudest meow in months and she trotted on home. She was fed, so obviously taken in by someone someplace and 5 months later she managed to escape. Something about the power of prayer! She ate 4 bowls of food and pressed up against me and yelled all that first day home. Thank you God from both of us. Then in mid June 2007 the same thing happened, she was kidnapped along with Abigail. I pray every night she can get away and come back. This time if she escapes she is housebound for life. When I got up at 5:30 on October 25, there was an orange blurr screaming and hoping up and down at the front door. Arnez got away again. Like before, came in purring and hungry. But hissed a lot too. Guess she had started to get used to living with only two other cats. But by the 26th, was feeling much better about being back home. And .... this time it's going to be a while before she goes outside. Should have locked her up for good. On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend 2008 she just went out and has been gone ever since. Hope she drives the kidnapper nutso and escapes again.

This little guy was brought all the way up from northwest Georgia. A Genuine Redneck. No couth, no manners, really no common sense, and when he goes "meow" it really comes out as "Meaw, meaw, ya all." Oh well. He is, of course, orange, but had white shoes. Soooo, named him for Fred Astair who used to wear white canvas 'Spats' over his shoes so the lady's dress didn't get dirty when brushing over his shoes. Spats didn't work either, but Astair sure did. And don't forget I have another cat named after June Allison, another dancer from those times. But then Allison can't stand this Astair as he he has a tendency to sorta gang-rape any little gal that he gets near. Oh well, he'll grow up someday (I hope). He is now one of two my official greeters along with Alex. He hangs around out front waiting for a car to arrive, then he hops on the hood and says 'Hi there Y'all.' If there are folks out in Toad Hall, he'll be back there hopping from bonnet to bonnet explaining the key points of the cars. He does need to be on top (of everything, including other cats). Started giving him human tranquilizers and a 'calming' collar so he can at least try to not be so bossie, especially to Aleo.

She was a couple of years old when I got her. Very pretty very royal and very quiet. When I brought her home, she pretty much went into hiding like her namesake when the Czar was killed. She's gotten much better, still quiet and kinda a loner, but gets along with the rest now. This is a cat that should have been born a calico. Wrong color but right attitude. Loves to go out to Toad Hall and hang around the cars. When she meows it is very faint and soft, but she lets you know where it came from. Generally only does that when she's hungry. She stays mostly by herself so she can watch out for Trotskyites (sp?) or Commies that might want to sneak up and carry her away. Actually I think it is mainly so Alan doesn't sneak up on her. She actually thinks she is a Calico and acts accordingly.

All you need to do is look at the eyes and this is probably the only name that would come to mind. Alberto Ascari raced Ferraris in the 1950s. Typical of those times, drivers wore goggles and leather helmets. When the race was over their faces were covered with grease and dirt. All that is except around the eyes that were protected by the goggles. Take one look at this cat's eyes and the light rims around them and you have it. Up close you can see lots of black grease specks all over his nose which wasn't covered. Critter is a car nut anyway and spends a lot of time in Toad Hall. Every time I see him I really figure he could not have had a more appropriate name. He is another 'pushy' cat. It is impossible to eat lunch and read the paper with him in the room. He flops out on top of the paper and when you try and move him to turn the page, he'll give you a bite to let you know whose place this really is.

The next two critters are not only brother and sister but kinda mirror images. When I got them as little ones, they galloped everywhere and you could hear them purring a mile away. They just had to be the Gene Autry show and the Riders of the Purple Sage. Still as loud now that they are a year old. Singing Cowboys. The loud purring is fine except for first thing in the morning when one or the other puts its head by your face and lets it all out. Only alarm clocks I know that eat too. Both have the same coloring and pattern, but Autry is oranger. And they both have tails as big as their bodies.

