Mandy is the "Old Lady" of the crew. She is from the Humane Society. She had been dumped while having kittens (all of which died). It took a couple of years for her to regain her trust of people. She spends her summers ruling the out of doors, and her winters on the furnace ducts in the basement where it is warm. She is constantly "retrieving" socks from the laundry basket and leaving them scattered all over the house. Other cats, inside and out, give her a wide berth, knowing her to rule the roost. Boo (see below) is the only one that will stand up to her.
The Mouse arrived on Mother's day, 1995 ( a present from our son) and was so tiny that he could sit in the palm of your hand. Mouse has not yet outgrown the kitten stage, and finds many things around the house to amuse him. Mouse is a Himilayan, and the only one of our cats that did not come from the Humane Society.
Spooky has been with us the longest. He, like the others is an adoptee from the Humane Society. His favorite perch is on Fred's shoulders. He will drape himself around Fred's neck and stay there for as long as Fred pets him. In the days before arthritis, he would frequently make flying leaps onto Fred's back and climb the rest of the way up to the shoulder perch. Now that he can't jump as well, he just tries to climb.
Boo is a Christmas kitty. He is the only cat we have who selected us, rather than being selected by, or for, us. One Christmas eve several years ago we went out to the Humane Society to make our annual donation. As usual, we made a quick trip through to look at the dogs and cats. In the cat room, we noticed the one cage through which a white paw would stick out and wave, and then disappear. Intriqued, we took a closer look and saw a three-legged kitty. (One front leg was apparetnly lost in a battle with a fan belt when Boo was a kitten.) I made the mistake of opening the cage just to see how a three-legged kitty could get around. Out came Boo, otherwise known as "Mr. Personality". A friend of ours who worked at the Humane Society told us to just take him home - no charge. No one wanted a three-legged kitty and he was scheduled to be put down after Christmas. Boo has turned out to be one of the best cats we have ever had. He knows that the only reason people exist is to pet him and make him the center of attention. Also, no one ever told him that kittens with three legs were handicapped. I shudder to think what he would be like if he had all four! Boo and Mouse are the best of friends, playing together, bathing each other, and wrestling. He delights in sneaking up behind Mandy and pouncing on her, and consequently always has a new scratch or two on the end of his nose. You notice I don't mention Spooky here. Boo seems to instintively know that Spooky would not tollerate such nonsense!
Ginger came to live with us in August of 1999. She was literally a throw-away puppy. Someone tossed her out of the window of a moving car on the main drag through town. She was almost run over by the car following the car she was thrown from. She suffered extensive internal injuries. Someone rescued her from the side of the road and took her to the local vet, who performed numerous surgeries to repair a crushed pelvis, among other things. After she recovered, she was allowed free roam of the vet's office, greeting all of the patients and such until someone (Fred) couldn't resist taking her home. She has turned out to be an excellent dog and companion. She frequently goes with Fred when he is running errands. (She loves to ride in the car.) She also goes camping with us. All Fred has to do is back the RV into the driveway and she is at the door ready to go. She is good friends with all the cats, knows who she can play with and who to give a wide berth to. If you should run into Ginger and me on our travels, please stop and say hello. And be sure to tell her what a cute puppy she is! (She already knows this, but still likes to be told all the same.)
Mylo is the newest member of the household. He came to live with us the spring of 2002. At the age of 12, his original family decided that they didn't want him anymore and brought him to our local vet to be put down. He lived at the vet for 2 weeks while the staff tried diligently to find a home for him. But no one wanted a 12 year old cat. Ann saw him when she took Mouse in to the vet for his shots. (The office staff is always showing us the animals they want to find homes for. Frequently we are successful. We even took a small kitten to our niece's in Illinois to live with her, but that is another story.) Ann told everyone she could think of about Mylo, but with no success. She had deicded from the very beginning that Mylo would come to live with us if a home couldn't be found. Mylo spends most of his time in the bedroom. He has made great friends with Mouse and Ginger, but has yet to be accepted by the other cats. He seems to be quite content to live his life in the upstairs, and ignore the cats that are downstairs. Of course, he also likes to be near his people. He has turned out to be one of the most affectionate cats we have. (Perhaps he realizes just how close he came to being put down.) As time goes on, I am sure that he will start to explore more of the house and start to make friends with the other cats.