The Cats, March 2004
Nine felines now living with Ian Lind & Meda Chesney-Lind
Kaaawa, Hawaii
All photographs © Ian Lind

Read the cats' tale, then click on any photo to see larger images.

There have been significant changes in our feline family this year, both sorrowful and joyous. We lost Mr. Lindsey, a very difficult moment, and added Ms. Annie.

But Ms. Miki continues in her role as matriarch. She's the elder cat at 17 years and counting. Unfortunately, she's been feeling her age, struggling with bad arthritis and other ailments of old age. But she's still got a great attitude and can still get excited by a good meal or an unusual sound or movement.

Next in line are Kili and Wally, sisters who we rescued as kittens from the middle of a busy road back in early 1998.

Wally has inherited the position of Queen of the Universe following Miki's shift to something akin to Queen Mother. She is definately the cat in charge.

Kili, who was dominant as a kitten, now prefers her freedom to roam the hunting field below our house. She is now the best ratter in the household. And she also has first claim to the prime sleeping position in our bed.

Mr. Leo, rescued on Father's Day 1999, is suddenly thrust into the role of senior male. It's a stretch. He's not as big as our previous senior males, doesn't like to fight, and is very insecure. He's trying, though, despite the lack of aptitude for the job.
I'll always remember when Mr. Silverman joined the family. We arrived back in Honolulu from a trip to Chicago in mid-September 1999, and this beautiful blue-eyed cat was hanging out with our tribe after teaching himself to enter through the cat door in order to reach the food dishes. The next day we first learned that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin—my employer at the time—was slated to be closed.
Next in line is Ms. Harriet, also known as Harry. Her sister, Lizzie, disappeared almost two years ago and for a while we feared Harry might follow. But reaching out consistently with lots of extra love and attention has managed to keep her in the fold. She's got her own special place, a towel spread out in a prime window seat. She's sleeping there right now.
Mr. Duke is our other blue-eyed cat whose conception, birth, and early kittenhood in mid-2002 were part of Cybelle's Saga. He's got beautiful Siamese coloring that's darkening with age, along with beautiful tabby markings. Duke is about the most mellow cat we've ever had. He's in my lap as I write this, partly trying to get warmer and partly seeking attention. That's the way with cats. Natural heat seakers.
Then along came Toby. It was just before Halloween in 2002, and Duke was just six months old when we heard a tiny cry from an overgrown area near our house while on our daily early walk to watch the sun rise. I searched in the dark but couldn't find anything. When we heard it again two days later, I returned after dawn and found a tiny orange kitten hidden in a hard-to-reach thicket.

As soon as Toby got to the mobile kitten stage, Duke took over the mothering role. Between our early hand feeding and Duke's influence, Toby has become a most affectionate guy. He hasn't shown any inclination to become a fighter, although he does delight in chasing the wild roosters in the yard.

And then there was Ms. Annie, who was about six weeks old when we found her frightened and alone on the beach in Kaaawa early one morning at the end of August 2003. She was down on the sand just outside the opening of a storm drain that runs under Kamehameha Highway. Whether she got in trouble while seeking adventure or was dumped on the beach isn't known. What is known, though, is that she's a lively gal who quickly fit right in to the household.
So that's the census as of March 2004. Nine cats and counting.

See also: 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999


Created with iView MediaPro | Saturday, March 20, 2004 | 3:51 PM