This is another guest blog written by my 16 year old Persian cat Lt. Mango. He tells the purrfect story about the history of cats in my life.
|Hello, my name is Lt. Mango. I will be your guest blogger today. |
My friend Jeff writes a blog (Moments Later) and asked me to do a guest blog for him.
Full disclosure- I am a 16 year old Persian cat that lives with Jeff and Ra El. I do depend on Jeff for food, water and a roof over my head. My name is Lt. Mango and I thought I would share a little bit of background information about the history of cats in Jeff’s life. Since I have a bird’s eye view of things- well a cat’s eye view- I really do have the inside poop. (Sorry, Jeff but I had to say it).
Jeff grew up in Springfield, New Jersey without a cat as a pet. I’m a little sensitive to being called a pet since I really think of cats as short, four-legged friends whose job is to remind our human companions of how important it is to chill out and relax. We teach calm and deep breathing. You never see us stressed out or worried about money, work or the Internet being out. Did you know the word pet comes from a Scottish word and originally meant "an indulged child". Interesting.
|Jeff with Heckel and Jeckel|
(note the cooking apron at a young age)
Jeff never grew up with a four-legged pet of any kind. No cat or dog. He did have a pair of parakeets named Heckel and Jeckel but believe me when I tell you that was just a fly by moment in his life.
Cats were introduced to Jeff when he was at college at The University of Pennsylvania. A stray cat was wondering around the quad and Jeff decided he needed to take care of this big fat stray until he could find the owner. He took care of it for several weeks until the cat wandered off and never returned. Jeff never got to name the cat and kept waiting for the cat to share his name. If I remember what Jeff told me, I think he called the visiting cat Penny. (As in Pennsylvania).
But the first real experience Jeff had living with a cool cat was with Tweezers. When Jeff and Ra El first started dating and then eventually living together in Philadelphia, Ra El brought her beautiful grey Persian with her. She got this distant cousin of mine when she was nine. Tweezers was a very regal animal with a wry sense of humor. I believe his full name was Tweezeration Bellyball Fuzzicle Sam Hill. The name Tweezer came from the time he put his front paws together; he looked like a tweezers.
Tweezers lived with Jeff and Ra El on Spruce Street to and then to King of Prussia during the late 70’s. He loved to hunt the little bugs and insects that would show up on the window of the old brownstone off of Rittenhouse Square. I have heard from other cats that Tweezers had some very powerful love and healing powers that aren't easy to describe. He lived a long life and retired in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania as Jeff and Ra El were expanding their brownie business and their family. He left this world just around the time when Sarah was born in 1981.
|Ra El with her beloved Tweezers |
|Tweezers enjoyed reading the Philadelphia Inquirer (this was pre-Internet)|
|Jeff and Tweezers hanging out one weekend|
In the post Tweezers period, the next cats to enter Jeff’s life were a pair of beautiful little Persians – Jussi and Tatiana. Jussi was named for Jussi Bjorling a leading Swedish tenor whose voice was exquisite. A picture of Jussi exists but Jeff was unable to locate it. He promises to keep trying.
|Tweezers even got Ra El and Jeff to dress up as cats one Halloween|
Tati was named for Tatiana Troyanos a mezzo of Greek and German descent. Sadly, Jussi died very young but Tatiana, who had similar color to Tweezers, lived on for many years. Tati was indeed a beautiful and loving companion and loved to sit on Ra El's lap. With Jussi’s passing, Jeff and Ra El soon found Lucy who I am partly named for. (I’ll explain this link later). So Tati and Lucy became the new calming feline force in the house. By the way, Lucy was named not for an opera star but for the great Lucille Ball.
|Jussi Bjorling, Tatiana Troyanos & Lucille Ball|
|Tatiana who was named for Tatiana Troyanos |
Since Lucy was a red head (at least in Persian cat language)- the name fit the kitty although Lucy was a true fat cat in the most loving sense of the word. (not the wall street type). Lucy had quite an appetite and actually preceded me as the benefactor of all of Jeff’s great meals.
|Tati & Lucy as kittens |
Lucy and Tati loved to bring their calm and loving presence to Jeff and Ra El’s life. Tati was a bit of a royal princess who was loved as much as she loved Jeff and Ra El. Sarah and Fanny. She made the trip with the family to North Carolina from Pennsylvania in 1989 and lived several more years. Lucy was the silly and funny cat who, had it been invented when Lucy was around, would have been a big star on You Tube. Possibly as big as the surfing dog Jeff created that has almost 100,000 views! (He keeps talking about this stupid video but it makes him so proud).
As time passed, Lucy and Tati moved onto their next lives but left Jeff, Ra El, Sarah and Fanny with fond fur ball memories. These sweet cats would show up in Sarah's school drawings and even a 3-D craft art project. They were truly part of this family. Even Poppa George included Tati & Lucy in his photo albums.
