Spotlight on Streaky the Supercat

It’s a bird!  No, it’s a plane!  No, it’s… Supercat?!?

Sometimes the Silver Age of superhero comic books, specifically the various series published by DC Comics, is considered by contemporary readers to be too silly.  Of course, in the last quarter century the pendulum has swung much too far in the opposite direction, with both DC and Marvel taking everything way too seriously.  They’re often afraid to have any sense of fun about their stories.  I really think you need to have a balance between those two extremes.  Anyone who follows my blog has no doubt noticed that I have very diverse interests, and my tastes run, as the saying goes, from the ridiculous to the sublime.

And so, even though there was a great deal of nonsense to DC’s books in the 1950s and 60s, I think there is quite a bit that’s fun & charming about those comics.  That includes Streaky the Supercat.

Making his debut in Action Comics #261 (Feb 1960), Streaky was designed by artist Jim Mooney, who in later years would say the character was one of his favorites.  Streaky was one of the only non-Kryptonian members of the “Superman Family” (there was also Comet the Super-Horse, but he’s much too weird to get into right now).  An ordinary Earth cat, Streaky was the pet of Supergirl in her civilian guise as Linda Lee.  In a failed attempt to find a cure for Kyrptonite, Supergirl accidentally created “X-Kryptonite.”  She carelessly tossed it away, but when Streaky later came across it, the substance imbued him with Superman-like powers.

Action Comics 373 pg 7

Here’s a page from “The Battle of the Super-Pets,” which originally appeared in Action Comics #277 (June 1961).  Streaky, jealous of the attention that Supergirl is giving to Krypto the Superdog, begins a rivalry with the Kryptonian canine.  To avoid the inevitable property damage, Supergirl takes them off-world to resume their contest on a small planetoid.  You can see from the artwork that Mooney really invested Streaky with a great deal of personality.  As someone who loved cats, he must have known all about feline “cattitude.”

(I scanned this from a reprint of the story that ran in the somewhat more affordable and easy to locate Action Comics #373, a giant-sized special which collected together several earlier Supergirl tales).

Although Streaky was never a major fixture of the “mainstream” DC titles, he eventually went on to make appearances in stories that were, appropriately enough, geared towards a younger audience.  Streaky was one of the main characters in the Krypto the Superdog animated series which ran from March 2005 to December 2006.  Streaky has also popped up in the Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures comics by Art Baltazar & Franco Aureliani.

It was probably inevitable after Michele and I adopted our two cats Nettie and Squeaky that I would become a fan of fictional felines.  And that includes Streaky the Supercat.  Although not a major theme for me like Beautiful Dreamer, I have obtained a few sketches of the heroic housecat.

streakycohn

Scott Cohn is a versatile artist who has worked on such comic books as Army of Darkness, Ben 10, Justice League Unlimited and Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  He has also done licensing artwork for various properties, including the Krypto the Superdog series.  So I asked him to do a sketch of the animated version of Streaky.  Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to get some other sketches by Cohn. He does nice work.

streakyharris

Independent creator Alisa Harris has self-published several comic books.  One of these, Counter Attack, is a whimsical look at the antics of her cats Fidget and Moe.  Harris recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the hardcover publication of The Collected Counter Attack!  I’m looking forward to receiving a copy in the mail later this year.  Harris has drawn a couple of cat sketches for me, including this cute Streaky.

darkseid vs streaky franco

When I met Franco Aureliani at the 2013 New York Comic Con, of course I had to ask for a drawing of Streaky.  I requested that he draw “Streaky vs. Darkseid,” because the lord of Apokolips is a frequent fixture of Tiny Titans as the evil lunch lady.  Franco knows his cats very well, because faced by Darkseid’s menace Streaky simply can’t be bothered and decides to take a nap.

