And here is the recipe for kitty litter cake ...

Here are some more cat pictures:

    At right is Penelope, also known as Penster, or just Pen. She used to live in the household of a friend of mine who traveled a lot; I took care of her then. (The neighbors all knew me as Mister Feed-the-Cats.)  Alas, my friend was unable to keep her, so now she lives with me.

    Penelopuss has the most incredible blue eyes. She is full-grown but small. Most of her is white. She is a semi-longhair, mostly white.  She has lots of Siamese in her ancestry: That makes her smart and vocal. She is very friendly, but determined to get her own way in all things. She will complain loudly if matters are not going according to plan -- that’s her plan, of course.

    Penelope particularly likes to be scratched under the chin.

    At right is a more recent image of Penelope.

    At left is Jack, also known as Jack-a-Boo. He lived in the same household as Penelope. He is a slate-gray shorthair with white feet, with more white on his chest, belly, throat, and face. He is a real rascal -- a true trickster of a cat -- and cannot be deterred from being overwhelmingly affectionate at all possible times.

    Poor Jack: He wanted so much to be friends with Penelope, but he insisted on being more social than she wants, so she chased him off. He was a real gentleman about being rejected, and deferred to her wishes, but he was full of incurable boundless optimism, so he always tried again -- too soon, and with too much enthusiasm.

    Jack particularly likes to play with anything that even thinks about moving.

    At right is Blackie Diamond, or Blackie for short. She lives with another friend of mine. She is a tiny coal-black shorthair who is very shy: It took an amazing amount of effort to coax her sufficiently into view to take this picture.

    Blackie Diamond and Marble (below) were living wild in a vacant lot and parking lot when my friend took them in. They are too different in ages to be litter mates, and Blackie Diamond was not grown up enough to be Marble’s mate. Notwithstanding, they were hanging out together, and appeared inseparable.

   At left is Marble, who lives in the same household as Blackie Diamond. He is a semi-longhair, with a wonderful mottled gray-black coat pattern, and is very friendly, and looks a little startled in this image because of the bright light of the flash.

    Marble and Blackie Diamond continue to be best pals as they live happily indoors at my friend’s apartment.

    At left is Priscilla, now deceased. She was a dark calico, named because she was prissy -- she was a babe and she knew it. She was very jealous of my guitar, and learned to wrap her tail around the guitar neck to mute the strings. But she was a sweety pie, so that’s okay.

    Priscilla and Willoughby look flustered here. The images were taken with my Macintosh’s webcam. The cats were not sure what it was: They believe that anything that takes up time that could be spent petting cats is obviously evil. Besides, the Mac flashes the screen bright white when you take a webcam image, and that’s scary.

    At right is Willoughby, Priscilla’s kitten, named after a Jane Austen character. He is fey. Even full grown, he could do a standing high-jump from the floor and get a paw to my eyebrows -- 150 centimeters up. He is also jealous of my guitar, and bumps my elbow when I play it. But he’s cute, so that’s okay.

    I found Pris and Will near a road in a local state park late at night. Someone had abandoned them in coyote country. So I took them home. I doubt they would have lasted till morning. Willoughby couldn’t have been more than a month or two old.

    A more recent picture of Willoughby is at right. He is older now -- he was born in 2002 -- and can no longer do standing high jumps, but he is still chipper, cute, and affectionate.

    At left is Elvis, now deceased. I acquired him pre-named, when I already had Priscilla, so for a while I had “Elvis and Priscilla”, though Priscilla was not “that” Priscilla.

    He was the first cat to get comfortable with me playing guitar. He would curl up by my thigh, purring, as I practiced. I used to say he was channeling, though those who think the real Elvis isn’t dead yet might disagree.

    The day Elvis died, I picked up my guitar, and for the first time ever, successfully played the toughest piece I have ever attempted -- one I had been practicing for over two years. So maybe he was channeling after all, and maybe he still is.

    (The piece was Jorma Kaukonen’s “Embryonic Journey” -- with tablature from the Jefferson Airplane album, “Surrealistic Pillow”.)

Cats to whom I belong, have belonged,

or ought to belong.


                                    The question is not, can they reason?  Nor, can they talk?  But, can they suffer?

                                                                                          -- Jeremy Bentham, philosopher, 1748-1832.

To study independence, keep a cat.

To study diplomacy, keep two.

A cat is a magical creature, who can hold a human being spellbound

for hours with no more apparatus than a piece of string.



    At right is Knightley, now deceased. I named him for a Jane Austen character because he was such a gentleman. He was an adult from a local feral colony that is well cared for, but became extremely affectionate -- a real cuddle junky, who liked to sleep as close to my head as he could get. I suspect he was abandoned at the colony, not born there.

