On this page:
Mayhem and Mischief
On other pages:
|Minou the Merciless||September 1989||October 1989||February 1992|
|Lynx||October 1991||March 1992||January 1993|
|Two cats - Puzzle and Puss||?1994;||October 1997|
|Saffy||?1994||1998 (by H)||2005|
|Puss||?1994||October 1997||June 2007|
|Sambo (and more about Puss)||2007||June 2007 for three weeks||We're sure he's living happily somewhere|
|Puzzle||?1994||October 1997||July 2008|
Lots more pix where these came from!
(They're linked to larger versions on Flickr.)
Puzzle was with us for nearly 12 years, and it was very sad to lose her. After the awful experience of having to return Sambo, we didn't want to rush into anything. On the other hand, we were constantly reminded of Puzzle and missed her terribly.
After nearly a month of mourning, Dac started researching possible new cats. He really wanted kittens, and I really didn't. He thought it might be nice to have Tonkinese kittens (here's the relevant breeder's page, with many gorgeous pictures) and I agreed to see them, so one August Saturday we headed off to the breeder's farm. The Tonkinese cats and kittens were absolutely gorgeous, but even the breeder could see I'd have problems with them. They're so friendly that they want to go everywhere with you - every step you take. She could envisage (as I could) my going base over apex every five minutes.
For me, the other strong argument against pedigrees is that there are so many perfectly fine moggies needing a home. So I started researching possible new cats too, talking first to our vet, as I vowed to do last year. The staff gave me the names and numbers of cat adoption people and I also looked online. That's where I came across CARA (Companion Animal Rescue & Adoption Inc) who were offering a 6-month-old brother and sister ("Buddha" and "Mitzi") on their website.
My experience of Australian websites (including, of course, my own) is that they're rarely updated, so I didn't hold out much hope that these cats would still be available. I'd emailed Dac at work about them, though, and he rang the contact person straight away. The cats were still there. So at the first possible opportunity (Caturday 23 August 2008) we set off for the rural property where they were living, to have a look at them.
It was a foregone conclusion, really. Even though they ran away and hid, and even though they were a bit younger than I'd have liked, "Buddha" and "Mitzi" seemed to be just what we needed. As they're brother and sister, they will get along, and keep each other company. As they're a boy and a girl, they won't get in each other's way (or so we have been told). Even though they are stick-tailed cats rather than shushy-tailed cats as we've always had in the past, they are very beautiful: sleek and seal-like, with a good habit of b-i-i-i-i-i-g stretches, reminding me to join them.
Some new lil fiends have come to live here. They are 6 months old and quite small and silly. You can't tell how small they are from the photos. "Mitzy's" tail is longer than her body. "Buddha" is almost as big as our late cats, so I suspect he's going to be huge.
Brian has been round and given them the seal of approval. (He got them to come out from under my bed, for instance.)
We are going to give them different names when we know what they need to be called. At the moment I'd like to call "Mitzy" Mr Whippy because of her tail.
She's currently going around the house familiarising herself with stuff. Every so often there's a crash - washing basket off the washing machine, etc.
"Buddha" is still mostly hiding. I think he thinks there's a big cat somewhere in this house waiting to get him. He has a Maurice-Chevalier-like moustache - actually, it's more of a Groucho-Marx-like moustache, so perhaps I don't have to call him Maurice after all.
They can jump onto the kitchen bench without any effort whatsoever. At the moment they're not speaking to me because I sprayed them for doing so.
H> Are they using that bloody cat castle?
They are indeed, but mostly as a stepping stone to sitting on top of the records. :-/
Apart from their excessive liveliness esp at 2 in the morning (which fortunately I often don't hear over the roaring of the CPAP machine) they are absolutely beeeeeautiful.
H> I take it that the "Mitzy" is Dac's and "Buddha" is yours??
Neither of them is either of ours yet.
The boy is much more reserved than the girl, who has already been pronounced a floozy by Brian.
H> They look very nice! You do like a worried-looking puss, don't you?!
Also he has the most wonderful black bars on his back. And he is going to be huge and vast.
H> Chloe suggested "Zorro" as a possible name for Mitzy, cos of her mask.
For the same reason, I'd suggested "Die Fledermaus" [and "Mascara"]. Dac was underwhelmed. I think Chloe's suggestion is good. Maybe Zhora, to be gender-specific. Whomnose.
After they'd been here a month, and were champing at the bit to see the outside world, we had to get them nametags, so we had to reach a decision about their names. Mayhem and Mischief certainly suited them at that stage. Since they've been able to go outside during the day and out to the cat cage at night, they're not wrecking the joint as vigorously, I'm pleased to report.
We also call them Big Puss and Little Puss, and Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat. I thought I'd call Mischief "Missy" more, but I mostly call her "Squeaky" because of her little voice.
They're still disarmingly zany, and very clever - perhaps the cleverest cats we've had. They actually nick things. Mayhem will nick anything in a plastic bag (this is how they came to make their first nest with my feather boa, which they removed from a box and unwrapped under my bed) and Mischief will just take anything. I lost a day's compartment of tablets for 24 hours once. A toe-guard turned up with the side bitten out of it. Pens and pencils have vanished without a trace. She tried to help me draw the 2008 Christmas letter by absconding with my pastels. I kept having to get them out of her mouth.
Cats make me grateful. They provide beauty, intrigue, variety and entertainment in exchange for basic maintenance. And they purr.
Long live Mayhem and Mischief!
Original version of this page created 8 October 1995; last updated 21 December 2008