Autry is the guy. Just as loud as his sister and named for the star of the Show. He and his sister have a different kind of hair. Very fine, very dense and very long. Their tails are as wide as the bodies and their pantaloons remind me of those flared out pants the RCMP wore years ago. About the only way to tell them apart is that Autry is redder. Autry is also fascinated by reflections. One night a guest was petting him and the light bounced off his watch onto the wall. Autry followed it for an hour, and then kept looking in the same spot on the wall after the guy left and again every night for a week hoping it would return. He got tumers in hs mouth and throat and we had to do that cowboy bit of ridng off into the sunset. I'll hear that song fading off into the night for a long time. Super guy.

Gene had a sidekick named Pat Butram on the show. Pat drove a Jeep and he named the Jeep 'Annabelle.' Hence this little thing's name in keeping with the Gene Autry Show. Only problem is that they want to change the Inn name to Melody Ranch. She is also loud, but has a knack for getting attention. If she sees another cat getting petted, she simply edges her way in between the pettor and the pettee and takes over 100 percent. A lot of times she'll smile at the other cat, but it's just her way of saying, "see this is how you do it." This brother and sister act like the next one work out great. As kittens the only bother each other and leave the rest alone. Works for everyone, especially me who has to act as referee.

Whenever the SPCA gets a great orange longhair, they give me a holler. This guy was the best looking fluffiest redhead in the world. If you look in Webster's, his name is the definition of a handsome young man. Aphrodite fell for him, and I think four of my gals follow him around in hopes. He's actually two shades of orange with flecks of tan. He also has a tail that is truly wider and longer than his body. He walks with it straight up (means he's content), and I am surprised it doesn't pull him over on his side. He loves to wrestle with big Adrian and the two of them make the weirdest sounds in the world. He is also a registered predator of anything that dangles like a shoe lace or even my wristwatch. He's just a year old in the Spring of 2005 and pretty good size even then.

Aria is Adonis's sister and the only short hair I had. I was afraid she would have an inferiority complex with such a thin body and tail. But, as a better than typical calico, she feels superior in every way already. So no sweat. In fact that's where she got her name. When a Diva or opera singer sings all be herself, it's an aria. But really folks, do you think any self respecting calico would do a duet or even associate with another singing cat? I got her 'cause she was just gorgeous and smarter than most cats. Also like the previous pair, she just bothers Adonis and the rest of the cats can survive her independent attitude. But she is also much sweeter than most calicos, so Amanda need not worry about losing her bitch title.

An animal control officer from Stoughton (south of Boston) trapped three feral kittens at about 6 weeks old. Two were orange guys and she brought them to me at age 12 weeks Summer of 2005. Absolutely gorgeous guys and scared to death of anything human. They say that if they are feral for 7 or more weeks, it is very hard to get them 'domesticated.' We just made it, and to be honest they are very very happy to have a real home. I was afraid I would have to keep them indoors for several months before 'trusting' them to come home. But they really like their new inside home much better than the woods. They started going out in four months and by eight months they were as normal as any cat can be. They still race around everywhere, so they are named for the white running shoes both have on all four feet. Adidas and Asics they are. Check out their ear hair, it's about as long as their tails.

He is the orange and white guy. He was the easiest to pet of the two. Also has the hugest eyes, and he is the fastest cat I have. He is one of those cats that just knows you are going to slam the door on him when he is half way out. He'll literally fly over any cat that is near the door at the time. He has got the best way of holding up his tail. He puts it straight up and then drops it forward and almost covers his head. Probably to shade his eyes which are the size of quarters. At about 2:30 September 10, 2006 he was hit by a truck and died about 15 minutes later. None of the cats ever go near the road, but he must have followed a blowing leaf or something and got across it. Then saw a truck coming and knew he shouldn't be there, so as always he hit 50 miles an hour leaping across the road and smashed into the wheel. A friend was a car behind the truck, pulled over and carried him home. The whole left side of his face was pouring blood and he wasn't moving. We laid him down, and I felt a small heartbeat but no motion any more. You can tell most everything about a cat by his eyes. His were empty and staring. I called the vet to see where to take him on a Sunday and then went to pick him up. He raised his head, convulsed blood from his mouth, looked directly at me and all his eyes said was that he was sorry, and then he died in my arms. He's buried under a bush that he liked to lie under. Several times the following day his brother Asics lied directly on top of his grave and seemed to know he was there. I very much miss him. He was the first one to climb on my back every day and say 'Good Morning! Let's get going.'

