Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Cats- An Explanation and an Introduction

As I was heading out to feed the chickens, I watched the cat sociology and made up a story as I watched. Then, a brilliant blog post sprang into my head and took hold.  I arranged and rearranged sentences as I lugged buckets and shook mud out of my boot, then came running inside to quickly get the post down on paper.  So here it is.

As you may know from my frequent kitty pictures, we have a host of barn cats.  These are not cosseted little darlings, mind you (not that I have any problem with cosseted kitties).  They get their first vaccinations, get fixed, then live pretty rough and tumble lives.  Yet we all have soft spots in our hearts for these kitties and they have all come to have personalities, both real and made up.  Now you're probably wondering what on earth I mean.  My family has an odd tradition (and it's generations deep) of making up a character for beloved pets.  It's usually kind of based on the animal's real personality, but it's definitely very much rooted in the imaginary.  I was thinking about why we do this and I think that it's because we all read and grew up reading.  We are so used to fictional characters that turning our animals into fictional characters themselves is no problem!

So, I thought I would properly introduce you to the cats, both their real and pretend personalities.  I did want to make a little clarification: these cat personalities are in no way related to people that we know.  Most of them are quite stereotypical characters that nobody is really like.

Tiger-I'm not sure if he's ever been in a blog post.  He's a huge cat and he kind of feels like the patriarch, probably because he and his sister Midnight were the first cats to come on this farm.
The Pretend Tiger is the CEO of the cats.  He puts together power point presentations of how many mice have been killed, how we can "grow the business" and how the rates of mouse killing have "impacted" our growth (can you tell how much business incorrect grammar lingo bothers me?).  He's a slick businessman in a suit and he's an affectionate adoptive uncle to his nixy little niece and nephew, Tom and Shadow.
                                  (Couldn't find a picture of Midnight)
Midnight-I'm sure I've never posted about her.  She is almost never around because she takes long hunting trips and keeps to herself and kills lots and lots of mice.  She also hates other cats.  However, she loves people and is always up for a good snuggle, as long as she doesn't smell like the latest skunk she got in a fight with.
The Pretend Midnight is a bit of a recluse.  She is a spinster who lives in a little cottage in the woods by herself.  She's fiercely protective of her bachelor brother and she's convinced he can't survive in the world without her.
Sadly, this is the only picture I could find of Patsy Cline.
But you get an idea of what she looks like.

Patsy Cline-Yes, we have a cat named Patsy Cline and yes, it's after the country singer.  See, she came around singing a song about a man who'd done her wrong (the common theme in Patsy Cline songs, doncher know).  Sure enough, Patsy Cline was pregnant and now we have Shadow and Tom.  The Pretend Patsy had a rough background (she probably did in real life) that involved a string of men and one cat in particular-a greasy longhaired cat who came riding up on his little kitty motorcycle to visit her at the restaurant where she worked.  After Patsy had Shadow and Tom, she moved here (that's obviously real) and has since vowed to stop chasing men around and having kittens.  Except now she's flirting with Tiger, which enrages his protective sister and is causing all kinds of uproar.  The kittens have moved on to live with their uncle Tiger while they go to school in town.  Patsy is glad to have a quiet little cottage to herself.
                                         (No picture for Grouchy Kitty available)
Grouchy Kitty-Grouchy Kitty is even more of a recluse than Midnight.  Actually, she isn't even our cat, she just shows up and occasionally eats our cat food.  She sits in corners of the horse stalls and growls to herself.  The Pretend Grouchy Kitty comes to the monthly meetings that Tiger holds.  She sits in the back of the room and talks to herself in a low, slightly insane voice.
I love Shadow's whiskers!

Shadow-Shadow is quite uncomplicated.  She's not crazy, she doesn't have a sad past, and she doesn't have corporations to manage. She lives with her brother in their rich old adoptive uncle Tiger's house.  I'm picturing the rich old gentleman's house in A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett when I picture Tiger's house.  It's full of rich old Indian rugs and an old fashioned nursery for the kittens, complete with a Mary Poppins-esque nanny.  Perhaps Tiger could hire Grouchy Kitty as nanny….
I love this picture of Tom because you can see
all of his face.  It's really hard to photograph cats, so
I resorted to selfies with Tom to get him to hold still.

Tom- Tom is also a pretty uncomplicated cat.  He's named for the Beatrix Potter character, Tom Kitten.  The Pretend Tom is about 12 years old and he scampers around causing all kinds of trouble and generally being a nuisance.  But everybody loves him all the same.
I actually made myself laugh writing this.  I know, I know, I am so funny.  But I have to thank my family for endlessly discussing this and making up many of the stories mentioned here.  Without them, our cats would not be half such developed characters.  Now aren't you inspired to go out and give your pet an interesting imaginary life?  If you aren't, it's because you're a member of my family and you've already been doing it and this is old hat.  You don't even see what's so weird about talking about a little kitty motorcycle.

*A bit of business-I am cussing like mad because apparently I deleted Thursday's post.  Help me!  How the heck do I get it back?  Or is it lost in the blogger abyss for time eternal?*


  1. Is it this one?: "I just had a bookish/reading thought that I wanted to share with all of you. It's something that's crossed my mind several times, but I just now thought to mention it here." It's still on my feed and I realllly wanted to comment on it, but can't find it on your site!

    Love LOVE the cat stuff... we do that too. Not with cats, but with the various spiders that live around our house.

    1. Yes! Is there any way you could get it off of your feed and then send it to me? :) I don't know if you could do that. I'll ask my blog-reading family members if they can find the post in their history. Apparently, if you can find the link of the post, you can retrieve it.

      That's hilarious that you do that personification thing with spiders!

  2. Ok, I am hoping it just went to you as a comment on this blog post. (Page refreshed and did not give me a captcha). Let me know if not!

    1. Nope, no comment! But thank you so much for your help.

    2. Awww, I had the whole thing copy/pasted here. Now I can't find it in my feed anymore. Maybe that post was just not meant to be. .... And yes, I do usually read 2-4 books at a time :)

  3. And what about Olive? Her ear curlers and bathrobe, yelling at the kids to get off of her porch?

    1. Oh yes! Poor Olive. It's funny, I don't quite think of her as one of the cats, but she really is now, so I should have included her.