Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave to the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
— Mark Twain
Imagine Harry lying cold, alone, and flat on his back as the sky darkened over him. Could he feel the darkness he couldn’t see? His sister, Wilhelmina, was she nearby? Did they nuzzle together crying for their mother?
On or about the morning of July 26, 2015, they were found on a front lawn in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The duo was rushed to a rescuer, who did the unbelievable job of keeping them alive. The rescuer told her mother, who lives in Columbus, about the kittens and her mother told me. That is how Harry and Wilhelmina came to live at the Prairie house.
While both kittens are of unknown heritage, they each exhibit unique characteristics of particular cat breeds.
Harry is a bobtail. Cat fanciers describe bobtails as playful, energetic, and friendly, possessing an uncanny intelligence and demanding of attention. Harry acts more like a dog than a cat. He’s responsive and loves to be picked up and turned on his back like a baby. I dug out the old arm sling and carried him around so I could get something done. Harry is bigger now but still climbs up my leg whining to be picked up.
Bobtails develop slowly, taking sometimes two to three years to mature. Their feet are large and have tufts of hair between the toe pads. His hind legs are longer than the front giving him a rabbit-like appearance. He weighs over six pounds now.
Stories of the bobtail’s heritage are conflicting. Some say perhaps a mix between a bobcat and a domestic cat. Somewhere around 1969 serious breeders started breeding bobtails. Parents with bobtails often have kittens with bobtails. At first I was scared to touch Harry’s tail thinking it might hurt. As Harry grows the tail looks more like a plume.
On the other hand Wilhelmina is small and has the coloration of a Siamese, called “point coloration.” Animals other than cats can have point coloration, horses can.
The coloration is a partial albinism trait. The body is pale and the extremities, like ears, face, feet, tail, are darker. The darker parts correspond to the cooler parts of the body. Siamese kittens are born white; they are slender, muscular, intelligent, and social with people as well as other cats. They remain playful well into adulthood.
The breed originated in Thailand, formerly Siam. The first ever documented Siamese in America was in 1879 when the American Consul-General in Bangkok gave a Siamese kitten to President Rutherford B. Hayes. President Hayes named him Siam.
If left alone Siamese will get depressed — they enjoy company even if it’s just to watch them sleep. They often bond with one family member, which in our case is Sam.
Wilhelmina is most contented when perched on the couch’s armrest. She cuddles up to Sam’s hand which is holding the T.V. remote.
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