16 Sep 2011

Cat Tales.


We have cats, or - more correctly - cats have us.

Our Feline Overlords are called Cleo and Pixie and we've chosen to keep them outdoors. They have our garden to play in and plenty of (other) unkempt urban wilderness nearby. I often envy them.

Cleo is the Queen. She rules the garden with well-timed and unexpected attacks on anything with the audacity to move or breathe in her queendom. This includes her brother Pixie. (See picture above. If you look closely you can also see our Naughty Tree.)

In the absence of toes to chew on,
Pixie will settle for fingers.
Pixie is a beautiful cat but an unbelievable coward. I suppose it's partly my fault because I had him turned into an ex-tomcat several years ago. (Sorry, guys).

The removal of his Dignity and Pride has no doubt made him the laughing stock of his champagne-cork-soccer buddies and he's developed a toe fetish since. I suspect it's a coping mechanism.

About two years ago, our neighbours got a new cat. A domesticated one. You know the type: sociable, people-loving and utterly naive. Cleo hated her from day one. Pixie pretends he does too, but you can tell he's actually scared of her.

More than a year of hissing, growling and pitiful meowing later, the neighbours' cat got pregnant. When her Humans moved, she got left behind, so she's been eating Cleo's and Pixie's food since, which hasn't improved their opinion of her.

In turn, Mum abandoned her remaining kitten and I had to adopt it. I tried not to, but have you ever said no to a kitten?

The first weeks, this was the side
of Guest Kitten we saw most.
Guest Kitten is one of the cutest specimen I've ever seen and she believes our cats are her family. When she started to follow them around, it worried me at first. I expected to find pieces of Guest Kitten impaled on herb stalks to mark the borders of Cleo's territory.

It hasn't happened. Cleo is apprehensive but seems to tolerate Guest Kitten, while Pixie is - you've guessed it - afraid of her.

Guest Kitten at play.

In the beginning, Guest Kitten wasn't too crazy about Humans, but after weeks of 'apprivoiser', as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry called it, she's warming up to me.

So far I've been able to pet her, pick her up and determine she's a 'she'. She's also beginning to rub against my legs. I guess I'm hers now. I don't mind. Did I mention how adorable she is?

Now, Guest Kitten needs a name, and this is where you come in. I'd love to name her after a female character of a novel, be it from a published one or a WIP. Yours or someone else's, I don't mind, as long as it fits. Please post your suggestions in the comments and I promise I'll consider each and every one.

To help you choose, here's Guest Kitten in action, exploring a box:




However, in the end, the box was claimed by the Queen herself ...



... while Pixie watched from a safe distance, ready to escape at the first hint of danger:



Afterwards they met up for family dinner. There was much rejoicing.



The End.
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29 comments:

  1. hehe lovely post.
    I too have an outdoor cat and five little kittens :)

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  2. Awesomely adorable! Like I've shared, until I developed virulent cat allergies 10 years ago, I had cats and LOVED them, studied them, and submitted happily to their rulership.

    But I'm a convert now. With dogs, they submit to you, and worship YOU. It can get addicting.

    Also, a small dog is less hassle and more catlike.Great story!

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  3. I suggest you call her Fanny (Fanny Price, 'Mansfield Park' by Jane Austen). A little stray cat who has to quietly find her place among her wealthier relatives, but who gets accepted and finds happiness after all... :-)

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  4. You know, if you left a cat outside here, the coyotes would eat it. Small dogs too. There have been a few times I've worried at night when my dog didn't come right back in.

    Your cats are beautiful. And what a great yard to stalk each other in.

    As far as names go, I think Katniss has become popular for cats. :P

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  5. DEZZY: any chance you can sneak in a picture of your 5 kittens at HOLLYWOOD SPY? :-)

    Toby: if you put it that way, I can see the appeal. =)

    Katrien: great suggestion, thanks! :-)

    L.G.: wow. Quite a different life. Over here, cats are the fiercest predators, I think. Then again, our other neighbours' chickens are quite scary as well. ;-)
    I thought about Katniss, actually. =)

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  6. Love it & great pictures!! Couldn't you just write a whole book about your pets. I think my cat should be in a cartoon. :-) Have a great weekend!

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  7. I like the name Tuppence. This comes from the Agatha Christie murder mysteries The Secret Adversary, Partners in Crime, N or M?, By the Pricking of my Thumbs, and Postern of Fate.
    Thomas Beresford and Prudence (Tuppence) Cowley are detectives in these works. Description of Tuppence from Wikepedia reads as follows; "Tuppence appears as a charismatic, impulsive and intuitive person."

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  8. Now I'm worried about next door's cat. How can anyone leave a cat behind? As for the kitten naming, she looks like a Titch but if you want a book character how about Hermione?

