Tag Archives: Malcolm

A Love Story

Turkish Angora Cat with Odd Eyes Poster

Paddington, the cat with the BIG personality! Here he is giving me one of his “I don’t care what you’re doing, stop everything and brush me now!” stares.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France

It’s been six years since I updated the tale of the Brothers Angora — Paddington and Bones. Where has the time gone? I’ll pick up where I left off in 2009. You can read their earlier history in the links at the bottom of this post, including newborn photos.  Cute photos!

Paddington was a very brave kitty at the vet in September 2015. On the left he waits on my lap, in the upper right he patiently endures shots and prodding. In the lower right, he explored the room. So many wonderful toys!

Paddington was a very brave kitty at the vet in September 2015. On the left he waits on my lap, in the upper right he patiently endures shots and prodding. In the lower right, he explored the room. So many wonderful toys!

In September of 2010 after a year in San Francisco with Cynthia, Paddington returned to live with us when Cynthia moved to South Korea to teach English for a couple of years.  This time, I wasn’t letting him go!

Paddington and his brother are Turkish Angora cats. Paddington was renowned for his one blue eye and one amber eye, and Bones is deaf, both are traits sometimes found in white cats.  According to descriptions about Turkish Angora cats, these cats often choose a particular member of the family to be their constant companion and are very protective of their person. This was true with Paddington.

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” ― Colette

After Paddington returned to my house to live in 2010, he was a bit standoffish, since Cynthia was his person. And he’d been a wide traveler, too, with many frequent flier miles. But he grew attached to me and soon was demanding his daily brushing.  He would follow me around and stare at me until I got the hint. Whenever I sat on the sofa, he would jump on my lap. When he wanted to be brushed, which was often, he would stretch out, placing his paws on the sofa arm.  He turned so that I brushed every section of his beautiful white fur. He especially loved to have his cheeks and neck brushed.  There was no better job than being his masseuse and groomer.

Paddington supervises my artwork as I prepare to paint an Airedale Terrier for friends.

Paddington supervises my artwork as I prepare to paint an Airedale Terrier for friends.

Paddington’s bed was next to my desk upstairs, where we had many conversations.  At night he’d always appear at my bedside as I was getting into bed.   Even when I thought Paddington was sound asleep in his bed, he’d often wake up as I passed by and dash down to my bedroom before I even got there, ready for his nightly chest rub. When I was settled in, he jumped on the bed for a nightly petting, which included a chest rub. As I rubbed his chest, he would paw the air “making biscuits.” It was so adorable!

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” ― A.A. Milne

When Paddington and Bones lived with my daughter and Cynthia in college, the brothers would hang out together, but not so much after their most recent separation.  In November 2015, Paddington started hanging out with his brother more.  One night, my daughter heard a strange yowling cough and thought the two brothers might be fighting (yes, they did get into some tussles with Paddington usually the one starting the spat), but when she went into the room, she found Paddington limp on the bed. We rushed him to an veterinary  emergency room, but he couldn’t be revived. He must have had a heart attack. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on November 18, 2015. We were in shock.  He was only eleven years old. We thought we had many more years with him. I miss that little guy so much.  So far I haven’t been able to remove his bed, which is still matted with his white fur.  There will always be a cat-shaped hole in my heart and life. Take no one for granted, not your family, nor your friends and not your little furry companions.

Paddington, left, and Bones snuggle on a bed. Though they were littermates, they couldn't be more different in personality. Paddington was the BOLD one.

Paddington, left, and Bones snuggle on a bed. Though they were littermates, they couldn’t be more different in personality. Paddington was the BOLD one.

“Animals are such agreeable friends ― they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ― George Eliot

The Brothers Angora, Chapter One

Gone to California.

Malcolm was my first love.

Malcolm is a Norwegian Forest Cat, Cat of the Vikings!


Filed under Cats, Life, Photography

Spay Day 2010 Online Pet Photo Contest

Malcolm never saw a pile of laundry he didn't want to sleep on. In his last year, he couldn't make the jump onto the bed.

Vote for Malcolm!  A $5 donation would really help the Humane Society cause.  To find out more about this contest click on the link below.  To vote for Malcolm click on the link in the upper right column. 

You can enter your own pet, too. 

via Spay Day 2010 Online Pet Photo Contest.


Filed under Animals, Cats, Pets

Malcolm is a Norwegian Forest Cat — Cat of the Vikings!