The following summer, at a trip to the Wrightsville Beach, I came into Jeff’s life along with my brother Shambala. (sometimes spelled Shambhala, Shambie., Shambi or just Shambo for short). We were found in a pet store which is a place that animals like to hang out, like a bar, just to meet people.
Sarah and Fanny immediately became attracted to us (and us to them) and sat for hours holding and playing with us. Although we were staying a rented condo on the beach, we got to come on vacation with the family before we came home to Raleigh. Boy we were cute!
As for my name, Fanny thought I should be named Lucy II or something like that since I looked so much like Lucy. But as they thought of names Lucy II soon became LT (Lucy Two) which than changed to Mango because of my red/orange coloring and generally oblong shape. Then I whispered into Fanny’s ear “How about Lt. Mango and the Lt. can stand for Lucy Two not lieutenant. My friends call me Mango. Please call me Mango.
|This is me as a little kitten |
|That's my little brother- I call him Shambo.|
That's me in the bowl making the name Mango so fitting.
|Sarah holds Shambie while Fanny scratches my belly|
|This is from my head shot that my agent made me get. I was going for a dramatic look. |
|Shambhala Remez-Slater |
|I am Mango hear me roar- or meow|
So today I live in Raleigh with Jeff and Ra El along with Shambie. By the way, Fanny never wanted to accept the spiritual name Shambhala so she always refers to my black brother as Zoro. You may have read about my brother Shambie in an earlier blog about being a paper chaser.
|If they had a beauty contest, Shambie would get the tiara|
|Sometimes Shambie can be such a basket case |
There are a few other cats that have come into Jeff’s life that are important to mention. Fanny found a beautiful stray named Alice who she decided was really a boy so she named her Wilbur. Wilbur went to Peace College with Fanny and was an important part of her college life. So Wilbur and Fanny and Luca and Sara became a team. Sara was Fanny’s college roommate and BFF and Luca was her cat buddy. After they all graduated from college, Fanny and Wilbur moved back home for a short while as Fanny prepared to head out to Hollywood. Sadly, while away visiting California, Wilbur made his/her transition. It was a tough loss for everyone.
|Once when I was bad and in prison, Fanny came and kept me company. Talk about love!|
|Wilbur using Jeff as a bed|
Meanwhile in Hollywood, Fanny found a new friend at a shelter a few months ago. Olive came into her life and soon took over her little apartment in West Hollywood.
|Fanny was introducing Olive to different kind of mango |
|Although I haven't met Olive (except on Skype), she seems pretty awesome. |
Olive is an incredibly playful kitty and looks a little like the late Wilbur. She loves to go moth jumping which is a new sport she and Fanny invented involve that involves Olive, moths and jumping. I wonder if it will be an Olympic sport sometime?
|Smelly cat, smelly cat what are you thinking?|
|Give me five|
|Why don't we get HBO?|
|Cousin Luca - having just read Sara's blog|
Last but not least is Princess Nani. Nani is Sarah's kitty who lives in Hawaii. She is a white Persian and once again, although we haven't met in person, I know I she and I would be BFF. (that's cat slang for best felines forever). I have heard Ra El say that Nani has a lot of Tati and Shambie energy and may be part of the same soul group.
|Aloha Princess Nani|
So, this is the feline history of Jeff’s life. He has always been especially nice to me since we share a kindred spirit- well, actually we both love roast chicken. And I might say that Jeff is truly the master of the roast chicken. If there was an Oscar for best roast chicken meal, Jeff would be the winner every year. It they had a Pulitzer Prize for chicken, he would win paws down.
|I never feel boxed in on the island of Oahu|
I put up with quite a lot. There is all the strange hats Fanny would make for me...
|Fanny thought I would like to celebrate July 4th with a flag hat. Wrong!|
And the occasional haircuts for the summer that sometimes get out of hand...
|Obviously someone misunderstood me when I said take a little off the ends|
|I do have my own music whenever I want it. |
|I have done a good job training Fanny on the proper way to feed a cat|
Please permit me to leave you with one more meowments later. (I tried to use Jeff’s theme of moments later so please excuse my pun).
Every day when Jeff comes downstairs in the morning to make coffee for himself, he always feeds me first. He takes the time to rub my head and talk to me. He picks ups any small gifts I leave on the floor near my box.
I return the favor by sending him my love to help him appreciate our special meowment together.
I will always treasure our meowments later.
Labels: Alice, Cats Later, Family Moments, Lt. Mango, Lucy, Mango, Nani, Olive, Persian cats, Shambhala, Shambie, Tati, Tweezers, Wilbur