    Kinghtley was small and rather cobby. His coat was a good shade of what cat fanciers call “blue”. His voice sounded remarkably like that of a human infant. I always wondered the neighbors thought.

    At left is Pandora, my favorite cat in a long, long, time. When I took her in, she was a young feral adult from a local colony, who was used to people feeding her. She is a wonderful companion: She has a mind of her own and has no scruples about being feisty to get her way -- my hands were in ribbons for the first few months -- but she is very affectionate on her own terms, and loves to play. “Pandora” is a good name, for after all the fuss, her last gift, of love, was indeed something wonderful.

    Pandora likes to be brushed. Her coat is an excellent example of what cat people call “blue”. Her favorite toy is a ball-point pen.

    Sometimes I call her “Pandybrat”, or just plain “Pan”. She and Fuzzy Britches have become fast friends and occasionally team up on mischief.

    At right is Fuzzy Britches, taken in as a year-old feral from a local colony. She was born there, but became well socialized because the people who fed the colony thought she was cute and fussed over her. Some called her “the fuzzy one”, hence her name. (You who get the Heinlein reference, have no fear: She is spayed.) The curls of hair growing out of her ears give her a Mephistophelean appearance.

    Fuzz is playful and active. I have to be careful not to trip over her. I took her in on Saint Patrick’s day, 2016, and very nearly named her “Leprechaun”.


    At left is Dapple, taken in as a young feral adult from a local colony. She would be a mostly-black tortoiseshell, but she expresses a recessive gene that makes black fur grey and orange fur cream-colored; thus she is a blue-cream tortoiseshell. Her coat resembles the dappled pattern of sunlight falling through leaves onto a forest floor.

    As I write these words I have had her less than a month, and she is still easily frightened, but she loves attention and will purr long and loud when carefully skritched.


    At right is Weasel, another from the local feral colony. She looks a lot like a slightly smaller version of Fuzzy Britches -- though she lacks Fuzzy’s smoke-like ear hairs and white chest spot. I suspect they are related.

    Weasel well-named -- she is a scamp if ever there was one. She was also very shy at first: She always worried about what was going to happen when I picked her up. She has gotten over that now, and loves the attention, but she likes it a lot more after I have put her back down. She makes cute short mewing noises when she is worried, and gets lots of attention in consequence.

    At left is Petite. She is from the local feral colony, but was not a long-time resident there: She showed up very affectionate and knowing about people, and was obviously a former house cat that someone had thrown away.

    Petite is sweet and affectionate; she is a serious lap cat and likes to sleep curled up on top of me when I am in bed myself. She was not fully grown when I took her in and was well named, but has put on weight and bulk since then.

    She is also very persistent, particularly about jumping up onto the computer keyboard while I am typing. Once she did that twelve times in a row, so I finally picked her up and cuddled her.

    Here to the right is Puccini. I was feeding cats at the local feral colony when a car drove up and a little girl got out with a double handful of kitten that her family had found in a local store parking lot and could not keep themselves. He was about two months old, and very loving, gentle and affectionate -- he obviously had had a home. So I took him in, and I am glad I did.

    Puccini is cute and affectionate enough that even my veterinarian makes goo-goo eyes at him. My other cats all like him as well. He was named because he was given to creating loud dramatic vocal compositions at times.

    The small picture to the right is not high in quality, but it shows how tiny Puccini was when I brought him home. I started calling him “Weeny Puccini” or “Puccaweeny” (pronounced “Pooch-a-weeny”), but as he grows that won’t be suitable. I think he will end up as “Pooch” for short – or maybe “Puccawiggle” (“Pooch-a-wiggle”), since he does wiggle a lot.

    To the right is Rhubarb, a long-tme resident at the local feral colony. Everyone said “He is a great cat, someone should take him in.” So I did. They were right: He is a great affable lump of a cat. He is huge – over 5 Kg. Some of my other cats from that colony recognized him, but Puccini, who is much smaller, was scared at first. Then after three days I found them eating side by side from the same bowl.

    His name at the colony was “Roo”. No one knew why. I thought “Rhubarb” fit his character, and besides, what fun having a cat named after a vegetable. He sometimes sits up on his hind legs and begs when he is hungry, so maybe it was originally “Kangaroo”.

    At left is Marble, also from the feral colony. She is another blue-cream tortoise-shell, like Dapple (described below). She has an unusual and lovely face.

    She was extraordinarily shy at the colony: It took months before she would come close, but as soon as I could touch her I found I could pick her up and cuddle her with no objection on her part. She is without question the gentlest cat I have ever encountered.

    In this image she is sitting on the sill of a window, with vertical blinds at right and a piece of aluminum foil (to keep the inside cooler) taped to the glass at left. Marble likes the window sill and spends a lot of time there: She is one of my sunshine girls. (The other is Weasel.)

    This “Marble” is different from the other “Marble”, listed far below.