My Cat “Family”

Reader Contribution by Jennifer Quinn
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Believe it or not, when I was fourteen I dreamed of having six children. As it turned out, I was denied the privilege of having even one. But all was not lost — now, in my seventh decade, I’ve become a mother to five cats. And finally I understand why some mothers are a nervous wreck!

If someone were to bug my house, here’s what they might record on a typical day:

“Bobcat, leave him alone. He doesn’t want to play.”

“He wants to be your friend, Mahogany. Can’t you be nice to him? Yes, I know he’s annoying, but he can’t help it. He’s a sweet little thing. Can’t you just try to like him?

“I wouldn’t get any closer, Bobcat … you know how cranky he is. He’s going to swat you. See? I told you.”

“What’s the matter, Mahogany … what’s all this crying about? Here, come get on my lap. What’s the matter, dear?”

“No, you can’t get on my lap right now … not while I’m eating.”

“Don’t you dare jump on the counter. Don’t even think about it! Bobcat! You little rascal … Get away from my food!”

“Whaddya want, Squeaky … you just want attention? I’m sorry, Squeaky, I don’t give you enough attention, do I? It’s because you’re so polite … you just sit there squeaking instead of jumping onto my lap and climbing all over me like the others. And you’re so well-behaved — you hardly give me any trouble. You’re the nicest of all my cats — so loving and sweet-tempered.”

“Mahogany, are you being mean to Squeaky? How can you be mean to her when she’s such a good friend to you? You should be very grateful to have such a nice friend — so patient and forgiving. Now, stop bothering her, or I’ll have to separate you two.”

“Good morning, Bobcat. Where’s your brother? Maybe you can find him for me. Go on, Bobcat … see if you can find Spooky.”

“SPOOKY! Where’ve you been?? I’m so glad you’re home. Here, I saved some breakfast for you.”

“Cecil! Get out of the door … you know you’re not allowed in the house! Yes, I know it’s hard being outside all the time, and I’d love to let you in if you’d just be nice to the other cats, but I can’t have you terrorizing them.”


“I’m sorry, kitties … I didn’t mean to let him in. Is everybody OK? C’mere, Bobcat … he didn’t hurt you, did he? That’s good.”

“Cecil … are you chasing the chickens? Don’t you dare chase my chickens. Well, you’re scaring them. Come on … I think it’s time to shut you up in your house. Night-night, Cecil … see you in the morning.”


Mahogany and Squeaky

Spooky and Bobcat

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