Bastubis, Cat Goddess,

Bastubis, Cat Goddess

In her pure form, Bastubis looks very like an Abysinnian cat. This may be because Abysinnians are her direct descendents. They certainly think so (except possibly for Sylvie Butterbrain, who has enough difficulty just being a proper cat).
Abysinnian cats are special. They are more active and athletic than your average cat. They climb walls and people; they levitate up to great heights, from which they drop onto people passing by. They riot and do mysterious things in the night - often in the bed, under the covers. They are wonderfully affectionate, bright, and entertaining. They make up games, like cat golf and cat chess. They also believe in exercising their people by giving us plenty to do. They are sometimes called Lion Cats for fairly obvious reasons.
Abys do not think that they are people--they think that people are subnormal cats.
I live with four of them.

Samatha Callinish

Samantha Callinish, Senior Cat

Sami is not only the eldest and most intelligent of the cats who live here - she is also the most telepathic. She was born in 1989, has been a mother three times, and still plays like a kitten. She also runs this household, or tries to, in spite of my inefficient ways and the general waywardness of the other cats. She would be a proper witch's cat, if only she had a proper witch. She is a Virgo and measuring up to her standards is not easy. But she seems to love me anyway and is very affectionate.
Sami is an excellent healer, nurse, and therapist. She looks very sweet in this picture. Don't let that fool you - she is so much more than that.

Airgiod Sylvannia

Argiod Sylvannia, aka Sylvie Butterbrain

Sylvie tries very hard to be a Proper Cat. She is handicapped in her efforts by not being quite certain what is properly catly and what isn't. She is also somewhat handicapped by being a cat of little brain. Much of her time is spent trying to puzzle out the mundane things of life. For example, she worries about whether or not a Proper Cat digs in the rubbish bin while the rest of the household is asleep. Sami says, "No!" But Sylvie's instincts tell her otherwise. She still hasn't decided who is right, so she digs in the rubbish and then feels embarrassed and guilty about it.
When Sylvie got loose in the vet's office and ran three times around the wall about four feet off the ground, the vet said she was the fastest cat he'd ever seen. She is the best of the four at levitating, and she can also change direction in midair, which should be physically impossible. David, a physicist friend of mine, says it is because she is so small (about five pounds) that she has no inertia/momentum. I think it is because she hasn't enough brain to realize that she can't do the things she does.
Sylvie is the passionately generous lover of all. When you reach to stroke her, she leaps to meet your hand. She rubs her cheek against yours hard so you'll know how very, very much she loves you, how glad she is to see you, and what joy your presence gives her.

Sad Note: Sylvie died yesterday (18 February 2002), at the age of eleven. She went galloping off into the light in her usual embrace-life-with-gusto-fashion. We all miss her so much. If it is true, as I believe it is, that one of the main reasons we are here is to learn to love and be loved, then Sylvie learned her lessons exceptionally well, and I'm certain she is more than due what Buddhists call a "fortunate rebirth". Tomorrow, I shall plant a small juniper tree on her burial mound, and gauras (Siskiyou pink) and periwinkles.

Marigoldthebeautiful

Marigoldthebeautiful

Marigoldthebeautiful (all one word, if you please) is not only beautiful; she is good. She is dainty, gentle, lady-like, and sweet-tempered - hardly like an Abysinnian at all, except for being a fussy eater. She knows she is extremely beautiful and understands that her function in life is to heal people by allowing them to rest their eyes upon her, thus delighting and restoring their souls.
Marigoldthebeautiful is not conceited about this.
It is just how things are.

That Maggie

That Maggie

Like her mother, Sylvie, That Maggie also got loose in the vet's office. Vets do not seem to expect the general ranbunctiousness and flat-out obstreperousness of Abysinnian cats. Again, like her mother, That Maggie is very fast. She raced around the room, tried to dig her way out through the sink, attempted to fling herself through the closed window, and hurled herself at the door, trying to break through. With all exits barred, she took to the heights, opening cupboards, racing through them at great speed, and flinging out their contents as she passed.
With the cupboards emptied, she ascended to the high shelves, tossing everything there down to join the mess on the floor. Having rearranged the vet's office to her satisfaction, she came to rest on an eight-foot-high shelf, glaring down at him. Her look clearly said, "What?!? Are you still here?" She stuck out her tongue and crossed her eyes at him. I didn't know cats ever did that on purpose.
The vet visibly shriveled. He turned to me, saying, "I think it would be best if you got That Maggie down." I agreed, climbed on a chair, and lifted her down. She came as gently as the proverbial lamb, and stood quietly on the table for her examination (she was only in there because she needed a certificate of good health). When the vet was done, she walked quietly back into her cat carrier. So, you see, the That in her name is a sort of an honorific, like an honorary PhD, and she'd like you to remember it, thank you very much!
If there is trouble in the house, chances are That Maggie is involved. On the other hand, she can be the sweetest, dearest little cat around - and she has the most droll sense of humor. Remind me to tell you sometime about the flowers she stole from the vase on the dining table, carried upstairs, and neatly arranged, blossoms up, in the toilet to surprise and amuse me at two in the morning.
Cats laugh silently.

Cat Sanity

Cats sometimes engage in 'weird' behavior. They don't see it that way. Cats do what cats do. Since all cats are perfectly sane (at least by their own definition) it logically follows that anything they do is normal for cats.
It's only people who make these small-minded rules about 'acceptable' and 'daft' behavior. If a cat does it, it's all right for a cat to do. If you have trouble with this, that's because, like the rest of us, you are only human.
People could probably learn something important from this.