Malcolm on the Stairs
Malcolm stands here showing many of the traits of a Norwegian Forest Cat — a mane, a bushy raccoon-like tail, tufted ears and toes, very thick fur. His belly fur would drag on the ground if we didn’t trim him. He’s probably really a Maine Coon cat, but that breed likely is descended from the Norwegian Forest Cat that traveled with the Vikings to North America in the 11th century.

Malcolm doesn’t have a pedigree.  Almost eighteen years ago, he was just a fluffy stray kitten with ear mites and fleas when we chose him at Wayside Waifs, an animal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri.  Through the years, as he grew larger and fluffier, people would tell us he might be partly if not all Maine Coon Cat.  We didn’t care about breeds, though.  To us, Malcolm was one of a kind, special,  unique, in a class by himself.  We barely remember life before he joined our family.

Malcolm loves the sunshine and follows it as it moves across the floor.

Lately, though, we’ve been watching shows about the different breeds of cat. I had no idea there were so many, although still not even close to the number of dog breeds. Our daughter has a Turkish Angora (now living with us), and I knew about a few others.  

There are 80 breeds of cats recognized by one cat registry or another.  The IPCBA (International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance) recognizes 73 feline breeds, while the more conservative CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) acknowleges only 41, according to WikiAnswers.

Wikipedia says: The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural domestic cat breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.  The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 1800s, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon made a comeback and is now the second most popular cat breed in North America, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The Maine Coon is noted for its large bone structure, its rectangular body shape, and a long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colors and are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities.

One theory of the origin of the Maine Coon Cat is that it evolved from the Norwegian Forest Cats that traveled to North America with the Vikings in the 11th century.  We decided that Malcolm must be a Viking cat.  My children have one set of Norwegian great-grandparents, so this seemed the perfect origin for Malcolm. We should have named him Erik the Red!

Even in his old age, Malcolm managed to find ways to groom some of the more difficult to reach areas by propping himself against furniture.

Like the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat, long tufts of fur in ears and between toes, and a long bushy tail to protect them against the cold. They have a lion-like ruff or mane.  Their coat is fairly waterproof  because of its coarse outer layer and dense undercoat. They are very large cats with adult males weighing 13 to 22 pounds (6 to 10 kg),  while females are about half that size. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs.  Malcolm fits this description perfectly.  At his largest, he weighed 16 pounds.

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats are described as very intelligent, playful cats that enjoy human company but can get upset if left alone for a long period of time.  Malcolm would always meow very bitterly when we left him for a couple of days.  He had plenty to eat and drink, but he missed us. And we missed him.

Malcolm followed me around the house and always wanted to sit with or near me. In his later years, he slept next to me. He was my faithful companion, and when I called to him, he always answered.  Malcolm is very sick now, and has all but his tail in Valhalla. Who would have thought a little cat (ok, not so little) could steal your heart so completely? I can barely write any more about him, I’m so sad. There are tears on my keyboard.  Below is a link to a post (Good-bye, Mr. B) about another person’s tears on his keyboard over his beloved cat. (Written from the dog’s perspective.) Hold your pet close today.  I had no idea when we were recording his vacuum grooming just a few weeks ago that Malcolm would decline so quickly. (The video is on this blog.) One day he was jumping on the sofa to sit next to me, the next day he retreated to the closet and refused to eat.  Tests showed an inoperable tumor. 

Malcolm getting vacuumed.

When I took Malcolm to the vet last week, a man who had come in to ask for directions, took a look at Malcolm and said:

“Now that is a cat!”   Well said, sir!

Maine Coon Cat.

Norwegian Forest Cat.

Good-bye, Mr. B

Malcolm looks regal as he sits in one of his many favorite chairs.


Filed under Animals, Cats, Family, History, Life, Personal, Pets, Relationships

Vacuuming the Cat

Our cat Malcolm, age 17 1/2,  enjoys being vacuumed, although he’s a bit camera-shy here. (My son is wielding the vacuum here.) Usually, he rolls around in ecstasy (seen briefly in the video), making sure every part gets vacuumed.  He often presents his head to make sure his cheeks are groomed.  When much younger, Malcolm would dash away at the sound of the vacuum, the door bell, any noise at all, but now he goes with flow. 

Malcolm getting vacuumed.

Malcolm getting vacuumed.

 In this case, it’s the soothing flow of air over his luxuriously thick fur, which, as you can imagine, is all over our house. We’re so grateful he enjoys this type of grooming.


Filed under Cats, Humor, Life, Pets