The Sweet Family Cats

Last Update: 14 April 2007

Cleo arrived on 10 September 1992, about 4 months old, very thin, and totally matted with burrs and debris. We assume that someone had dropped off a whole litter along the highway, as several new calico kittens appeared in the neighborhood about the same time. She gained weight at an astounding rate to reach her adult obese state. Clarence is also a walk on. He came pushing his way through the tall grass by the creek on 22 October 1994, yowling at the top of his lungs. He was also small and thin but nothing like Cleo. He grew very slowly, to such a degree that we thought he was a midget – but no more!

Rudy arrived as our third walk-on in mid-June 2005. He was a tiny little thing and very skittish but in good physical condition. Cleo tried her best to eat him until he got too big for that, at which time she settled for chasing him into the woodpile or up a tree. Rudy and Clarence became great buddies. They would romp and play, then lie down together for a nap. Clarence seemed to be enjoying a second kittenhood until he came down with a sinus infection that would not clear up. Sadly we lost him to cancer in April 2006.

This is Cleo, the Queen of the farm, taken next to the loading dock at the warehouse, 23 February 2000. She has picked a comfy couch, eh?! Char refers to her as “Your Cat,” especially when she is being troublesome.

Photo by Pat Wilson

This is Clarence, 2 March 2000. He is sweet but just a bit thin between the ears. He is Char’s cat; he loves to sit on her lap, especially when she is knitting or working a crossword puzzle.

Photo by Pat Wilson

And here are Clarence and Cleo together! Cleo loathes and detests him so they are seldom in the same room unless on high alert. It was quite a shock to find them curled up on the same bed.

27 February 2000.

Here Cleo assumes a more scenic pose on the fence that goes around our house.

27 May 2000.

Clarence on the rug in the library, taken with a flash. Check out those eyes!!

19 September 2003.

Rudy on 20 June 2005, a couple of days after he arrived, peering up over the steps to the woodshed. He lived in the woodshed the first couple of weeks and sought refuge there from Cleo for the next year.

Rudy on 5 July 2005, just now becoming approachable. He would not allow anyone to get near him for the first week or so. Then one could get close only by sitting next to his food dish and refusing to move.

Rudy with Char, also on 5 July 2005. She is meeting him for the first time, having just returned from a cross-country trip.

Rudy and Clarence, resting next to the heat register after a hard romp. Clarence was just starting to get sick at this time. Sniffles and a nasal discharge were the only outward signs of a tumor in his upper sinuses.
9 January 2006

Click here for a short video clip of Rudy and Clarence. [750 kB] With a dial-up connection it is probably best to right click the link, save the video to your hard drive and play it from there.

Rudy on the bed, 24 June 2006, just over a year old. This photo won a ribbon in the pets category at the Highland County Fair.

Click here for a short video clip of Rudy at play. [250 kB] This is very low resolution but it’s a quick download, even with dial-up, and gives the flavor of his antics.

Rudy with Char, 27 June 2006. He has now taken over Clarence’s job of helping Char with her reading and crossword puzzles.

Rudy in the pear tree, 16 February 2006. He enjoys climbing the tree but there is a particular reason for him to spend so much time up there, illustrated in the photo at right:   Cleo, 11 July 2006.

Cleo catching some rays on a fall afternoon. She was showing no sign of illness at this time but a few weeks later she began to breathe with a raspy sound. In early December she was diagnosed with a malignant growth on her hard palate.

18 October 2006.

Cleo asleep in her favorite cold-weather spot in the house — the stair landing leading to the basement where heat rises from the wood stove. We brought her home from the hospital on 8 December. Her cancer was deemed to be untreatable.

14 December 2006.

Rudy watching over Cleo in the library. They were never friends but seemed to have reached a measure of rapport as Cleo weakened.

24 December 2006.

Cleo still enjoyed lying in my lap and being petted right up to the end. She was not well but still doing OK at Christmas, so we considered her continued presence a great Christmas present.

24 December 2006.

Cleo with John and Char on her last day. She had been going out on errands every day and seemed engaged in life but by now she had lost half her body weight and was clearly winding down.     19 January 2007.

Our first cat was Nuisance, our barn cat. He was about a year old and came with the farm when we bought it in 1988. He lived in the barn and visited the warehouse but he never came into the house — we tried it once; he was terrified. He was named by Velma Dawson for his insistence on always being underfoot. He died on 14 December 2001 after a bout with cancer.
Left photo, 7 January 2001.     Right photo, 14 November 2001.

Born   1994
Died 15 April 2006

Born   1992
Died 19 January 2007