VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Lillian Kane Moskowitz Munster Cavanaugh-Sawyer McGuire
Date of Birth: November 16th, 2004
Breed: Classic Siamese
Color: Blue point

BIO

Lillian Kane Moskowitz Munster Cavanaugh-Sawyer McGuire (called "Lilly," "Lillers," or "Lil") may seem a bit unusual to people who are only familiar with the current incarnation of the Siamese cat, which is generally known as the "Modern Siamese"—sharply angular cats that look like pieces of moving art deco statuary. Lilly is a Classic Siamese, the intermediate stage between the Modern and the Traditional, or Applehead Siamese. The Classic is the least common of the types, something I feel is a shame, since the Classic is also the sweetest of the types. (Yes, I'm biased. At least I'm open about it.)

Lilly is what's called a "blue," or "blue point Siamese." It's not a breed qualifier; it's a description of her color. The original Siamese cats, which are the ones most people are familiar with, were seal point—a dark brown that looks almost black in the right lighting. Blue points are a genetically dilute variation on the seal, and were the second color of Siamese to be officially recognized as part of the breed. I adore blue point Siamese beyond all sense or reason. They tend to be less vocal than seals, and even more gregarious. Which is a bit scary, when you consider the fact that Traditional and Classic Siamese were bred partially for their devotion to their people.

Lilly was born November 16th, 2004 in the San Francisco Bay Area at Mary's Traditional Siamese Cattery. Her sire was Raz 2 Taz, a seal point, and her mother was Sheba II, a gorgeous blue who looked a lot like her daughter. Lilly's lack of tail isn't a genetic trait; she had an unfortunate accident when she was only a few days old. I'm secretly grateful for her misfortune, since she's a beautiful girl, and would probably have gone to someone looking for a show cat if it weren't for her missing tail. She has no idea she was ever meant to have a tail, and gets around the house just fine, frequently at sub-sonic speeds.

Currently, Lilly—who can expect to live to be twenty or even twenty-five, given proper medical care and a safe home environment—is nine years old. She enjoys sitting in my lap while I'm trying to get things done, burrowing in my dresser, and not getting in trouble when she's bad. She's a master of "blaming things on the Maine Coons," although they've learned to fight back.

Like most Siamese, Lilly is fond of climbing things, chasing invisible insects, and "conversing" with people. She will follow visitors through the house, demanding they stop and talk to her. She's also the only cat I've ever met who's managed to figure out that the volume difference between normal television programming and commercials means I'm about to get off the couch, but will be right back.

Guests have to be warned that Lilly won't take "no" for an answer, but her affection is genuine; she's not a "purr until you relax, then whip around and take a chunk out of you" cat. She's well-mannered, by Siamese standards, and generally won't steal things off your plate, scratch you for no reason, or attempt to conquer the planet just because she's bored.

The pictures along the side show Lilly at a variety of stages. The first was taken at eight weeks, when her color pointing began to become clear. The second picture shows her at eight months, all gawky limbs and snowy whiteness. By the third picture, the white has darkened to cream, and her points have come fully in. Pictures three and four were both taken during Lilly's fourth year, and picture five was taken shortly after she turned five.





VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Alice Price-Healy Liddel Little Abernathy McGuire
Date of Birth: December 19th, 2008
Breed: Maine Coon
Color: Blue classic tabby with white

BIO

Alice Price-Healy Liddel Little Abernathy McGuire (commonly called "Alice" or "Ally," registered as Pinecoon's Alice Price-Healy) is a blue classic tabby and white Maine Coon. She's my first non-Siamese pedigreed cat, and was purchased ostensibly because there were no Classic Siamese kittens to be had on the West Coast when I came into the market for a new kitten (there weren't), but really because I suffered from a horrible case of love at first sight. We met when I did a casual cattery visit—the owner of Pinecoon, Betsy Tinney, is a friend of mine—and discovered that a) Maine Coons come in blue, and b) one of her three-week-old kittens was a little blue girl. Victory to Betsy and her glorious giant cats.

