So it occurred to me that I have a lot of stories about my cats, and I have a lot of cats. So I figured it would be a good idea to write an "introduction to the cast of characters" post. This way, when I get to the posts about the cats or what they're doing, I won't have to explain who they are.
AJ: AJ is my live-in (human) boyfriend. I know I said I was going to introduce you to the cats, but he's going to be a regular. I've referred to him as "Mr. Diana" in the original post about the toilet.
Tito: Indisputedly the Alpha Male of the household, he's one of the younger cats and a traditional head blue point Siamese mix. At age 4 he was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, although he is in maintenance due to prescription cat foods that are formulated for cats in renal failure. (For the record, renal failure in cats is not thought to be painful). His internal voice is *TOTALLY* that of Stewie from Family Guy.
Artemis: Born on Valentine's Day in a shoebox on the top closet shelf at a community center in Dallas, she's the cat I've owned the longest. She's got a couple of nicknames, namely "Little Thing" (she was tiny when I got her) and "Rubby Little Thing" (because she is a self-petting cat and has the tendency to rub on EVERYTHING--to the point that it's nearly obscene.). She's a tortie-lynx Siamese mix, slightly crosseyed, and SUPER soft, (which almost makes up for her COMPLETE lack of intellect).
Delilah: Named after the radio DJ, I found her at the end of September 2001, and I have no idea how old she is; I think she was *around* a year old when I found her, but I'm not sure. She's a tortoiseshell with bright emerald green eyes. She's got one word, which is "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!", squawked to the degree of near hysteria, and she uses it for EVERYTHING. She swallowed some thread and had to have exploratory abdominal surgery and later developed gangrene on her back. Her hair didn't all grow back (she has some visible scarring), and what did grow back, some grew back pure white. The ENTIRE TIME she was violently sick, bleeding, and at death's door, she never complained. At 7 pounds, I think she's the smallest cat in the house.
Jake: Born to a short-haired lynx point Siamese mix, he, his mother and siblings (2 other boys and a girl) were on Death Row at an animal shelter. I fostered the whole family, but he never got adopted. He's a long-haired black cat with green eyes and a very leonine face, 12 pounds of solid muscle, and although I have never raised my hand to him, he's stark raving terrified of me. I think it's because when I first got him, he had a really bad respiratory infection, and he was about four weeks old, and I had to medicate him, so I think he still associates me with medicine. To his credit, he's never tried to run away.
Malachai: Also a foster, born to a long-haired Siamese mix (the only boy in a litter of four), and about a week younger than Jake, he's also a long haired black cat, but his eyes are more yellow and his face is more traditional. He's slightly timid, but not terrified of me, even though he, too, had to be medicated for a respiratory infection. Jake and Malachai, for all intents and purposes, act as if they are littermates, although they are not related, and if I don't catch them "head on", I can't always tell them apart.
Buffy: Another foster, she nursed a litter of her own kittens, and another cat's kittens. She's very petite, buff coloured, and between short- and medium-haired. She's got a very petite nose; she actually does a fair impression of Julia Stiles if you get her in profile. I was told she'd been fixed after nursing (I wasn't fostering her at the time), and she never makes any noise. (I heard her meow the other day, and I don't think I've heard a single sound from her in the past 18 months.) She'd gotten out a few times but always came home, and like the fifth time she got out, she came back pregnant. >.< I have no idea how old she is, but I've had her since 2004 or so, so I think she's at least ten.
Fluffymuffin: One of Buffy's two sons, his real name is George, but he is a Fluffy Love Muffin of Fluffy Love of Fluff. He's a long-haired orange cat with ginormous tufty paws and the tiniest little boykitten meow you've ever heard. Probably 20% of his body weight is fur, and at least 50% of his appearance is *P-O-O-F*. He's very sweet and loves everybody, but he's a little skittish since I'm the only human who ever made it a point to bond with him when he was a kitten. (There were three other adults in the house at the time, all of whom abjectly refused.) I picked him up when he was still wet from amniotic fluid, and would walk around cuddling him and his brother and talking softly to them and stuffed them in my shirt before they even had their eyes or ears open.
Devilbrat: Buffy's other son, whose real name is Fred, and whose other nickname is "rotten little shit". He's not so much rotten now, but when he was a kitten, he was an unholy terror. It's how he got his nickname; my ex was standing in the middle of the room scolding him "You are a DEVIL and a BRAT!" (which was a pretty accurate description of his behaviour and personality). He's got short orange hair and yellow eyes, and a pretty pathetic (as in "woest, woest me!") little boy meow. Brat, Muffin and Tito are the only cats I allow outside (and only ever with me), because they absolutely IDOLISE Tito, and they won't run away and will go inside when they're told.
Millie: found at an abandoned barn (about 500 feet off the interstate) on the way home from a camping trip in 2009, she's very articulate and smart, and *COMPLETELY* worships the ground AJ walks on. She absolutely adores him. She's a brown and grey mackerel tabby; her front is markedly shorter than her back, so she has a lynx-like gait. She is quite blatant that she is merely tolerating my presence because AJ does, and would not give two shakes of her tail if I dropped dead tomorrow, as long as she has food. She does have some "food issues", and she wasn't at ALL sure how to deal with other cats (or even how to play), but she's gotten a LOT better.
Alexander: A neighborhood stray, I think he was either accidentally left when his family moved, or possibly deliberately abandoned. But he's very friendly and docile, and clearly at some point in his life was someone's beloved pet. 16 1/2 pounds of completely non-aggressive muscle, he brought his whole family over for dinner one night in June; he had a ruptured abcess the size of a half-dollar; it's almost November, and he still has a scab. (We managed to trap the 3 kittens and get them out to Feral Friends for adoption; the mother we trapped, but she escaped on the way to the car to be fixed. I'm still feeding her, though, and will eventually trap her and take her in to be fixed.) Alex's head is about half the size of mine, and his paws are almost as big as my palm. When introduced to Tito, he couldn't have been more non-chalant; Tito, by contrast, was a hissy, growly, "I'M THE ALPHA MALE!" menace. He sleeps on my feet, and likes his chin scritched and his tummy rubbed.
Rumour: Artemis' twin sister (they're litter mates, and difficult to tell apart), only tailless. She actually was adopted by someone else who went to that community center; twelve years later they needed a place to stay, and the whole famdamnily came to my place. For the longest time, whenever Rumour and Artemis would see each other, they'd flip out and start hissing, rather like I'd expect a normal person to behave when faced what they knew was a demon with their own face. She's come around, though, and is purring and cuddly now.
All of the animals are fixed.