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Inky & Marlowe

Images: Marlowe in a beanbag chair | Me and Marlowe | Inky and Marlowe watching the world | Inky & Marlowe on the window ledge | More to come...

Please forgive the quality -- or lack thereof -- of the cat images. One of these days I'll get some better pictures online.

When I was writing my biography (back when I had one), I ended up with quite a few paragraphs about my two cats. Rather than leave them in the biography, I moved 'em here... onto their own page. Because, quite frankly, not everyone wants to hear lots of babble about cats. I never used to. I could talk about dogs, because I was a "dog person", but never understood people's fascination with cats. Until now.

I have two mutant cats. It happened innocently enough during the fall of 1994... I was lonely living in Sioux Falls on my own. My family had always had pets, and I was used to having people around. I'm a hermit, but I like to get together with folks sometimes. Hermit-parties, yeah. But anyway. While I was working various assignments for Kelly Temporary Services, I kept visiting the Sioux Falls Humane Society on my lunch hour. So many adorable animals. And, well, this one black cat caught my eye. I don't even usually like black cats. But there was something about him... his eyes, his big dark amber eyes stuck in my head. And his adorable mitten feet. He was polydactyl, with six toes on each of his four paws. Well. I went back after a few days and the cat was still there. I picked him up and he bopped me on the nose (kinda a lick, kindof a nip) which was something Mac, my beloved Scottie, used to do to me. Well. I adopted the cat, of course. Though it probably wasn't the best time for me, logically, to adopt a pet.

The cat was known as Phouka, at first, then Inky (which is short for Incarnadine, not that he's ever called that). The vet told me he was six months old, though by his size the Humane Society had figured him for an adult cat. He's grown considerably since those days, he now weighs nearly 20 lbs. He has gorgeous silky dark black medium length fur that's like velvet. And those eyes. A friend calls them Amber Eyes of Doom. Yes. With the hugest paws in the world. And intelligence that frightens. He can open doors.... sliding doors, doors with doorknobs, anything. He once lept up 4 or 5 feet in the air and caught a housefly in his big paw-- in mid air--on only the second attempt. Amazing! He's a big sweet cuddly bear of a cat. Very much his own person. But when he leaps onto the back of my chair while I'm typing here, the chair almost flips over backwards. Then he pretty much takes up my whole lap and purrs and gets all cuddly. The big goof. Oh yeah-- he's very very quiet. Hardly ever makes a sound. When he does it's the tiniest little whimper or meow I've ever heard. He purrs.

Inky was an active youngster while I was working full time so I felt guilty leaving him alone all day long. A few friends suggested I get a second cat. Ha! I've never been a cat person and here I was with one cat already and another on the way. I rationalize and say they don't act like normal cats. Is there such a thing as a normal cat? So I began stopping by the Humane Society again. None of the cats seemed quite right, like a match for Inky. Eventually one day I adopted a fluffball they called Frankie, because of his blue eyes. He pulled the same trick Inky had, was all adorable and friendly when I picked him up,and he licked my face (mouth, actually). I named him Marlowe, after Christopher "Kit" Marlowe. I took him to the vet to be checked out first thing. The vet guessed his age at between two and four years old. He was healthy and neutered and all that, but I was scared he and Inky wouldn't get along. I needn't have feared. Inky was mad more at me than at Marlowe, and Marlowe was exploring the apartment. I stayed in the living room to keep an eye on the cats. When I got lost in the movie I was watching, looked up and didn't see the cats, I was worried. I then saw them both standing on top of the refrigerator. I guess Inky was giving Marlowe the tour. The next morning I woke to find them curled up in a chair together. Terribly cute. I've rarely seen that sight since then, but there's no doubt that they are bestest buddies.

Marlowe is part Himalayan or Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat or Ragdoll or something. He's got gorgeous blue eyes and long creme coloured fur. Parts of his fur is tan, his ears and other parts have dark stripes. He's kindof pointed. He's really hard to describe. Long fur gets everywhere, had I a choice I'd have picked another medium furred cat. But Marlowe picked me and was so sweet. He's a cuddler. He rolls over on his back at the feet of strangers. Well, throws himself at the feet of strangers, actually. He's got a huge mane/ruff... he may be part Maine Coone or Norwegian Forest Cat. Which reminds me, he can climb walls. Normally he's a mellow ragdoll who just wants to sleep and be petted, but when he gets riled up, he can climb walls, digging his claws into the plaster on either side of a wall and shimmying up like a raccoon up a tree. All the while he has this astonished look on his face, like he can't believe he's doing it. He also holds his own in amazing wrestling matches with Inky. I thought, as Inky grew, that he might outmatch Marlowe-- but Marlowe is one tough furball. They chase each other and wrestle and the fur truly flies. More amusing than most of what is on television. They're an odd pair, but a good one. And, judging by the many paragraphs I've devoted to them, they're a major part of my life.

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Revised: November 23, 1996 / Laurel Krahn / email