Catherine Ebenezer
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Name: Solo (she was an only kitten)
Latin name: Felis sola ambulans
Motto: My trust is in God alone
(she used to spend most of her life in my study, where all my theology books were)
Born: July 1995
Coat: short haired, ginger and white
: friends of neighbours, as a seven-week-old kitten
Disposition: gentle, sweet-natured, timid; affectionate in an elusive sort of way; described by my former vet as a "very civilised pussycat" - as she was such a good patient
Voice: infrequent, plaintive miaow
Purr: very loud, resonant contralto
Likes : sleeping in her cat's cradle, snuggles with humans, shoelaces, humans' feet, computers, books, nocturnal prowls in the road, playing hard to get.
Dislikes: other cats, cuddles, laps
Opinions of other cats:
Harvey: Barrow-boy in tiger stripes. Unspeakably awful creature
[Niko: Little squirt (she doesn't know about the convention de mortuis nihil nisi bonum ...)]

06/12 I recently came back from five days away to find that she had suddenly developed a large solid immobile lump on the back of her neck. This was removed by the vet and subsequently identified as vaccine-associated spindle cell sarcoma ; rather a shock. The prognosis for her is poor, as not only does this type of tumour have a 60-70% recurrence rate within months, but she was also diagnosed as having renal disease, as yet relatively mild. However she has made a very good recovery from the surgery and appears to be settling into her new home in Nantwich as well as the 'established' cats willl allow.

17/09/21 The vet informed me today that the sarcoma has unfortunately returned. She advised against further surgery in view of Solo's co-existing renal disease. Given how aggressive this tumour is, it is likely that she will have to be put to sleep within weeks. I am devastated.

Solo on the ironing board
Click on the pawprint to send me a message!
Harvey on his favourite chair Name: Harvey (after a character in the film Reservoir Dogs; he had been found wandering in a street called Reservoir Close in Thornton Heath). Should perhaps have been named Dennis the Menace, for obvious reasons (see below)
Latin name: Striatus bellicosus
Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit
Born: February 2000
Coat: short haired, mackerel tabby with white throat, chest and paws
Provenance: Croydon Cats Protection, as a seven-month-old juvenile delinquent.
Disposition: amiable thug; very streetwise; can charm the socks off my friends and neighbours, but generally lacks subtlety; has a very high opinion of himself and thinks he is Top Cat. Spends much of his time outside in the summer months. Has numerous local admirers. Has mellowed considerably in recent years, and become very much a lap cat, but is still capable of 'petting and biting' and being temperamental..
Voice: a piercing yelp; doesn't really miaow as such; also chirrups; makes snickering noises when annoyed.
Purr: rough baritone
Likes : chasing other cats, bird watching, stuffing his face, the armchair in my study, laps, beds. Used to like playing with Niko (face-washing turned to ear- chewiing and then to all-in wrestling ...).
Dislikes: being stared at by admirers; the vet; being put in his basket
Opinions of other cats:
Solo: Desiccated old stick
[Niko: Nice lad but a bit of a runt]
Click on the pawprint to send me a message!
Name: Magpie (obvious from the colouring: one of our family dog's puppies had been called Magpie)
Latin name: Pica loquax
Born: December 1999
Coat: long haired, black and white
Provenance: Croydon Animal Samaritans, as a two-year old. She had recently had kittens. She, they and other relatives had been rescued from a squalid flat in Tower Hamlets.
Disposition: affectionate, assertive, demanding, very talkative; uncompromisingly expects humans to understand cat language; surprisingly diffident with visitors.
Voice: melodious, expressive conversational miaow
Purr: soft and unvoiced; often miaows and purrs at the same time
Likes: cuddles, climbing on humans' shoulders, pawing humans in bed, sleeping on my duvet, bird watching
Dislikes:  Rough games with other cats
Opinions of other cats:
Solo: Stuck-up Battersea yuppie; who does she think she is?
Harvey: Waster; nothing but trouble
[Niko: Quite a sweet boy - when he's not chasing me for fun!]

07/02/07 At the end of July 2006, during the very hot weather, Magpie was hit by a car in the road and suffered a fractured pelvis and severe damage to her tail, which subsequently turned necrotic and had to be amputated. The accident also left her with a degree of urinary incontinence, for which she received acupuncture treatment from Alistair Greenway BVM MRCVS.
02/08 Sadly, although she improved for a while, this problem recurred, and she developed a proneness to constipation and diarrhoea. In consequence she became difficult to look after, and when I was due to move to North Yorkshire and needed to rent accommodation I felt I had to re-home her. She is now at the Retreat Animal Rescue in Crockenhill, Kent. I miss her dreadfully, though I receive news of her regularly; she is apparently very well cared for and greatly loved.
Magpie in bed






Niko in the kitchen

Name: Niko (after a favourite cat of my sister's who died a few years ago)
Latin name: Striatus laetus
Motto: Amor vincit omnia
Signature tune: Food, glorious food!
Born: June 2003  Put to sleep: 17th September 2010. RequiesCat. Dreadfully missed.
Coat: short haired, spotted tabby with white throat
Provenance: Croydon Animal Samaritans , at four months old. He and his sister had been abandoned and left to starve. Very sadly she subsequently died of the effects of cat 'flu.

Niko was happy and well until the summer of 2010, when he became less active, went off his food, stopped washing himself, and developed a persistent sneeze. His condition failed to respond to antibiotics; it was eventually diagnosed as chronic upper respiratory tract disease, with consequent osteomyelitis of the turbinate (nasal and facial) bones; these were sequelae of him also having contracted 'flu as a kitten. His condition deteriorated rapidly at the end. I interred his ashes in the garden of my rented house in Stokesley, with suitable ceremony (one of Andrew Linzey's rites).

Disposition: gentle, affectionate, playful; had very well-developed inter-feline skills -- even Solo tolerated him (see above) and was once observed to sniff his nose, even. Allowed me to hold him in my arms like a baby. Had a strong claim to being the soppiest cat in the entire universe! Was initially very nervous of strange humans, but became confident and sociable with visitors. Comically and obsessively greedy, hence could not be allowed in the kitchen at mealtimes. The sweetest boy in the world ... I still miss him ...