Last but certainly not least is my girlfriend, the beautiful and talented Michele Witchipoo.  I was friends with Michele for several years before we started dating.  During that time, she began self-publishing two comic book series: Psycho Bunny features the misadventures of an antisocial alcoholic rabbit living in Astoria, Queens, and Babalon Babes is a collection of sexy pin-up girl illustrations.  Over the past decade Michele has really developed as an artist.  She is constantly creating better and better work.

Streaky Silver Age Witchipoo

Michele has loved cats since she was a little girl, and grew up with them.  When I first told her about Streaky the Supercat in 2009, she did this charming drawing of the Silver Age version of the character for herself.

streaky animated witchipoo

A couple of days ago, I mentioned to Michele that I was going to do a blog post about Streaky.  She insisted that she wanted to do a brand new illustration of him in my convention sketchbook.  Michele decided to draw the animated version of Streaky this time.  And here he is, attempting very much to look like the Cat of Steel.  Michele definitely captured Streaky’s personality in this piece.  The “super tuna” was certainly a cute touch.

Perhaps I’ll get other Supercat sketches in the future.  I have to see which artists I run into at conventions.  I just hope that Nettie and Squeaky don’t mind.  They tend to get jealous, but that’s cats for you!

Attack of the Rocket Cats

One of the women I work with usually gives me her newspaper in the afternoon, once she’s done reading it at lunch. Friday afternoon, she handed me the day’s edition of the New York Post.  Now, the Post is really not my thing, since I find it to be a sensationalistic right-wing rag. I much prefer the Daily News which, as a sensationalistic left-wing rag, is at least somewhat more palatable.  But, anyway, I took the Post so I’d have something to read while waiting for the subway going home. And, browsing through the pages of the paper, I came across this item:

Rocket Cats article

Okaaaay!!!  Yes, according to University of Pennsylvania researcher Mitch Fraas, it seems that the early 16th Century artillery master Franz Helm actually proposed the creation of feline-deployed WMDs.  He even had full-color illustrations prepared to demonstrate these meowing marauders in action.

Doing a little bit of a Google search, I found a similar article in the UK newspaper The Guardian, which stated…

“Circulated widely and illustrated by multiple artists, Helm’s manual is filled with strange and terrible imagery, from bombs packed with shrapnel to missile-like explosive devices studded with spikes.”

Ah, the brilliantly twisted ingenuity of the human mind!

That said, I am not quite sure how exactly Helm arrived at the notion of placing an explosive pack onto the back of a cat and then sending it off to blow up an enemy installation.  There seem to be certain practical issues that he did not consider, such as equipping the gunpowder pack with a long enough fuse to make certain the tabby time bomb did not detonate while still in your vicinity, or a method of ensuring that your kitty commando actually headed off to the intended target.  And, of  course, as any cat owner will tell you, most felines do not like to be picked up. It is difficult enough to wrangle a domestic cat so that you can brush its fur or give it a bath (I speak from experience here).  So the possibility of successfully snatching up a stray cat and strapping a ticking bomb to it without getting your eyes clawed out seems terribly unlikely.

Rocket Cats color illustration

Obviously Helm’s contemporaries felt the same way regarding the drawbacks inherent in successfully creating a weaponized felis catus and tabled the discussion.  After all, there is a glaring dearth of recorded instances of rocket cat attacks in the annals of European history.  Good thing, too; I doubt the SPCA would have approved.

That said, there are two things that we can learn from this.  One, the phrase “military intelligence” has always been an oxymoron. Two, even as far back as five centuries ago, long before the creation of Facebook, people still liked sharing silly cat pictures.

Lil Bub in the Big Apple

Cats are everywhere on the Internet.  Cute cats, funny cats, strange cats, crazy cats.  You even have your celebrity cats, such as Grumpy Cat and Colonel Meow.  And then there is Lil Bub.

