Welcome to my page. It is dedicated not only to all those of you wise enough to realise that your lives are not complete unless at least one cat is sharing it, but also to those who have at least had the commonsense and foresight to bring another species, other than their own, into their homes.
On my page you will firstly see some photographs of other cats who have trained Ann in how to become a fully functioning cat person. For all but four years of her life, there has always been at least one cat keeping her in order.
This quite remarkable jet black cat was orphaned, along with her 5 siblings, at the tender age of two weeks, when her mother was run over by a farm tractor. Back in 1960 there was a distinct lack of proprietary foods for kittens this young and Ann's mother (Ann being a small child at the time) fed her on glucose and warm milk dispensed from a doll's feeding bottle and then a spoon, which Penny would pat away when she had had enough. She rapidly learned to feed herself, weaned herself, caught on to the function of a dirt box immediately, was scrupulously groomed at all times - and was a deadly accurate killer of mice and anything else she could lay her paws on.
She passed away peacefully at the ripe old age of 19.
Jennie (1979-1995) and Jo (1979-1988)
Twin boys (yes, really!) Jennie and Jo were semi-feral tabbies born on a Yorkshire farm and livery stable. Jo was noted for his inability to make his mind up and penchant for falling off things. Jennie (named after Paul Gallico's feline heroine Jennie Baldrin in his book 'Jennie') was a strong, warm hearted cat of generous spirit who would emit a deep, rumbling purr if you so much as looked in his direction.
Sadly, Jo contracted a form of feline AIDS and died at the age of nine while Jennie lived happily to the respectable age of 16.
Lucy (1995-1998) and Mimi (1995- )
Now we come to my sister and me. We were born on a smallholding in East Yorkshire in the middle of a wine and cheese party.
Our mother, Woodbine (Woody to her friends), decided that a particular outbuilding would be just right to birth her six kittens and promptly lay down and proceeded to do so. Unfortunately this was just as guests were due to arrive for an August Bank Holiday wine tasting. As anyone knows, you don't move a cat who is giving birth, so the guests just had to step over her. She didn't mind and my sister (a tabby) and I (a tortoiseshell) entered this world, along with another tabby, a black and white female and two ginger boys. Our father was a peripatetic ginger tom.
My sister, Lucy, was always very precocious and also bossed me around quite a lot but it was very sad when she contracted a nasty - and ultimately fatal - liver disease. The marvellous local vet did everything he could to save her - and her brave spirit and outgoing personality endeared her to everyone, as she refused to give up her fight for life. Sadly, the challenge was too much, even for her and when Ann returned from the vet without her, I made it quite clear that I would not tolerate any competition.
As a result, I am now the sole cat in charge, and that's the way it's going to stay!