He is the orange guy that is wearing a white bib, especially when he is eating lobster. When they first came, he was the living example of the term 'Scaredy Cat,' and now is the more touchable of the two. He is also very happy to have a roof over his head and actually spends more time inside, and when outside he doesn't wander very far. The one thing I am trying to cure him of is that when he gets up around 5 AM, he tends to attack my feet. Now that I have Aesop, he thinks he's his son and plays and bothers him. I can sleep an extra 5 minutes.

He is another one brought down from Stoughton by their animal officer Kristin. He was about a year old when I got him. He is big in size and big in spirit. He was named Leo for the lion. Lion tan coloring too. He definitely is 'A Leo' so that is his name now. When I got him I carried him inside. Well, that was too much. He hissed at everyone and everything, clawed and bit my hands, hissed some more watched me bleed and let me know he didn't want any part of this. Half hour later he was off investigating everywhere. By the next day, he decided this was okay and sorta took over. Couple of other cats tried hissing at him, but he just ignored them. By day 3 only Aria tried to hiss and that was over by day 4. By day 5 he was so at home I tried letting him out and that worked fine. By day 7 it was like he was born here. Very happy, purrs like crazy, but will chew on my wrist if I pet him too long. Short attention span like any kitten. Alberto who is twice his size gives him a growl every so often. Aleo just puts back his ears and goes after him. When Alberto splits, Aleo starts purring again. As I mentioned Alex was/is my official greeter and much to his annoyance Astair is now his co-greeter. Well Aleo wants to be the third official guy and should be right on target by the Summer of '06.

He is another wild guy trapped by Kristin up in Stoughton. But he was caught at 4 weeks (born March 2006), and by 5 weeks forgot all about the wild and decided a roof over his head was much better. I got him at 8 weeks and was the best kitten I think I have ever had. Smart and sweet. Kind of critter that stories and fables are made from. Hence the name. He adapted to the house in about 24 hours and was trusted to go outside by himself within the week. That's about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Still purrs every waking moment. The next two 'singers' came 4 weeks later and he simply decided they were his younger brothers and drives them nutso. But they'll all survive quite nicely.

These two guys were given to me by the local MSPCA when they were 8 week old orange twins. They were born April 9, 2006 and were just great. They purred a lot, but also meowed at the top of their lungs. Alvin is the one with some white on his nose and Arlo the other guy. Like Aesop who came 4 weeks earlier, these two adapted very fast and were let outside in about 10 days. They don't wander a lot, and go bonkers when I clap to get them all in for meals. They run figure eiths through my legs as we try and get them into their feeding area. Probably step on them 8-10 times a day, but they don't care. They had either a respiratory problem or were on wet food, because they ignored dry food for the first few days. Doing just fine now though. As of July 1 they were still small enough to hold both in one hand if need be. I really only take long hair cats. These guys were so small I couldn't tell if they were short or long hair. By a week or so it was obvious they were short haired. But by then I liked them sooo much I just couldn't take them back. I'm going to glue wigs on them though so that they don't get an inferiority complex.

He is named for the chipmunk who did those recordings back in the 50s. Remember he had kind of a high pitched squeaky voice and sang with the other chipmonks. Alvin liked to hang around the cars out front with the two 'greeters', Alex and Astair. He knew how to get on the cars, but had trouble getting off. One day I pulled out of the drive and looked in the mirror only to see Alvin on the rear wing looking at me. I pulled over, grabbed him and walked him home yelling at him. I guess the same thing happened a couple of weeks later as he was found in the street with his head really bashed in. He never went in the road, but must have been on a car and then panicked, jumped off and was hit head on. I'll miss him too.