For those unfamiliar with Lil Bub, she is a dwarf cat with big eyes, extra toes, no teeth, and a tongue that hangs out of her mouth.  Lil Bub and her human, Mike Bridavsky, are from Bloomington, Indiana.  They travel around the country making appearances to raise money for animal-related charities.  There is actually a documentary about Lil Bub that is going to premier at this year’s Tribecca Film Festival, with a book coming out in the Fall.  Here is one of Lil Bub’s official photos:

Lil Bub official photo

On Tuesday morning, Michele and I took the subway to the East Village.  We had found out that Lil Bub would be visiting Social Tees Animal Rescue from 11 AM to 1 PM that day, and we really wanted to meet her.  After wandering around for a while, we finally located Social Tees at their new location, 325 East 5th Street.  I later remarked that, since we had been trying to find Social Tees in its old spot, we had been “Looking for Bub in all the wrong places.”  Michele booed me very loudly.

When we got there, the first thing I noticed was that there were several cops standing around.  For a second I thought that maybe Lil Bub had actually gotten a police escort.  Nope, it turns out that Social Tees is next to the neighborhood precinct.  According to the owner, the cops pop in to visit the animals all the time.  It was around 10:30, so we the line was luckily pretty short at that point.  As we were waiting over the next half hour, though, it really grew behind us.

A little after 11:00, Social Tees started letting people in, two at a time.  They were accepting donations of cash or animal food.  If we had known, we’d have brought along this bag of food that our two cats, Nettie and Squeaky, are too picky to eat.  I guess we can drop it off some other time.

Michele and I soon got in.  And, wow, Lil Bub was such a cutie!  Plus she was so small.  I mean, I knew she was a dwarf cat, but she really was tiny.  I think Bub was sort of shy & nervous about meeting all of these new people, but she was still very well behaved.  Here is the photo that Michele took of me petting Lil Bub:

Lil Bub and Ben

Michele said that I had such a happy look on my face when I met Lil Bub.  Having Nettie and Squeaky has really turned me into a cat-lover.  As I said afterwards, it was Bub-tastic.

I think we both wished we could have spent more time with Lil Bub.  But it was a long line, and obviously everyone else needed to get their chance to meet her.  We’re hoping that we’ll be able to go see the Lil Bub & Friendz film in the near future.

Holiday daze

So, another year comes to an end.  I would be lying if I didn’t say I would be happy to see 2012 pass by.  The past twelve months have had so many personal highs and lows, a total rollercoaster.  I’m looking forward to 2013.  Hopefully it’ll be a better year, and I’ll be a better person, as well.

In any case, the last week has been pretty good.  Michele and I invited her parents over for dinner on Christmas Eve.  Michele is one hell of a cook.  This year she made a turkey, stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes, and several vegetables.  It was a really good meal.  The cats went totally crazy, of course!  Squeaky and Nettie love their turkey.  Squeaky even ended up jumping on the kitchen counter in an attempt to get at the turkey before Michele had even had the opportunity to cook it yet!  Anyway, there were plenty of leftovers, so the cats had a chance to gobble down plenty of turkey.  We also gave a few pieces to the turtle.  Yes, Meeshee Gamera refuses to eat vegetables, but she loves poultry.  We gave some food to Michele’s parents to take home.  From what Michele tells me, when they got home, Little Ginger the kitten went nuts when they fed her some turkey.

Michele's delicious turkey

Michele’s delicious turkey

Finally, a few days later, there was only a little bit left.  After I threw out the carcass, I made the mistake of leaving the remaining turkey on a plate by the stove, planning to give it to the turtle the next day.  Well, when I woke up the next morning, it was all gone, except for the wish bone.  Michele and I were looking at each other, puzzled.  “Did you eat it?”  “No, I didn’t, did you eat it?”  Finally it dawned on us that in the middle of the night one of the cats must have jumped up and taken it!

