The Boss. Named after the black American writer Ishmael Reed since I'd been reading one of his books and the cover picture had similar big sombre eyes.
Interests: spending the night under hedges, stealing large bones and growling at them.
Ishmael's sister. (I wanted to call her Ishfemael but I was overruled). Moody little thing, sometimes friendly and sometimes paranoid about people. Interests: hunting sparrows and thrushes.
This is Ishtar with her son Zeke.
We didn't get Ishmael and Ishtar done quickly enough, so we got...
One of Ishmael and Ishtar's two kittens. He seems to have had mild brain damage; some things he was very good at, like running and chasing after things, but it took him three years to work out what a litter tray was for and he occasionally forgot how to wash himself for the rest of his life. He was always rather skinny. He died suddenly of kidney failure.
Interests: jumping on Jack's shoulder for rides round the house while purring; chasing screwed-up envelopes and playing football with them (he used to wait patiently when we were opening mail for us to finish and throw him the used envelope); human food, preferably if it had chili or tomato sauce in it; hunting flies.
Zeke was never much to look at, usually overweight and with odd bald patches, but was alarmingly intelligent and with a thunderous purr. He died of progressive digestive system failure, purring to the end.
Interests: breaking into the fridge, catching blackbirds, meowing LOUDLY and expecting humans to join in the conversation, purring bedtime stories to the humans after midnight.
Muriel was left in the Edinburgh cat and dog home when she was still a kitten. She was originally called Molly but her later maid and butler called her Muriel because she's grey. (If you're not from Scotland you are not expected to understand that). She was a silver tabby. She died of breast cancer early in 2008; she'd survived for about a year and half after an operation to remove the primary, and most of that time she was her usual bouncy domineering self.
Interests: crunchy catfood; making quacking noises at passing birds; crunchy catfood; hiding in Marion's fabric stash; crunchy catfood; covering Jack's black and navy clothes with silver fluff; crunchy catfood; patting humans on the knee and batting her big green eyes at them until they reach for the crunchy catfood.
Chloe moved in with us from a neighbour's house (probably to get away from a family of hyperactive Somali cats). She's timid with people.
Interests: people's feet, pieces of fabric cut out for quilting or dressmaking, high whistle sounds and crunchy catfood. When I play a high recorder or whistle she rubs herself ecstatically against my toes. I'm not sure she's quite worked out that people and their feet are connected. Her previous owner thought she was autistic, and as far as her relationships with humans go that seems about right. She's got friendlier since Ishtar died.
Splodge was a bicolour Persian tomcat. We got him from someone who was allergic to him. He seems to have coeliac disease; I don't know how common that is in cats, but he only thrived since we took all wheat (and unnamed "cereals" as in many catfoods) out of his diet and he got awful diarrhoea if he ever ate it by mistake.
Two pictures of Splodge as a kitten:
Splodge grown up:
And Splodge expressing his opinion about my Middle Eastern lute:
Splodge on the prowl:
When he was young Splodge liked to party all night and come home covered in grease, dirt, burrs and dead leaves. He would spend so long lying in the garden that slugs would climb aboard him and use him as a bus. But once we got Marblecake as a partner for him he started staying in at night and keeping himself meticulously clean.
A neighbour found Splodge lying dead in the road in May 2010, presumably hit by a car.
...who we got as a partner for Splodge. She comes from Glasgow.
Imnterests: purring; suckling the downie cover with loud slurping noises; picking fights with Splodge and Muriel; hiding in weird places.
None of them looks anything like Splodge, though he seems quite fond of them. Left to right in the first picture: Gerald, Eccles, Siouxsie, Poppy.
We kept two of Marblecake's second litter of kittens, Courtney and Ollie. Ollie's interests: watching humans pee and flush the loo; hiding under rugs, bedspreads and loose covers. Otherwise he's remarkably laid back. Courtney's interests: chewing human fingers; waking humans up at around 4am by poking them in the eye or nibbling their noses and then demanding a snack; climbing the highest wall or rooftop available and threatening to fall off. She's been the most expensive cat we've had, needing reconstructive surgery after breaking her hip.
Courtney was run over and killed instantly in February 2012.
We got Molly and Murphy from Lothian Cat Rescue in July 2010.
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