He has a softer vocal than his brother and is named for Woody Guthrie's son Arlo. He is a much more 'needy' or friendly cat and thinks I am indeed his daddy. He is over a year now and very laid back. Just a super cat, short hair and all. I think he got the message from his brother and only rarely even goes in the front of the Inn. He hangs around the deck and loves hanging around Tad Hall.

These two critters were caught at age 2 weeks and just can't remember being born outside. As I have done in the past years, I take two out of a litter so they bother each other and leave the others alone. And, as I can really only handle a calico about every two years, just had to take this little short hair gal along with her absolutely gorgeous brother.

He is one of the best looking kittens I have. But he earns his name daily by attacking anything or anyone in sight, especially my hand, and then starts the loudest purring and the most biting of any cat on earth. He is a sweetheart and is properly named Attilla the Hon, not the Hun. For the first months it was hard to use the computer mouse as he could leap at it anytime it moved. Oh well! Then there was another name I could have used for him. Then check out the small white mustache.  Coulda named him Adolph for Mr. Hitler.

She was obviously born as the smallest angel (which is very rare for a calico) and had a perfectly formed gold halo on the top of her head. But, she is a little human and was playing and running when she was 4 weeks old and and tripped and landed on her face and smashed her halo to where it is now a flat oval on the side of her head. If she hadn't done that, I am sure her name would have been simply 'Angel.' Still a sweetheart though. She wants to get all the love in the world first thing in the morning. Breakfast be damned, petting comes first. Absolute sweatheart, but not a brain in her head. All things being equal, her brother isn't the brightest in the world. Maybe I should have considered them total spaceshots and named them Apollo 1 and Apollo 2.

Kristen caught 2 separate guys in August 2007 and I got them in September. This guy rminded me so much of Addidas, running, sleeping on my side, white sneekers and all. Just had to make him the sequal. The first Addidas and brother Asics were caught at 6 weeks and were very hard to get near for a while. They say after 7 weeks you haven't too good a chance at domesticating them. This guy was caught at 10 weeks and immediately decided people and indoors was much better than the woods. Actually took me about an hour to get him to feel totally at home and I let him outside about 4 days later. He barely leaves the deck and drive and is much happier indide. As they say, "purrfect!" He has a long hair calico sister that I may get later, but she still won't let people near her. Cats okay, two legged things not. When his 'cousin' Achilles was diaganosed with leukemia and much more, Addidas had to be tested and it was positive. He was put to sleep even though he seemed fine at age 13 months. Problem was he would give it to any new kittens. He was one of the bestest kittens. I'll miss him.

Kristen brought this guy same time as AGAIN. But, he was 2 months younger and caught at 2 weeks. Just like Attilla (the Hon). He was real sluggish, slept all the way here and did same the minute he got here. It was like the triplets, he had an upper respiratory and couldn't smell food and had no energy. After 2 days of meds and food, he was more active than Attilla, attacked (with love) anything that moved and had a foot fettish. Could untie a shoe lace in a single bound. That's what gave this guy his name, and actually when he got here he favored his right heel. He's built like a bowling ball, but climbs everything. Went part way up a tree first time outside (also on day four). He is actually more like the original Addidas, as he heads up the committee that wakes me up in the mornings. When he was just over a year old he suddenly slowed down and didn't eat for a week. Took him to the vets and he had jaundice, no white blood cells and HIV and feline leukemia. There is no cure and he had to be put to sleep to begin enjoying life again. His cohort Addidas Again was tested and had the leukemia and had to be put to sleep August 11, 2008. They were both great. I am glad that their only year on earth was the best in their lives!