Between the cold weather and the turkey rendering us semi-comatose, we ended up watching a lot of television.  When Michele’s parents came over for dinner, I turned on Animal Planet for the Too Cute marathon.  That show features oodles and oodles of kittens and puppies.  I think I overdosed on adorable.  Then Michele put the Laurel and Hardy film Babes in Toyland aka March of the Wooden Soldiers on the DVD player.

Christmas morning was pretty much dominated by our yearly tradition of watching the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story on TBS.  Somehow, we never end up viewing the movie from beginning to end.  Instead, we catch 15 minutes here, a half hour there, and by the end of the day, when you add up all the bits & pieces, we’ve seen the entire movie at least once.  That really is a hysterical film.  As with so many other great cult classics, it apparently did poorly in the theaters, only to find new life on home video and television.

Other viewing material that day was the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of Santa Claus, a truly bizarre 1959 Mexican movie which features the war between St. Nick and the Devil.  Yes, really!  It is a strange, strange film.  To quote Mike & the Bots, “This is good old fashioned nightmare fuel!”  Then it was time for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special.  It was pretty good, albeit uneven.  I may review “The Snowmen” on this blog in the near future.

Another show on Animal Planet that I’ve gotten into recently is Pit Bulls & Parolees.  I really like that one.  I think pit bulls are misunderstood.  If you treat them kindly and train them properly, they really can end up being very sweet, loyal dogs.  Another reason I like the show is that it gives people who have been to prison a second chance.  Maybe I’m too sappy, but I honestly believe that there are some people who have made mistakes, but who now genuinely want to turn their lives around.  I honestly feel that they should be given that opportunity.

I think the cats have been happy to have us home, since they’ve been leaping onto the couch to watch TV with us.  Nettie has been sleeping in my lap.  At one point Michele was relaxing on the couch under the blanket, and, as can be seen below, Squeaky curled up on top of her head.  I think she was actually very comfortable there.

Michele and Squeaky

Michele and Squeaky

In the last few days, Michele has gotten a nostalgic craving for that late 1970s series The Gong Show, hosted by Chuck Barris.  She’s been watching all of these clips of it on YouTube.  I’ve never actually seen the original version of The Gong Show before.  I saw a few episodes of the 1980s revival, which never impressed me, so I couldn’t understand what the big deal was.  But Michele pretty much forced me to watch those clips of the original incarnation and, yeah, it is a million times better.  I have to agree with her, the people involved in making the show must have been on some serious drugs!  Of course, while we were browsing through all these old television clips, we happened to learn that a serial killer was once a contestant on The Dating Game.  Oh, wow, truth really is stranger than fiction.  I’m surprised that this never inspired an episode of Criminal Minds.

So now it’s New Years Eve.  I have no plans yet.  Since I quit drinking, it just feels really weird hanging out at bars or parties with people who are getting smashed.  A couple of nights ago, we were at The Cobra Club in Bushwick again, hanging out with some of Michele’s friends.  It was fun, yeah, but after a couple of hours I just started to get edgy, being around all that booze.  And, y’know, if you aren’t drinking, bars are kinda boring.  I don’t know, maybe I just overthink these things.  Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing tonight.  Perhaps I’ll hang out with Michele for a little while and then call it an early night, catch the Twilight Zone marathon or something.  We shall see.

In any case, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2013.  See you next year.

Little Ginger the rescued kitten

My girlfriend’s parents used to have three cats who lived with them: Tabitha, Champ and Leo.  I never met Tabitha, because she died right before Michele and I started dating.  But according to Michele, Tabitha was really close to her, as well as a cat with attitude.  “She would have put you in your place,” Michele likes to tell me.  Four years later, Michele still misses her.

So for the last four years Leo and Champ were still with my girlfriend’s parents, keeping them company.  I met both feline friends on several occasions, when Michele and I went to visit her parents.  The cats seemed really sweet.  Even though we had two cats of our own, I grew to enjoy our visits to there, because I would get to see Leo and Champ.  I especially like Champ.  I was told she had been the runt of her litter, but she had survived, and grew up to be a very affectionate cat.

