I used to write about the cats a fair amount, and then I realized that it was probably kind of boring to hear about them all the time, so I haven’t written about them much lately. But, I have a fair number of new readers, so I feel justified in writing a fluff post about cats, because people have asked me about them.
So. The cats:
Clockwise from far left, Mr. Shadow, Mr. Bell, and Loki. Mr. Shadow pretty much always looks that woeful, it wasn’t anything particular going on that day.
Mr. Bell is the senior cat. I got him when I was fairly young. How young is actually a matter of debate, because my father and I cannot quite agree on what year we got him. But he is definitely in his late teens.
I still remember, vividly, the day we got Mr. Bell. We wandered through the Humane Society looking at all sorts of cats. But he was the one who kept reaching out the bars of his cage. He wasn’t as flashy as the orange tiger I liked, or as playful as the cute black and white kitten. But something about him struck me, and so he is the cat we took home.
As you can see in this picture, Mr. Bell has no external pinnae. This is because he had squamous cell carcinoma on his ears. SCC is actually a very common problem for white cats; so common, in fact, that white cats should really be kept indoors, or have sunscreen applied to their ears if they are going to go out. His pinnae were removed a few years ago, and his hearing is just fine. He’s also starting to show some signs of lesions on his nose, which worries me rather a lot.
Fun fact about Mr. Bell: He likes to be vacuumed.
Mr. Bell has a number of nicknames including: Little White Cat, Squeegophilus, Mr. Moto, and Mr. Bell E Period Button.
Mr. Shadow and Mr. Bell are often found together, which made it hard to get a standalone picture of Mr. Shadow for this post. Mr. Shadow is the middle cat; he is also getting on in years, but he is not as old and crochety as Mr. Bell. Yet. Mr. Bell and Mr. Shadow are also very gay (oh, nature, how I love you).
I ended up with Mr. S. because he was dumped outside our house, and I didn’t really want to surrender him to Animal Control or the Humane Society. Mr. Shadow is a pretty mellow, quiet cat. He tends to be the friendliest with guests, and really really really likes breasts. He will go to great lengths to squeeze himself into cleavage, the bigger, the better. He also greatly enjoys wedging himself into bags, and he will sit on coats if they are not hung up.
Fun fact about Mr. Shadow: When I was in high school, Mr. Shadow peed on three sequential copies of Sophie’s World, which is a pretty accurate review of that book, if you ask me.
Some of Mr. Shadow’s nicknames: Shadow, Shadbelly, Shadowberry, Shadowpants, Little Grey Cat.
Loki is the Young Turk of the bunch.
I got Loki in 2003, when I was working at the Humane Society to help them improve their protocols for animals being held in isolation (to prevent the spread of disease, our Humane Society isn’t some sort of byzantine organization where animals are punished in isolation rooms or something). Loki was being bullied by his littermates, so I started carrying him around in a sling at work, and then taking him home, and then…yeah. This is why people who work for animal welfare groups all have Too Many Animals.
Loki is also very aptly named. He is a right little shit sometimes. He is very good at looking innocent and cute, but do not let it fool you. He’s the most shy of the cats; he only really likes hanging out with me, and sometimes he goes into sensory overload mode when he is around other people and tries to eat them, or squeals and runs away. He makes funny little noises like “brrrt?” and “blat” and “mrp.”
Loki has the feline version of irritable bowel disease. He eats very expensive prescription cat food. And pumpkin.
Fun fact about Loki: Because of Loki, I have a “dangerous pet” warning on my UPS account. This is because Loki likes to hang out the window and growl when people come up the walk.
Loki’s nicknames include: Lokinator, Nater Potater, Lokipants, Little Fucker, Pants, Mr. Pants.
So. Them’s the cats. Any questions?