Tiny enough to fit in the palm of his hand, Bhava found her way into my husband, Robert’s life and heart in May of 1994, a few months before he and I met. She was humorously possessive of him in the beginning and would passionately swat at him when we’d leave on a date or even when he went to work for the day. She actually urinated on me a couple of times while I was sleeping so I loved to joke that she must have been his wife in another life. It seemed her world was perfect if she and Robert could spend all their time together without company; especially other animals. So her curmudgeonly attitude came quite natural to her.
A native Californian, this 6 week old, longhaired grey Maine Coon hailed from the streets of Orange County and was delivered on my doorstep in 1987 by a dear friend who knew I wanted a cat. They called him Smokey. As my first pet as an adult and having just returned from a six week singing engagement in Osaka Japan, I promptly renamed him “Ichi” meaning first or one in Japanese.
Always the calm, wise-one, Ichi’s strong, observant personality came with an air of controlled defiance from the very start. One of his distinctive qualities was his chronic ability to keep the upper hand on every situation, which stayed with him throughout his sixteen-year life.
Floyd, aka “Skinny”
Gazelle-like, thin and an amazing jumper, this outdoor short-haired grey bullet appeared on our street shortly after we entered into the new millennium. The game-changer, hero of our story was initially not a hands-on cuddle-bunny by any means. It took a bit of time for him to warm-up to the idea of humans, but warm-up he did—ten times over and then some. A great teacher by example, his peacekeeper personality showed us the way to warm up even the most hardened of hearts.
As his name implies, Romeo (Floyd’s littermate), is comfortable on just about anyone’s doorstep. He’s also earned the official title of “greeter” on our little street, predictably awaiting returning neighbors from anything from errands to late evening dinners. His loveable welcomes are customarily rewarded with a well-deserved tummy-rub and although a people-loving feline, Romeo has a territorial instinct and discerning jurisdiction about what other felines earn admission into the BACG.
Demure with a sweet disposition, Sasha wandered into the neighborhood from an unknown place. A cat anyone could instantly love, given the opportunity, and a favorite of Skinny’s, she promptly earned her position in the BACG. Sadly her time with us was short but she will always be remembered in the hearts of those that knew her.
An after-the-fact addition to the BACG, Maddie is a strong-willed tuxedo cat that also hails from the unknown. As an older gentleman and after enduring the adversity of living on the street, he successfully navigated his way to our front garden. With an injured, blinded eye and a demeanor indicative of having lost a loving owner, we adopted him as our own and he dwells in the safe haven of our fenced in back yard as another official member of the BACG.
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