They now number 3, which is down from 5 just two years ago.
That's what happens when you adopt several cats in successive years, and they start getting older.
Meet the feline pride of the cottage.
Emma is the oldest, but only a few months older than the next in line.
Most of the time, a visitor to the cottage - unless VERY well known - never even knows Emma exists.
Emma is not terribly social. She is not anti-social per se, she's just very selective about who she rubs elbows, knees, ankles or other body parts with.
Emma will be 13 next spring. I adopted her from our local no-kill shelter when she was about 8 months old.
Emma's nickname is The Comfort Queen.
That's because ever since she was a tiny little thing, she has spent her days scoping out the most comfortable spot - depending on season of the year, plushness of fabric, and attractiveness of scenery - planning her days around locations for her serial naps. Generally speaking, Emma is a very easy cat to be around.
However, one should not interrupt one of Emma's naps. When it is time, she will awaken, and nibble on some kibble, go to the ladies' room, or do her chores.
Her chores consist of checking out her other chosen napping locations to see if Stoney or Tigger are in them, and if so, chasing them out of said locations, even if she is not scheduled to nap there just yet.
The only solid guarantee you have of getting Emma's attention is to let her hear you lift the ring tab on a can of cat food.
I think Emma is beginning to show signs of a touch of arthritis, and have taken some of her favorite napping fabrics to locate them closer to the floor for her. She has not indicated any gratitude for this, but uses them anyway.
One of her less endearing traits is the thing she has about the vet's office.
She doesn't have to be the one who went. Anyone who comes back from the vet smells like *that place* and must be hissed at for a minimum of 48 hours.
If it is Emma who went to the vet, then SHE smells like *that place* and everyone - most especially me - must be hissed at for as long as she stays pissed about it.
Stoney is next oldest. He will be 13 next summer, and I adopted him at the same time I adopted Emma.
So here we were, with these two kittens, 5 and 8 months old, and trying to pick out names for them.
My son was 15 at the time and wanted to name the male cat Stoner.
I was not calling the vet to ask for an appointment for Stoner, so Adam had to compromise.
Bless his heart...Stoney is one of the most neurotic cats I've ever met. I think his mother must have stood up during the birthing process and he whacked his little punkin head on the floor.
After almost 13 years in the same house, Stoney still jumps - staight up - if he is standing by the A/C unit when it kicks on. Then, he runs over to a vent and sniffs the air coming out of it, looking as if he thinks someone must be pumping mustard gas into the house.
When he was a kitten, he was so twitchy I took him to the vet to see if we could do something. One half a tab of Elavil (a tri-cyclic antidepressant) was prescribed, but it just zoned him out, and he would sit hunkered on the floor, not giving a shit that Emma was hissing at him.
Not giving a shit about anything. It was horrible. He had three doses of it, and I called the vet and said I was just gonna deal with a neurotic cat.
Stoney has two favorite games - one of which can only be played in the morning while I am in the shower. He runs from the living room, slides across the kitchen floor and rolls up the rug runner in the hallway outside the bathroom, so I am sure to cuss when I trip on it and he can have a good laugh.
The other is the flashlight game, and he never tires of it. I get out the flashlight and he chases the light around. He particularly loves to go around and around in circles, because I think he gets off on being dizzy at the end...whoa, what a head rush...
Stoney also has pica and eats anything that resembles a string, so no fringed rugs here, and I have to cut the tails off the toy mice...
Of all the cats, Stoney is the one who is the most concerned about the others, and will alert me if he thinks something is wrong.
Tigger is the last cat who was added to the pride, and he picked us.
He was one of the dozens of feral kittens from the colony we had in the neigborhood before I convinced a trap/neuter/release program to work out here. One of my neighbors and I were feeding the colony. Tig would follow me up on the porch after I fed them, and started trying to run in the door with me.
I gave up, crated and vetted him, and brought him inside when he was about 3 months old. He will be 10 next spring.
Tig is the most gregarious of all the cats. He personally greets every visitor.
He's also a non-stop talker with me. He sits on the closed toilet in the mornings while I shower and talks to me while I am in there. If I do not answer him promptly, the shower curtain gets parted by a little orange head, and green eyes stare reproachfully at me.
I guess he's checking to make sure I'm still alive.
Tig is also the most dog-like cat I've ever had for a companion, and he comes when he's called, talking all the way.
Tig and Stoney hang out fairly well together, and at times, seem to compete with each other for attention, food or toys.
I cannot imagine not having companion animals in my life.
The journey is good.