Old Friends: The Cats
1982 to 2005
The Scary Monsters page, a small photo gallery of our dogs and cats, has been a regular feature on my web site for over ten years. When our dog Polly passed away in September 2012 I started thinking about adding a section including not just our current batch of pets, but our dearly departed cats and dogs of years gone by. When Pookie passed away in April 2013 I decided it was time to make it a project, so I started browsing through the thousands of pet photos stored on my hard drive.
Looking through folder after folder of pictures dating back to 1982, I was struck by the number of photos (some good and some not so good) of two or more pets together. These cats and dogs, growing up together, hung out and ate and cuddled and slept and played and, in every sense of the word, lived together. In some of these photos you can see how these animals became old friends. That's where the title of this photo gallery, "Old Friends", comes from.
This page covers only the cats. I have a lot more pictures of the dogs, in the Old Friends: The Dogs page.
Ragmop (the larger cat laying down), later known as Ancient Kitty, was my first cat. Skitzy, the skinnier cat in the back, was my second. For nine years these two cats and I lived in a small apartment in Pennsylvania. This picture was taken in 1986 when Skitzy was still a kitten. I think she's just about to pounce on Ragmop's tail.
Ragmop and Skitzy were the original Old Friends. They were always together. I was never able to catch it on camera, but they frequently played a game where both would face each other a few inches apart, rise up on their hind legs, bat at each other with their front paws furiously for a few seconds as if they were in some sort of deadly boxing match, then suddenly stop and sit down and start cleaning themselves nonchalantly. It was really funny to watch.
When she was about 14 years old Ragmop developed a large tumor in her head and passed away. Skitzy and I were both saddened by that, so I went out and got a new kitten, originally named Boudiccea but soon renamed Kinten. Kinten and Skitzy instantly became the closest of cat buddies. Kinten, being a kitten, pounced and ambushed and attacked Skitzy at every opportunity, but Skitzy patiently put up with all of it. This photo and the next one were taken in 1994 when Kinten was still very young.
Here are Kinten and Skitzy eating together. I know, not a very good picture, but it brings back a lot of memories.
Jump forward to 1997. There are now five cats. This was one of those rare instances when all five of them were together in one place, and I happened to have a camera handy. I was walking down the hallway and looked into the spare bedroom and noticed them napping together on the guest bed. What's even more amazing, the five cats had arranged themselves in an almost perfect symmetrical formation. In the back, Skitzy, the oldest cat, sat by herself. The two new kittens, the two sisters Panzer and Xena, sat together on the left side of the photo. On the right side, the old cat Sam and the smaller feral cat Scully sat together. The only pet missing from this picture is Polly, the miniature dachshund. She probably would have wanted to nap alongside the cats but she wasn't able to jump up on the bed.
Another photo of the same spot taken later in the year, this time with just Scully and Panzer napping together. The cats liked napping in the spare bedroom because it was quiet and a little out of the way, and probably also because the dog couldn't get up on the bed.
This one was taken in 2001 after Skitzy passed away. It's a bit hard to see the two cats in the back, but all four cats are there: Sam in the front, Scully in the middle, Xena next to her and Panzer at the far end of the couch.
Panzer and Xena wrestling in 2002. Xena is in the box so she has the advantage.
One of the relatively few pictures of my dogs and cats together. Brandle and Panzer snoozing on the bed in 2004. The cats liked Brandle because she was smaller than they were, and she wasn't as high-strung as Bailey or Pookie. Pookie would sometimes tolerate a cat snoozing nearby, but Bailey would never allow that to happen. Polly, Bailey, and Pookie were probably off snoozing in another part of the house when these photos were taken.
Another angle from that same sequence of photos, showing Panzer and Xena. This is one of the last photos of my cats.
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Click here to go to the Cats page
Click here to go to the Cats and Dogs Together page
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The content on this page was written: June 2, 2013
Last updated: June 10, 2016