Kristen brought this little 'wild' gal here in July 2008 at age 8 weeks. She fit in wonderfully and although smaller than my palm, was tough as nails. When the other cats came to sniff her, she gave the faintest Hisss and swung a paw at them. More than any other one, she adopted me as both her parents. She sleeps on my neck at night and my desk during the day. Ton of energy too. Also one of the smartest ones I have ever had. Uses her hands like a human. She has ear hair longer than her whiskers and a furry tail longer than her body. Has fur on top of fur and resembles an Angora Sweater in every way. When her two older brothers were found to have leukemia, I had her tested again this year, and Thank God she is negative still.

Literally a week after I had to put Addidas Again and Archilles to rest, Kristen found the best looking long hair orange brother and calico sister ever made. They were found in August 2008 in a different part of Stoughton, and she brought then down in a couple of weeks. They weren't wild or anything. They were dropped of very carefully by God to be replacements for the two wonderful guys I had just lost. I still am not sure how to thank Him, but I do daily. They are wonderful.

Remember the TV commercial touting Wednesdays as Prince Spaghetti Day. Took place in Boston's North End (Little Italy all over again). Dinner's getting ready so Mama yells out the window, "Anthony! Anthony!" Anthony who is playing the street, stops and starts running home for supper. When I clap at the door here to get the kids in for meals, guess who is the first one in. Yep, this guy. Only 'bad' trait is that he is a licker. If you don't let him lick enough, he'll grab you and hold you till he's finished. Does it to me every morning when I am trying to make coffee. But you can't get mad at him.

My mother referred to oranges and grapefruit slices soaked in sugar for a desert as Ambrosia, the necter or food of the Gods. Well, put some on top of a hot fudge sundae and you have an exact image of this little gal. Long hair calico, orange and brown and tan on top and pure white on the bottom. Also pretty much right behind or sometimes ahead of Anthony at meal time.

Kristen found yet another real winner in this gal. I usually only take orange guys and cute sisters if they have one. Well Audrey is a more vivi duplicate of Ambrosia, and though no orange brother I just couldn't pass her up in June 2009. Her colors are bright and intense. Jet black, bright brown and the whitest white on earth. She is a bit more wild than the others. I can do anything I want with her, but if a stranger comes in when she's inside, she'll get on top of the highest cabinet and wait them out. Super sweet young lady!

Kristen's mom had taken in a litter of little outside kids, and at 7 weeks I got these two absolutly sweet and georgious siblings in early July. That's the good news. Bad news came the next morning when the calico sister had just laid down that night and died. So did 2 others back in Stoughton. The little kid tested slightly positive and we got him on meds fast. Never did show any bad signs and is doing just fine now at almost five months :-) Whew!

The 'survivor' and greatest cat I think I have ever had. Please don't tell the others that. He learned how the clapping meant food time and was at the bathroom door where he gets fed before the rest of us can get inside. Eats like a horse, or more realistically like the cartoon kid Lil Abner from Dogpatch, Arkansas. Lil Abner used to even carry a pork chop in his hip pocket, and I know this Lil Abner would if he had a pocket. He is now my biggest cat, two shades of orange like Adonis and sweet beyond belief. Raising my new kittens to be dogs has certainly paid off.

Thought I might run out of 'A' words and names did ya. Well Ain't a'gonna. In late July of 2012, the local MSPCA called to tell me they had a little orange long hair that was 100 weeks old and had just been fixed. Went over and damn, there were two adorable two tone orange girls. I said I'd take them both. Cutting down to only taking one a year, but didn't get one last year so two now was probably okay. But then their light tan brother sticks his head out and I had to take 'em all. $500 later I got them home and am very glad I took them all. They were/are very active, althletic and like all kitten don't tire out for a couple of hours and then collapse. Well, that's this gang. Wrestle with each other, ignore the other cats and find themselves accepted by the rest of the family in a couple of days. They are also about the best and smartest cats I have ever had and that gets reinforced daily. They sleep in a circle to this day, purr louder and louder and wake me up whether I want to or not around 4:30. The names fit: Acrobat, Amazon and Athleta.