Alice's color may strike people as a odd at first; it definitely struck me as odd, since I didn't realize Maine Coons came in any color other than the traditional brown tabby. It turns out Maine Coons come in all sorts of amazing colors, although brown tabby remains both the most common and the most popular. Some of their color patterns are drop-dead gorgeous (although I, of course, think the blues are the best). Maine Coons have always been bred for size, but many people aren't aware that they're also bred for intelligence, sturdiness, and a sweet, family-oriented disposition. They're amazing cats.

Alice was born December 19th, 2008, at Pinecoon Maine Coon Cats, located in Seattle, Washington. Pinecoon has a history of producing absolutely gorgeous cats, and Alice's litter was no exception. Her sire was SGC Coondalay Macallan of Pinecoon (Callan), and her mother is GC Pinecoon's Hootenanny (Arial). Neither of her parents is actually blue, because cat genetics are awesome, but both of her parents are sweet, endearing, absolutely fabulous cats. Alice officially became part of my household in April 2009, and now I can't imagine life without her.

The pictures along the side show Alice at a variety of stages. The first was taken at three weeks, when we were first introduced (and I learned that Maine Coons come in blue). The second picture shows her at eight weeks, when her eyes and coat had begun to really demonstrate her heritage. The third picture was taken at fourteen weeks of age, when she was ready to leave the cattery, and had become large enough to have her own gravitational field. The fourth picture was taken a few weeks after she moved in with me, and shows her usual level of dignity. In the final picture, taken by Tony Fabris, Alice is nine months old, and has grown into her adult coat.

As she's grown, Alice has matured into a true gem of a cat, for all that she has the usual assortment of Maine Coon quirks. She enjoys playing in the water; her favorite toys include my big metal baking bowl (full of water), the bathtub (full of water), and the toilet (full of water). Her toilet-shark tendencies have led to my bathroom having the strangest visitor's advisory pretty much ever. She also adores her squid-on-a-string, the pumpkin-orange cat tree, and Thomas, who is her constant companion. She's not a lap-cat, but will happily hang out in the room with you for hours, just enjoying human company.

Alice is coming up on her fifth birthday, and her colors have finished coming in, making her a true Halloween cat: smoke-gray with undertones of muted autumnal orange. People make jokes about her father being the Great Pumpkin. They aren't far wrong.



VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Thomas Price Lin Rhymer Taylor McGuire
Date of Birth: July 15th, 2010
Breed: Maine Coon
Color: Blue classic tabby with white

Thomas Price Lin Rhymer O'Malley McGuire (commonly called "Thomas" or "Mr. Mas," registered as Pinecoon's Thomas Price) is a blue classic tabby and white Maine Coon. He's the younger brother of Alice; they share a mother, Arial, although Thomas has a different father. He's my first boy cat in a long time, and an absolute love, flinging himself with joyful abandon into the arms (and ankles) of anyone who comes into the range of his endless adoration. He has enough energy for eight cats, and the mass of three, which is an occasionally dangerous combination.

Thomas was born July 15th, 2010, at Pinecoon Maine Coon Cats, located in Seattle, Washington. Betsy called me almost as soon as the litter came along, informing me gleefully that the entire thing was blue. Five blue kittens! His sire was Tuftstad Vargas of Dar Morev, and his mother is GC Pinecoon's Hootenanny (Arial). Thomas officially became part of my household in November 2010, and had a smooth integration, largely because all my cats are supernaturally good-natured.

Thomas is my household's "helper cat," not only assisting with the normal things, such as going to the bathroom or making a sandwich, but with more unusual activities, like cleaning the catbox or taking a shower. He's right there, trying to make sure you have the support and know-how that you need to complete your tasks. This sometimes makes tripping over the cat an unavoidable extra job, but that's okay, because he's good-natured about that, too.

The pictures along the side show Thomas at a variety of stages. In the first, he's only a few days old, and his eyes aren't even open yet. Below that is a picture taken shortly after he came home with me, at the age of fourteen weeks. Below that is a more recent picture, showing his most excellent whiskers fully extended.

Now that he is three years old, Thomas is an absolute love, exemplifying all the best qualities of the Maine Coon cat. I couldn't be happier to have him. And I remind myself of that every time he pounces on my face at two in the morning. Every. Single. Time.