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  9. Tracy Jo: I think most cat cartoons would end up looking like Garfield. :-)

    Delores: great suggestion. I read The Secret Adversary a couple of months ago and loved Tuppence as a character. :-)

    Rosalind: I didn't believe it at first, but yes: they were gone and the cat stayed. Titch is a cute name, and you're right, she looks like a Titch. :-)

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  10. Awww. My cats love boxes. They live in the house though. They were having a pet adoption thing at Petsmart the other day {i went in for cat food} and I had to shut my eyes not to adopt all the cats.

    I named my cats after characters, too. Makayla [Dr. Quin Medicine Woman] and Nini, short for Karenina.

    Miss Bennett? Darcy. Pippi. :)

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  11. Awww...your kitties look just like my childhood cat, Sugars. She was an outdoor cat, too. :) When we had a stray appear and make a home of ours, my friend and I figured he must be Sugars' brother and we named him Brother Kitty. That's all we ever called him. So as you can see, I'll be no help whatsoever on names. ;)

    These pictures are precious---especially the one of Cleo being naughty by the tree and Scaredy Pixie at the end. And the family dinner. Okay, all of them.

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  12. M Pax: it's weird, isn't it, cats and boxes. No matter how small the box, the cat will a) want to fit in and b) fit in. 'Pippi' would fit Guest Kitten really well. She's got quite a unique colouring and judging from her behaviour, she'll attempt to lift horses soon! :-)

    Nicki: 'Brother Kitty'. Lol. Much better than 'Sugars' Brother'. =)

    Munk: as a reminder of what they should aim for if they want to continue to be fed? :-)

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  13. What adorable kittens, I'll think about a female character from a novel for Guest Kitten's name...

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  14. There is a book by Sandol Stoddard Warburg I think you would love:

    http://www.amazon.com/very-special-particular-private-personal/dp/B0006AYOEC/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316285241&sr=1-3

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  15. LOL, I totally love Queen Cleo! The picture of her in the box cracked me up. This is such a cute post, love all of the kittehs. :D

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  16. Juliet: thanks! :-)

    Suze: that looks so cute! :-)

    Julie: she's wonderful. So is Pixie, in his own way, so I should really stop picking on him. ;-)

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  17. If it was a boy I would suggest Jim Meowerson or Chairman Meow, but I'm fresh out of ideas here.

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  18. How's about Ruby, from "Diamond Ruby" by Joseph Wallace? Or, she could even be Diamond Ruby, which I really like better.
    When I find my new kitten/cat, wherever she may be, that's what I want to name her--Ruby. But you can also have the name if you'd like. :)

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  19. Beautiful cats, Kristel.
    Wish I could have one, but atm with 5 Holland Lops (mother and daughter have a streak of prima dona and are the most fierce some of the lot - the boys are, as in so many other species perfectly content to let the girls run the show).
    We can't let cats or small dogs out to roam here, alas the coyotes and cars would do them in.
    Have owned numerous breeds (Russian Blue, my favorite - Abssyninian, Manx, Siamese and Burmese and one Angora).
    Maybe one day again I will own another cat (or two)..am thinking Persian.

    ...cat names I've had - zephyr, Odyssey, parnelli, and Orien.
    I do like the suggestion of Fanny & Titch.
    I'm sure the right name will find it's way to her.

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  20. How about Queen Elizabeth? To capture her personality.

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  21. Elliot: lol :-). Janet Meowerson or Chairwoman Meow maybe?

    Towanda: Ruby's a lovely name, and I think it'd suit her well. Definitely a contender, thanks! :-)

    anne: I had to look up what Holland Lops were, and then I remembered the bunnies! =) They're brilliant, but yes, I doubt they'd become good friends with cats or kittens. Great names! :-)

    Angela: I don't think Cleo would take too well to having another queen around. Princess Elizabeth, maybe. =)

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  22. Ah a fellow cat herder too! Beautiful cats, and as LG said, a lovely garden for them to play in. I'm afraid I'm horribly unoriginal at naming cats. My old tortoiseshell was called Tigger (the kids named her) and the cat I have now is called Fay. I've also had a Charlie, a Fugg and a Priss.

    My favourite heroine name of recent years was Polgara.

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  23. Hi Cheryl :-) It's quite a job, herding this lot. :-) Thanks for the name suggestions. Lots of options to consider. :-)

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  24. There's something really special about black and white cats too. I'd have to say they're my favorite. I like the way you describe your kitties' personalities. I feel like I know them. The pictures are great too.
    xoRobyn

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  25. Thanks, Robyn. :-) BTW, there's a typical, regional type of chocolate here called 'cat's tongues'. :-)

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  26. cats have us....so true.

    I'd say name Guest Kitten "Boo" from Peek-a-Boo!

    ----
    Join me at the Rule of Three Writers' Blogfest!

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  27. @Bones: thanks, and likewise. :-)

    @Damyanti: great name; thanks for the suggestion. :-)

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