Unfortunately, last winter Leo passed away from old age, and this spring Champ followed him.  Michele’s mother May is a very sweet woman.  She had been very close to both cats, and missed them both terribly.  Even though May claimed she was too old to take in another cat, I could tell she really would have liked another one to care for.

Late in October, only a couple of days before Hurricane Sandy came barreling through New York City, Michele’s father found a tiny little kitten abandoned in a garage in Queens.  The poor thing was all alone.  He brought it home to his wife as a present, because he knew how much she missed Tabitha, Champ, and Leo.  Cleaning up the cat, May discovered it was a girl.  The cat was an orange tabby, so she named her Ginger.

Ginger in early November

Ginger in early November

It seems certain that Michele’s father saved little Ginger’s life, because I doubt she would have been able to survive the hurricane all alone, living in a cold garage.  May started nursing Ginger back to health.  About a week after the storm, Michele and I went to visit her parents.  We met Ginger for the first time.  She was such a tiny little thing, and was constantly clinging to May.  Michele and I both had an opportunity to hold Ginger.  She really was affectionate.

About a month later, Michele and I went back to her parents’ place for Thanksgiving.  Ginger had been all cleaned up by May, and had started to grow.  Ginger really looked adorable.  She was playful, and at every opportunity was chowing down on leftover Turkey.

Ginger on Thankgsiving Day

Ginger on Thankgsiving Day

The last time Michele spoke to her mother on the phone, she heard that Ginger was still growing, continuing to get healthy, running around the apartment and playing with May.  She seems like a very sweet cat, and I hope she continues to get well & grow.  It’s obvious that May fell in love with Ginger at first sight.  I know she is going to do everything she can to give Ginger a good home.  I’m certainly looking forward to seeing that adorable kitty again.

(Photos of Little Ginger by Michele Witchipoo)

Nettie and the vet

As I’ve mentioned before, one of our cats, Nettie, is a part-Persian, part-Siamese with long fur.  It is recommended that long-haired cats have their fur combed or brushed at least once a week, because otherwise it will get tangled in knots.  Unfortunately, Nettie very seldom will allow me or my girlfriend near her with a brush or comb.  If we do try to brush Nettie’s fur, she starts to bite, claw, and kick at us.  So we long ago gave up on brushing Nettie regularly.

As a result, after several months, Nettie’s fur will become terribly tangled up.  This means we have to take her to the veterinarian for grooming.  In practice, that means she needs to receive a “lion cut,” which means the groomer shaves off all of her hair except for around her head, her paws, and the end of her tail.

We usually wait until the summer for Nettie to get groomed, because in the hot weather her long fur makes her more likely to get overheated.  Plus that’s when she sheds a lot.  We didn’t have the opportunity to get her groomed until this week, though, which is a lot later than we usually prefer.

In order for a vet to do a grooming, the animals must be up to date on their shots.  So a couple of weeks ago I took Nettie to the vet for an exam and vaccinations.  As soon as I took out the cat carrier, both Nettie and our other cat Squeaky bolted.  They know that as soon as they see the carrier, it means a trip to the vet is on hand for one of them.  Well, humans hate having to go to the doctor, so it’s no surprise that cats do, as well.  The last couple of times, I took out the carrier the night before, so that Nettie would get used to seeing it out.  That makes it somewhat easier to then get her into it the next morning, although both times she certainly struggled.

Anyway, this Monday I brought Nettie back to the vet to be groomed.  She was given a bath and a shave.  When she came back home, she was very shy and quiet, something which she normally isn’t.  I think the combination of the trip to the vet and having all her fur taken off left her feeling very vulnerable.  It’s now a couple of days later, though, and I can see she’s slowly getting back to her old self, giving me attitude and slapping me on the ankles when I pass by her.

