My Shop Cat

One day, as I was working under our house I looked across the driveway to see a tuxedo cat starring back at me.  I called to Marge that it looked like "Bustofer Jones" was back in town.  (Bustofer Jones is a very fat Tuxedo cat in Old Possum's book of Practical Cats.  A fat tuxedo periodically appears around our house and we named him Bustofer Jones.)  Marge came out to look and informed me that this guy wasn't Bustofer.  For one thing he was too skinny.   Marge works on the (often disproved) theory that if a stray cat shows up around your house, you should feed it until it's strong enough to continue it's journey.   About a week later she decided to take the fellow to the vet for a checkup.  There are a lot of communicable cat diseases out there.  We didn't want this stranger to pass something on to our 1 1/2 cats, Chance and Mittens  If he'd had any of the bad stuff, he would have been history.  

The vet checked him out and pronounced him in fairly good shape for a street cat, "But what a scruffy fellow."
So that's how he got his name.   He slowly moved into our house and quickly moved into our hearts.  He'd hang around my work room and soon became the official "shop cat."

Although he doesn't mind noise, he hates large trucks, making us believe that he may have been thrown from, or jumped out of one.  As you can see he's a mellow fellow.  I have to be careful I don't step on him. 

And yes, he does think he's king of the neighborhood.  Unless another cat's around.

I can't play favorites though.  Our "House Cat" is Chance. We got him on Sept 11, 2001.  He has six toes on three of his feet.  Cats with extra toes are called Hemingway or Polydactyl.   It gives him a perpetual  "tough boy" look, but he's a lover, not a fighter.

The boys, reading God Loves an Unmade Bed

Then there's our 1/2 cat, Mittens.  She was wild in the park but started hanging around the house.  For years we couldn't get near her, even though we fed her.  Slowly she moved onto our back porch.  She has to be over 20 years old and doesn't do much but eat and sleep.  But now she "talks" to us and even lets Marge pick her up.  Occasionally she'll let me pet her.

Mittens, in her natural pose.

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