It all started with the very clever Mickey three years ago. She's definitely the alpha cat in the house...doesn't put up with nonsense from the younger ones, likes to spend all her time outside catching mice and birds and bringing them to the door. She looks cross in this picture because she wants to go out again and I won't let her because I have to leave. I let her out yesterday and she didn't come in when the others did, so I left her out. Lloyd and I drove over to the house around 10 last night to see if she had returned - no sign of her. So I went back this morning and she was sleeping on a chair on the back deck, none the worse for wear for having spent the night outside. I opened the door to let her in. She stuck her nose in the door and caught sight of the other three cats and ran off. She did come back later though and by the time I had to leave, all four were in the house. Poor Mickey. She's still my favorite.
Then Percey joined the family. He's the only boy in the bunch - a beautiful blue point Balanise. He's fat and lazy though and loves to be brushed and petted. He has the most beautiful blue eyes doesn't he. He tolerates the playfulness of the two younger cats but doesn't seem to be too interested in playing with them. That's the newest cat scratching on the post in the background.
As if two cats weren't enough, for Christmas Sara bought the kids sweet little Jinx. She was white at Christmas but over the next few months her Rag Doll markings started showing up - smudges of grey on her coat and random dark stripes on her legs and face. She has a tail like a ringtailed lemur, and blue eyes similar to Percy's. After an initial warming-up period Jinx has assimilated into the kid and cat life of the family.
We all thought three cats were enough. Then this stray started hanging around. She would't leave and would be on the deck when the family got up in the morning and seemed to think she lived there. Of course Sara took pity on her and invited her to join the family, after the kids put 'found cat' posters up in the neighbourhood and no one came forward to claim her. Her eyes are a striking shade of almost-orange. It appeared that the fur along her spine has been scraped off. That happens to cats up here in the winter sometimes. When they find themselves outside in the cold, they'll crawl up under the car into the hood where the engine keeps them warm. Then when someone starts the car, they get a quick and painful shave. Newby seems to have survived her close call all right. (I call her Newby because I'm not sure of the name Sara may have given her and because she's the New cat).
I texted Sara today to tell her she may have gotten more than she bargained for in this new cat. See that big tummy. It's firm but lumpy to touch and seems to be harboring some passengers. I'm pretty sure there'll be a litter of kittens in the not too distant future! Hopefully Sara will be able to find good homes for them after they get here. She's a very sweet cat and likes lots of attention but the other cats don't seem to like her much. It'll take her awhile to get accepted into the pack.
Newby and Jinx drinking water out of the planter.
Sara is definitely the cat lady of our family.