A Lifetime of Cats

Posted on: 2017/01/29

Much like The Doctor, I, too, have always had a companion. Mine, however, tend to be of the furry, four-legged variety – namely cats, although dogs and other critters have played their parts as well.

My earliest real memory of our cats is of a handsome tuxedoed boy named Ralph; whom I insisted was really “Henrietta”. I was under the influence of the Mr. Rogers show and adored Henrietta Pussycat. Despite constant gentle reminders that Ralph was a boy cat, I insisted.  I vividly remember my brother (in the extreme exasperation only an eleven-year-old can muster) saying, “He’s a boy! Ask him his name, he’ll tell you.” I would look at the cat in question, and he would obliging croak, “Raaah-lllfff!)  Never mind.  He was Henrietta to me.  I was stubborn even at two.

The childhood cat I truly remember was a regal Siamese queen named T’ang.  She joined our household when neighbors of ours couldn’t keep her. I later found out that the couple in question had divorced and, rather than decide who should take custody of this beautiful girl, they decided to give her up.


Our only cat to have her portrait painted; surely proof of royalty, no?

 Painting ©circa 1978 MEConway; photo ©2017 VLE

T’ang was a smart, funny-yet-dignified, gentle cat.  Gentle, that is, unless you were one of the neighborhood birds. My mum used to tell a story of a very pregnant (picture a small beer barrel with legs) cat launching her self from a sitting position on the ground, straight up eight feet into the air to narrowly miss a passing blue jay.  Mum knew it had to be eight feet because the cat came level with the pantry window….

She gave us two litters of kittens.  Both were planned (or so we though) matings  with a neighbour’s Siamese tom, Kimba. The first litter yielded six kittens including Sam, who went to live with my Auntie Ruth and Uncle Maurice.  Sam shared his mother’s looks and his father’s curiously endearing habit of nibbling one’s nose. The second litter yielded three charming Siamese kits and … three tabby cats.  Yes, folks, at the tender age of five, I learned about superfecundation (my mum was brilliant and didn’t believe in hiding facts\truth about nature.)  We named the three boys Ike, Mike, and Monkey Face.  Though I begged for them to remain with us, they were ultimately given away.

After that litter, we had our beautiful girl spayed, but her mothering days were not over. She became the surrogate mom for all the pets acquired in her 18-year reign.  To cats and dogs alike, she was the non-human monarch of our wee kingdom.  She especially fostered My-Lin (called My-My because of his funny little meow.)  My-My came to us as a barely weaned kitten – and I mean barely, I don’t think he’s actually been weaned – from a friend of my brother.  He’s worthy of his own post, so I’ll stop his story here for now.

I adored T’ang.  Her elegance and grace has not matched by any feline companion since. She is, for me, truly an ancestress of Bast.


Lots of credit and a heartfelt “thank you” to Samantha of samanthamurdochblog.  Her blog is an enjoyable, special treat.  Her style is bright and clear – a positive oasis in this peculiar world we live in.  Vivid stories of her “girls” – cats Charlie, Lily, and Tooty & Ting combine with interesting information about crystals, reminiscences, short stories.  A remarkable place to visit. Through the comments, we have shared our kinship of cats among other things. She encourages me to tell my pets’ stories, and my own, with a generous, graceful spirit.

2 Responses to "A Lifetime of Cats"

Ohhh…you brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you very much for your lovely words 🙂 🙂 xoxo
Loved the story about T’ang too – nothing better than cat chat 🙂 xx

Thank you again for your encouragement. It’s done wonders! ❤

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