In any case, here’s what Nettie looks like after her grooming:

Nettie after her "lion cut" grooming, looking rather annoyed that I'm taking a photo of her in this state

Nettie after her “lion cut” grooming, looking rather annoyed that I’m taking a photo of her in this state

Now if only I could manage to take Squeaky to the vet.  She really needs a check-up and, yep, a bath.  Squeaky is a sweet cat, but she smells.  She won’t let us pick her up and give her a wash here at home.  As bad as it is getting Nettie into the carrier, Squeaky is a dozen times worse.  In the past, every time she needed to go to the vet, my girlfriend and I spent almost an hour chasing her around the apartment before we finally managed to grab her up and cram her into the carrier.  It is not a pleasant experience!

By the way, the vet we take the cats to for their check-ups and grooming is Antelyes Animal Hospital in Middle Village, Queens.  They are very good and do excellent work.  The doctors and staff are friendly & helpful, and treat their animal patients extremely well.  I think that all vets are expensive, but Antelyes’ prices appear to be on the more reasonable side than some other establishments.  So if you happen to live in the area, I definitely recommend them.

Two Cats and a Turtle, Part Two

Right after my girlfriend and I moved into our second apartment, in June 2009, we took in another cat.  This one was already at least five years old.  She had been living in a home that had contained too many animals: seven cats, two dogs, several reptiles, a couple dozen birds, and a few other things I’m probably forgetting!  This poor cat was constantly getting beaten up by the other cats, and apparently spent most of her time hiding behind a radiator.  Every time she tried to come out for food, the other cats would pounce on her.  Since we only had one cat, Nettie, we had more than enough room for a second.  And we did not want Nettie to be lonely.

This new cat was very shy, and got startled extremely easily.  I remember the first day we had her, she fled behind the radiator in our apartment, and I had so much trouble getting her out.  After that, she spent most of her time hiding in the closet, and my girlfriend had to bring food to her in there.

The strange thing about the new cat was that she never had been given a proper name.  The previous owner had just referred to her as “Kitten,” and kept doing that, even though, as I said, she was now several years old.  We decided she needed a real name.  Because she sounded like she was squeaking when she would meow, we finally decided to name her Squeaky.

Squeaky

We soon learned that one of the reasons why Squeaky kept hiding in the closet had nothing to do with her being afraid.  In fact, she was in pain.  When we took Squeaky to the vet, we were told that half of her teeth had become rotten with cavities and infections.  Even though it cost almost a thousand dollars, we had her bad teeth removed.  After that, Squeaky was like a new cat.  She no longer hid in the closet, but would casually roam about the apartment.

Squeaky is a black & white tuxedo cat.  Since we got her, her fur has become very shiny, and her eyes brighter.  They are now these deep, soulful pools of green.  Sometimes, looking into her eyes, I get a feeling of peace and serenity.

Squeaky is, as my girlfriend says, a bit of a misfit cat.  During breakfast and dinner, Squeaky gobbles down her food, probably because for so long, back in her old home, it was always being stolen from her.  She started out as a skinny little thing when she moved in, but now she has quite a belly on her.  My girlfriend observed “A round cat is a happy cat.”  If that’s true, then Squeaky must be very happy indeed!  (As I type this, Squeaky is by my feet, meowing sadly for food, even though dinner time is more than an hour away.  She can be very persistent!)

Also, it took her a while to get used to Nettie.  Since Nettie had been an only cat for most of her kitten-hood, she never had anyone to play with.  She would try to play with Squeaky by wrestling with her, but Squeaky, who was so used to being beaten up in the past that she thought Nettie was attacking her, and she would flee.

That said, over time the two of them have grown closer together, and they can often be seen cuddling together, sleeping next to each other, or grooming one another.  The funny thing is, if you happen to spot them doing that, and they notice you, they appear to get embarrassed and will quickly move apart.

