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I can't ever recall a time in my life without cats. Sebastian "Kitty Bastian," an aloof and slightly bad-tempered gray guy, was part of my human family prior to my birth, and my introduction to the feline world. Being an only child before I appeared, he undoubtedly felt a bit of sibling rivalry accounting for the slightly awkward relationship between us. After all, a mere baby was definitely an affront to his considerable dignity!

Fast forward some 60 plus years and I'm still an avid cat lover. Though there has been a LONG line of other animals in my life- many dogs, goats, a horse, pot-bellied pig, rabbits, rats, snakes and assorted birds (all very well-loved, I hasten to add), I don't remember ever being cat-less.

My husband David and I are currently the proud and doting parents of five (!) rescue kitties and wouldn't have it any other way. We recently figured that there is close to 50 pounds of cat body between them! They all love to sit on laps and we are all too familiar with the term "feline paralysis" accurately describing the inability to move with the weight of a loving cat on one's lap!

The lovely little striped brothers pictured above were part of a family of five babies which appeared with their mother in my sister's barn six years ago. We fostered all five after their mother found a loving family and, though sorely tempted to keep all five, good sense prevailed and homes were found for three. The two who stayed, Joey and Jesse, were well accepted (and tolerated) by our two adult cats, Max and Reilly, and are very much part of the tribe. A few years later a stray (Sally) became an addition but that's yet another story.

Today Joey and Jesse are gorgeous, fully-fledged, middle-aged chaps and, though totally different from one another, have proved to be model citizens!

Mitzi Sudlow

Tonganoxie, Kansas

Mitzi Sudlow
Tonganoxie, KS

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