Perhaps, like me, you work from home with a dubious tuxedoed assistant. Or, you repress conflicting emotions as your cute tabbycat bats another stack of quilting squares to the floor. I understand. As I’m writing this, a slinky mini-leopard swats the buckle on my sandal. Upstairs a bell jingles, signaling the movements of the dense one as he sneaks into my sock drawer once again. Sweet, timid eyes peek out from under the bed across the hall. Yes, I share my lap, my computer desk, my art studio and my constant stream of commentary with three – until very recently four – monster cats.

I find wisdom, or at least entertainment, in each kernel of my monsters’ mischevious behavior. Unlike your coworkers, I want to hear how Suzie reaches her latest perching place on top of the bedroom door! I’m here to tell you, “fly your feline freak flag high.” When you do, it’s cool with me.

I’ve got cats: the dense one, the tiny one, the classic cats. Let me introduce you.


The Classic Cats
I’ll start with Odessa and Yantar – the classics, deemed such because they are old timers and, well, one is black and white like a Turner Classic Movie. These two began life on the rough streets of NYC. After years leading the transient feral-cat life, they settled into our Brooklyn co-op. Eventually they sought a quieter existence and took the 15 hour car ride to Missouri (that was tough).


AKA: My Sweet Odessa, Odessacat, OD, Oddycat, Groddy Oddy, Grotessa.
Odessa always greeted newcomers with her crow-like voice, cackling out sweet hellos. Although social, she avoided laps and merely tolerated pets. As the years went on, though, her standoffishness turned into lap cuddles. This last December, fifteen year old Odessa succumbed to cancer and journeyed over the rainbow bridge. As a reformed grumpster, Odessa gave me plenty of life lesson fodder, and I plan to forever memorialize her here.


AKA: Yanni, Yantar, Yannicat, Cuddle Puddle, and Golden Boy
Sporting the tell-tale clipped ear, Yanni can be found on the cat tree or under the bed. Although he’ll bravely watch the loud garbage trucks from the back window, he can’t quite escape his feral fearfulness. If your footsteps clack too loudly or your sneeze erupts too abruptly, he’ll run or duck or cower. Despite his flight instinct, he is the sweetest most lovable creature and gives great headbutts.

Odessa and Yanni have given me opportunities to exercise patience, kindness, and love. These classic cats are just the beginning. Last year, we added two kittens to the mix!  

When I draw any cat, I imagine unique personalities, so before I introduce you to the real troublemakers, I want to hear about your fur-babies. What’s your cat’s biggest personality trait? Is she obsessed with a certain stuffed mouse toy or does he sleep on top of your stinkiest sneakers? Tell me their names and a little story in the comments below.

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