The Family Cats

  Owl looking elegant, as usual.  
Gandalf, having his first driving lesson.


Owl was born in 1994 to feral cats in our back yard in San Jose. We took her in and gave her a home. Over several years, we found homes for all of the kittens born in the colony and trapped and "fixed" most of the adults. She was named by our daughter Alison, who was then 4, because the spots on the kittens belly reminded her of spotted owls. Owl is always a lady - delicate and reserved. She sleeps with the kids at night and is quick to come to their side if they are upset.We had a companion for her, another of the feral kittens, who was named Pussycat because she was so friendly from the start. Pussycat was the first in the litter to come up and greet you when you walked in the door. We named her that even before we knew we would keep her, so the connection to Edward Lear's poem is coincidental.  Unfortunately, Pussycat was hit by a car on our street in September, 2000. We took her to the vet, knowing that there was nothing they could do but put her out of her pain. That was when we got......


Gandalf was wrapped in a towel and being held by the person who had rescued him that morning as an abandoned kitten. He needed a home and the finder couldn't keep him. The humane society wouldn't take him because he was less than a month old. Alison was in tears from just losing Pussycat when I joined her in the car with a little ball of grey fluff. Our feral kitten experience helped us nurture and gentle him as he grew...and grew...and grew. In a year, he grew from 10 1/2 ounces to 10 1/2 pounds.

When he arrived, we were right in the middle of Tolkein's Return of the King and had just read the previous two in the series, so "Gandalf the Grey" was fresh in our minds. He doesn't resemble that literary character in anything but color, though. We say now that we should have named him "Fido" instead. He meets us everyday at the door and rolls on his back to have his belly rubbed by our feet. He growls instead of hissing. My niece even got him to chase a stick and bring it back to her. 

bathcat This is a cat who knows where to bathe.