Thursday, August 17, 2006

Introducing the Cats

willy_cushion

As this blog is named after my cats it is high time I introduced the little critters to you. Also I recently took this photo of Willy and thought it was so good, I had to show it off. It displays his typically wilful expression.

Willy is a Tonkinese cat. If you don’t know what they are, the Tonkinese cat is a hybrid of a Siamese and a Burmese. It is quite distinct from its parent breeds having a personality and appearance quite its own. Willy is classified as a natural mink, having a coat of medium contrast with points. He has a wilful nature, is easily bored and is curious and active. He is a good-natured animal and loves playing rough games. The other night I rolled him up in a carpet and he thought it was great fun. He’s 2½ years old and we’ve had him since he was a kitten. He was a replacement for a much-loved cat, Oscar, who we were forced to euthanise after he developed a cancerous growth in his throat. Though Willy is not in the least like Oscar, who had his own eccentricities and the sweetest nature, he’s a great replacement who entertains us with his antics, despite worrying us to death with his vagrant ways. It’s challenging to have him climb into bed in the middle of the night drenched to the skin, but he is very endearing and extremely handsome.

liz on bed_30 July 2006

Our other cat is Lizzie, also a very pretty cat. She’s a middle-aged puss these days and did not welcome the addition of Willy to our home. She is an amazing cat in her own right, being highly intelligent and extremely affectionate. She is an Abyssinian/Oriental cross, but in looks, behaviour and temperament is pure Abby. They are bossy cats and, it is said, will always get their owners to do anything they want, like feed them. I swear she can understand the meaning of human words, for over and over again, when she is begging for food, with food already on her plate, I will tell her to eat it first before I give her anything else, and she will obey. A great huntress in her youth, when Willy was a kitten, she used to bring him baby mice to play with even though she was miffed at his presence in her house. Since Oscar died, she will not tolerate any other cats and has attacked Willy’s young cat friend Pickle, hence the nick in one of her ears. Pickle lives a couple of houses away and she and Willy have been friends since they were both kittens. It’s a pity Pickle can’t come into our backyard, otherwise Willy might stay home more. Half the time we don’t know where he is, though some cat friendly neighbours have told us that he makes himself at home in their houses. He’s had hair-raising adventures such as being driven away in a Telstra van. He climbed into it while the Telstra technician was busy in the street before driving away with cat unknowingly in tow. He returned him shortly afterwards, thank goodness. We have to warn people who leave their car doors or windows open to check their cars before they drive off.

Lizzie is a stay at home cat these days and never has caused us much worry. She had a tendency to get locked in the neighbours back shed when she was younger and if she was missing it always turned out that she was there. She was very attached to Oscar and truly mourned for him after his death. She and Willy don’t fight. They are polite to each other most of the time and even occasionally play hide and seek, until it gets too rough. However, it is too late for any overtures of friendship on Lizzie’s part towards Willy, because she makes him nervous after years of tacit hostility.

The photo of Lizzie was taken recently whilst I was lounging in bed reading a book on a sunny morning. I just happened to have the camera handy and snapped her with this mild and gentle expression on her face.

Willy and Lizzie are just the latest in a long line of feline companions. Willy is actually the first purebred cat we have ever had. The rest have been cross breeds or ordinary moggies. They have all been a pleasure to know. From the nameless cats of childhood to Will and Liz’s recent predecessors they were of various colours. There was Enrico (white), Morgan (ginger), Tam Lin (white), Mao (black oriental), Claudius (black), Bear (black), Maggie (black & white long hair) and Oscar (chocolate brown Siamese cross).

We estimate, based on our ages and life expectancy, we will be able to have one or two more cats in our lives. No doubt they will be as entertaining and as individual as all the others.


3 comments:

clare said...

Lovely pair of cats you've got there, Anne - very handsome. Even though I'm allergic to cats and can't go close, I do appreciate them from a distance.

Anne S said...

Clare,

I was brought up with all sorts of animals, but cats seem to be the ones that stuck. I did have a dog for 14 years, and I loved her dearly. I was devastated when she died and have never had a dog since. Nor do I want another one.

Anyway the point is, I'm sure that if cats are introduced to a child early in life you are not allergic to them.

My partner B's daughter was a home birth and cats were on the bed when she was born.

She grew up loving animals and never showed the slightest sign of allergy.

This may be a cranky theory, but a bit of exposure to alien elements in childhood builds up the immune system.

Anyway, I'm sure if you were not allergicm, you would be a cat person.

chiefbiscuit said...

I loved reading about your cats - I could see some similarities there with ours - if you're interested, go to Sunday Scribblings (and my Short Stuff blog) to read stories about cats and dogs from their pov!