Sonnet is the youngest of the lot, just over a year and a half old.
She came to us in an unusual way. Deb and I were at 5 cats, which we considered a good number. Then an acquaintance who does animal rescue work in the Gulf Coast told us of a litter of 4 mostly-black kittens which were going to be destroyed for lack of homes, and if I didn’t save them nobody would. So I took it upon myself to find them homes, offering my colleagues at Berklee a $500 donation to the department scholarship fund for each kitten adopted, plus help with their initial medical expenses. Ultimately, we saved all four, plus two “bonus” kittens! But finding homes was incredibly hard and initially we were having no success, so I took a kitten in the hope of giving the “kitten drive” some momentum.
Then when the kittens were delivered, they messed up which one was which, confusing Sonnet with her brother, also a tuxedo who had a white chin rather than a black one. Here’s an early photo of Sonnet, as we were figuring out that we had the wrong kitten.
However, it worked out for the best! Our friend was supposed to take Sonnet and a different brother (who also ended up with us in a case of mistaken identity), but Sonnet HATED her brother. So to avoid that match made in Hell, we kept Sonnet while she kept the kitten we were supposed to get, plus got her brother.
Parti and her sister/littermate Rae joined the Block-Schwenk Collective in December 2013. Unlike our other cats, they were adopted locally through a small no-kill cat rescue group called Whiskers of Hope, which we connnected with via Petfinder, an excellent site used to connect people with animals who need homes. Also unlike our other cats, we got them as slightly older kittens, a bit over 5 months old rather than 8-11 weeks.
Parti is very much a “gamma” Unlike other cats we have adopted, including her sister, she hid from me for a couple of months, and still spooks easily–when she’s not demanding attention! She’s still sensitive, but has become generally happy and very talkative! Parti particularly loves playing with a laser pointer’s red dot, and also plays with the young one, Sonnet (our sixth cat, who will be featured in the next cat post).
Parti also is very photogenic, especially on Halloween!
Parti with her favorite person.
Rae and her sister Parti (who will be featured in the next cat post) were adopted in December 2013. Unlike our other cats, they were adopted locally through a small no-kill cat rescue group called Whiskers of Hope, which we connnected with via Petfinder, an excellent site used to connect people with animals who need homes. Also unlike our other cats, we got them as slightly older kittens, a bit over 5 months old rather than 8-11 weeks.
Deb had been reading about how black cats have a particularly hard time finding homes, which is really sad, and we were determined to adopt two black cats.
In addition to adopting two black cats, on behalf of humans everyone I apologize to Bast for our silliness, as black cats are awesome! First, check out this glamour pose from January 2013:
Second, black hair is a lot less visible on clothing, furniture, etc. than lighter colors. Hence how Deb and I can have 6 cats and not look like yeti.
Update: In the summer of 2015 Hurricane was diagnosed with a terminal heart failure and given 6 months to live. She almost doubled that, but she finally passed away in the summer of 2016. We miss you, Hurricane!
Hurricane and her sister Zephyr were our “mail order brides,” meaning they were the only cats we adopted before meeting. (Spitfire had come up from the Gulf Coast, but we actually got our pick of 15+ kittens in the van.) Via our friend who did rescue on the Missisippi Gulf Coast, we had the shelter sent us “two short haired black and white girl kittens.” She got everything right except the short hair, as evidenced by the photo.
Hurricane is a diva, with a huge ego that has survived getting play-hunted by her stronger sister Zephyr on a regular basis for her entire life! And yet, while Hurricane seems not to like her sister much, whenever either of them is challenged by another cat the other sister immediately runs to her aid!
Hurricane often claims Deb’s chair at breakfast, and gets very upset if moved. Many times we pull a third chair up to the table.
A lazy, weekend morning. 5 cats are around, but our little diva Hurricane gets the lap!
I have a confession about her name: many people assume that her name is from Hurricane Katrina. In fact, she was born two years after the storm. Read on for the actual inspiration…
No blog is complete without some cats! 6 cats currently with with my wife and I. Zephyr here ties for second-oldest.
Zephyr and her sister Hurricane (featured in the next cat post) were born in coastal Mississippi in the spring of 2007. The same person who had rescued Spitfire (and many others) from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continued to do rescue work. Zephyr and her sister traveled in the (pressurized) cargo hold of a plane to Boston.
Zephyr was always a very serious kitten: you really could tell that her “playing” was practicing hunting! She got bored with most toys, preferring the live target of her sister. She also liked to climb.
Spitfire in 2015
No blog is complete without some cats! 6 cats currently with with my wife and I. Spitfire here is the eldest.
He was born on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in 2005, about a month after Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane turned an already bad place to be a mixed-breed animal into a total nightmare for the animals down there, and the shelters were overwhelmed. A friend of a friend was doing animal rescue work, and one day that December we got an email saying that a van would be driving north and now was the time to adopt. We had two other cats at the time, and decided to take two kittens. He had a 3-day drive north in a crate van with around 60 other animals, about 2/3 of them cats and the rest dogs.
Spitfire as a kitten, hamming it up for the camera!
He is exhibit A on how terrible I used to be at naming animals. During his first couple of weeks with us he was super-feisty and wouldn’t hold still, hence his name. Then he got a bit older and calmed way down. Spitfire is a sweet, good-natured boy who wants nothing more than to curl up on a lap or somewhere else warm.
Spitfire is the only male cat (fixed, of course) in our tribe. He tends to stand aloof from the jockeying for position and rank that the other five constantly exhibit.