Not a warrior, but an athletic woman and the darkest orange of this family. I can easily tell her apart from her sister, but I'll be no one else in the world can.

The lighter (barely) of the two gals and being a female athlete, gets the femine 'a' at the end of her name.


He is the tan brother with a totally symetrical white part on his face and matching white shoes. When he first went into the kitchen, he saw his shadow and jumped straight up. Of course the shadow moved and he pounced on the 'new' one. It moved, he jumped, and so on for a while. Hence his name.






Annie has had a crush on Adam since day one. Adam, on the other hand couldn't give a hoot one way or the other. Annie starts to look at him, he looks away kinda blase-like. He's okay if she ignores him though. Adam was the first one to be able to leap up on the highboy. It took Annie till she was about a year old to make the jump and join him. Too bad they can't have kids, as they would be just wonderful!

I thought big Adrian was my best wrestler, but Alan is going to live up to his namesake and be a tough little guy. Playing acting, of course, like the other Alan who was a pretty quiet guy in real life. Here he is setting up and then going for Archie. And then taking on Amelia, who I think got the better of it. They eventually grow out of it, all except Adrian Also who still loves to grapple with the new kittens as they arrive. Most of the 'twins' like to grapple. Here are Adonis and Aria unwilling to completely share the bed. They gave it up and were back sound asleep about two minutes later.

The Vet once asked me, "With so many cats, can they get their own space?" They answered, "Who needs that? Don't need no stinking spaces." They actually like each other (except Allison and Amanda). How would you like to run into this gang late at night on a street corner???

Because of the coyotes in the woods, I have to get the kids in well before dark. Got it all worked out perfectly by setting a tight feeding schedule so that they are starving around 5 o'clock. The picture on the deck is about a half hour before feeding time. They also tend to follow me around about this time too. I bought them all boy scout wrist watches and they are just reminding me of the time. Not two are pointing towards their wrists. Then I clap when it's time to eat, and they come out of nowhere and head to the kitchen. Literally everyone is in within 5 minutes of the 'time.' Possible exception is little Adrian who sometimes is 10 minutes late and comes in yelling at me that I didn't clap loud enough. Only other exception was Arnez who a couple of times a year was gone for days at a time and comes back starved. Best guess is she gets locked in someone's garage and has to wait for them to reopen it. But don't forget it was her sister Amie who cruised off in the delivery truck. After dinner, they settle in for the night. As you can see, a bunch take over my bed so there is no room for me. After a lot of shoving and yelling I can usually find a corner or something.

When, not if, I get another cat(s), It'll be a 'keeper' with, of course, an A-Name. I'm always receptive to any and all suggestions, both male and female. E-mail me. Had a cat named Albert. Huge guy. Named him after Fat Albert on the Bill Cosby Show. He may even still be around. Took off about 10 years ago when I got the first kitten, Abigail Two. Said life shouldn't be that demanding, so split. Probably in the neighborhood someplace, but never could find him. But he deserves a namesake.

When they
run out of other things to do, the critters play roles. Amanda plays any character that has room for self dramatization in the role. She is practicing putting her paw over her eyes and doing a 'faint.' As soon as she gets it perfected, I'll put in a photo. Here's Andrew mimicking me at a Scotch Tasting with his tongue. Or, maybe he's showing a new version of the saying, "cat got your tongue?"

Here's Arthur trying to look like he's earning his keep by updating the Guest Log on the computer, but the jerk forgot to turn the thing on. Anyway, he is so old fashioned that he would only be using one monitor. Oh, well.

Of course. Probably stop at about 3 dozen or so. Keep checking this page every so often. Another compulsion that I am indeed seeking professional help for. Is that a dangling participle or left over adverb, or something like that?