On a side note, cats get red-eye in pictures, too, and I don't know how to get rid of it cuz half the time it's yellow instead of red. So several of the pictures have weird eyes.

Ahhh, Checkers. Named for her black and white coloring by my father. Of all the cats we've ever had, she is the one who's truly "mine." I'm generally the only one allowed to touch her, especially when she's outside. I've been able to lure her inside a few times, when it's cold out. Others can leave food for her, and might be allowed to run their hands down her back once if she's too busy chowing down to notice. But she comes when I call her. She trots over to me. She rubs against my knees. True, it's usually because she wants food (evidenced by her trying to bite my knee or elbow - that's how I know she's hungry :-P ), or because it's hot and she wants to get the loose fur off of her and onto my jeans. Or because it's cold and I'm warm. But she is closer to me than to any other human, and that is a result of me sitting out in the cold to just talk to her. I'm very proud of my work with her and would be ecstatic if she ever came inside and sat down willingly. It's taken years to get to the point where she'll even eat in the hallway with the door propped open, and if she ever does stay inside willingly, it'll be because of me. She really is my cat.

Sitting on the grass as I first approached her

"Hey, you just gonna stand there, or you gonna feed me?"

"Hello, food, any day now..."

"If I rub against your leg a few times, will you feed me?"

"Quit trying to get me to look at this square thing."

"Can I eat that?"

She managed to get fur all over my knee, seen in the corner of this shot.

"Hmm, she's coming toward me again, maybe she's got food this time..."

"C'mon, you gotta have some food somewhere."

"Fine, if you don't have food, I'll drink some water."

"You gonna stand there and point that thing at me all day?"

"You're gettin' on my last nerve, kid..."

"Get out of here so I can sleep already!"

"Hey, what's that?"


"More food! I love you!"

Lucky is the oddball in that she's the only one we didn't inherit. The others are all neighborhood strays that we started feeding. And everyone knows that once you feed a cat, it always comes back, so we were stuck with them. We adopted Lucky from a local vet at the start of either seventh or eighth grade. We named her Lucky because she looked like Mom's old cat, who was named (who'da thunk it?) Lucky. The current Lucky used to be a tiny little thing with big ears and long, thin legs. Then she realized if she ate fast, she could eat everyone's food. And now she is a big, fat cat. She is pushy and intelligent, and rather dog-like, in my opinion. If you are too lazy to bend down to pet her, she'll sit back on her hind paws and lean her front paws on your leg to push her little head against your hand. She's very friendly to strangers, especially if they'll pet her, and even knows that she looks cute if she rolls on her back, so she does that if you're not paying enough attention to her. She can be quite the clown, and a sweetheart, if she wants to be.

"Aren't I cute? Doncha just want to pet me and love me and, most importantly, feed me?"

"If you're not gonna do any of that, at least let me into the bathroom? Remember, I'm CUTE!" (She has an odd obsession with the bathroom upstairs...)

"Can I go downstairs?"

"If you're not gonna pet me, I'm gonna go stand over there."

"Is that movement by the door? Someone who I can run past while they leave the door open?"

"C'mon, don't just stand there, do something already."

"At least let me rub against your hand."

"Or let me sit in your lap?"

"Yum, that floor tasted good." (Yes, she'd just finished sniffing and/or licking something off the floor >.< )

"Fine, I'll let you get a shot of my eyes."

"And one of my fat belly."

"PPLLEEAASSEE lemme in the bathroom????"

Puffy is a beautiful cat, but one who has absolutely no brains. When he was a kitten, he was a puff-ball. Hence, the name. Part Siamese, he's got the nicest dark blue eyes (that don't come out on film, unfortunately). He's also afraid of his own shadow, humans, and camera flashes, among other things. I don't really have much to say about him cuz he usually hides under the coffee table whenever I go upstairs

"People, flashing lights, ACK!"

"I'm looking for something and meowing my head off, leave me alone!"

"Not the light again!"

"Cat on a mission..."

"Oooh, nice chair leg to rub against..."

"Let me back upstairs?"


"I know I'm always yowling to get down, but now I want to be back upstairs..."

"I'm too stupid to know that I can nudge the door open with my thick skull, please open it for me."

"Oooh, another nice thing to rub against..."

Sandy is also named for her coloring, and like Puffy, is part Siamese. She's a bit dopey, but not as flat-out dumb as Puffy is. She's the cat I mentioned last week when we removed a tumor from her ear. She's perfectly fine now, and probably either napping on my parents' bed or drinking water - she's like a sponge. We think she's probably got diabetes on top of everything else. But she's hanging tough, and my father's spoiling her rotten in her old age.

Sandy, looking silly as usual.

"Oh, no, not him again..."

A lovely view of Sandy's de-tumorized ear.

"Pet me, feed me, give me water."

"Lose the flash so I can sleep, eh?"

"Leave. Now."

Cutie, aka Cute Stuff. Hey, I was like five when I named her. She doesn't like cameras, so I spared her tonight. Just one picture of her back. She did see the flash and hear the camera and nearly panicked, but I calmed her down. Cutie was born a feral cat, and lived outside for quite a while. But then we started getting the cats to come inside and sleep on the steps when it was cold. That was back in the days of Blackie and Tiger. (Randomly, Checkers loved Blackie. She shadowed him, unless he got too close to us. She also chased poor old Tiger, who I loved. Blackie loved food. He was the fattest cat I've ever owned.) Cutie was the only one who'd come inside during the summer, too. Then, around four or five years ago, she started sneaking into the main part of the house. She'd sit on the couch and not bother anyone. Then she worked her way into the bedrooms, and now she's got the run of the house. Lately, she's been on my bed a lot, mostly because Sandy's been on my parents' bed. She's probably more intelligent than even Lucky. She knows the house, knows how to get us to give her food, pet her, or let her out. She knows she's not supposed to "go" indoors, and meows to be let out. If she isn't, she always uses the same corner of the house. She doesn't like strangers, gardeners, vacuums, or cameras. Her favorite place to sleep is mom's lap, but she has her other spots. She is the darling of the house, and probably the cat I'm closest to. Yes, Checkers is more mine, but Cutie's the one who sleeps on my bed, and in my life every day. I know just how to get her to move so I can make my bed under and around her. When I point somewhere, she'll look where I'm pointing instead of at my finger, like most cats would. She's really my baby.

"Let me sleep. If you take a picture, I'm gonna freak, you know I will. Don't do it...don't do it..." *click* "Aww, crap, she did it." *flee*

And those are my kitties.

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