Squeaky and Nettie cuddling on the bed

Squeaky appears to be very happy in her new home.  I know she appreciates being able to take a long nap without being disturbed or harassed.  She is still skittish, though.  Loud noises easily startle her.  Also, she seems to be afraid of tall people looming over her.  I’m six foot two inches, and when I’m walking in Squeaky’s direction, she will often run.  However, if I’m sitting down or lying in bed, she’ll come right up to me, looking to be petted, or to have her tummy rubbed.  When I’m watching television, she’s often curled up in my lap.  I like to call her my TV buddy.

I’m glad we were able to give Squeaky a good home.  Having said that, I’m still not sure what she thinks of the turtle we later got.  But I’ll tell you all about Meeshee Gamera, the red-eared slider with an attitude, next time.

Two Cats and a Turtle, Part One

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted a pet; a cat or a dog.  My parents, who already had three children, me and my two younger sisters, most likely did not want the extra responsibility of having to take care of an animal.

After years of pleading with them, my parents finally gave in… sort of.  They got a fish tank.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I know they meant well, but I just could not relate to a bunch of little fish swimming back and forth in a tank of water.  There was no way to interact with them; they literally existed in their own world, apparently unaware that I existed.  And they kept dying off!  My parents would buy a cool-looking fish and, nine times out of ten, it would be belly up in the water within a week.  Eventually they all died off, one by one, and we put the fish tank away permanently.

Years later, when I was in my twenties, I was having lunch out with my mother.  She made a startling confession to me.  She said that she finally realized that I had been very lonely as a child, and maybe it would have been the right thing to let me have a pet after all.  But, of course, by now I was living on my own, so it was moot.  Somehow, I still ended up in an apartment building that didn’t allow pets, though.

Fast forwards several years, and I’m now living in Queens, dating a wonderful girl.  After several months, we decided to move in together.  She had had cats as pets ever since she was a little girl, so she was very receptive to the idea of us having one together.  She had previously rescued a cat from the street and given her to a friend.  That cat was now pregnant with a litter.  And so, a short time later, in January 2009, a fluffy little two month old kitten came into our lives.  She was so adorably cute.  I remember how she fit in the palm of my hand.  That first night, the kitten cuddled up to me in bed, and I remember being afraid I was going to roll over in my sleep and squash her!

Nettie as a kitten

My girlfriend decided to name the kitten Netzach, which is Hebrew for victory or endurance.  I came up with a nickname, Nettie.  I was so thrilled to have Nettie in our lives.  At long last, I finally had a pet of my very own.

Life with Nettie was very eventful.  She bounced around the apartment, almost going “boing boing” off the walls, so much so that I joked she had springs in her paws.  She would get into fights with a big green sponge that we had, and my girlfriend joked that it was her arch-enemy.  Nettie also liked to grab my hand or my girlfriend’s and basically wrestle with us, holding on with her front paws, kicking with her back, gnawing on our knuckles with her teeth.  We let that cat get away with murder sometimes!  What can I say?  She was my very first pet, and I spoiled her.

Nettie is a very distinctive looking cat, with long fluffy fur.  She is part Persian, part Siamese, part Himalayan.  Given her wild nature, I would joke that the Himalayan part of family must have had a few abominable snowmen in it.  That gave rise to the nickname Nettie the Yeti.  Nettie also has the most beautiful blue eyes, and a lovely voice.  Sometimes, when she wants food or attention, she can give you this wide stare, letting out such a sad meow.  She really knows how to tug on the heart strings.  And, of course, I always fall for it.  My girlfriend tells people that I treat Nettie as if she was my daughter.

Nettie at three years old

Over the past three years, Nettie has grown up, and she is a lot less manic and hyper.  Well, most of the time.  A few months after we first got Nettie, we moved into another apartment, and then had a second cat come to live with us.  Nettie, who spent most of her kitten-hood by herself, now found herself living with another feline, one she hoped would play with her.  Cue lots of running and wrestling.  And then, on top of that, we got a turtle.  But more on all that next time.