Can’t Hug Every Cat

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , , ,

We always planned on getting three cats. Just not, perhaps, within the space of a week.

So about that…

I’ve long since accepted my lot in life as a crazy cat lady: not least evident when I wake up in someone else’s house and still find myself surrounded by them. And so it was that on the evening of Alf’s last day as an only child

…it was straight to Anniesland to finally collect our new, leopardine son.

Meet Phillip Dax Millar-Liddell…a.k.a. Pip.

We should have known the minute he climbed inside the goodie bag and started attacking everything in sight that we were getting more than we bargained for.

Also that we’d never be able to stay mad at him with a face like that.

We couldn’t believe how much he’d grown since that first visit only a few short months earlier.

Ditto the (formerly) tiny, tiger-coloured twins.

Anakin and/or Anubis (who was technically a jackal, but whatevs). Weird coincidence: both kittens were bought by tattoo artists, with neither having any knowledge of the other!

This is Pip’s brother, Dexter, who’s being kept as a breeding stud.

Tallon and Pip.

While I was there, the guys asked if I could take some pictures of their other cats for the website. This strapping fellow is Dylan.

Unlike our leopard-print boy, Dylan is a marble Bengal.


And the lovely Juneaux: a snow Bengal.

I love her anime giant eyes.

Pip and the twins with Tallon; who seemed genuinely sad to see Pip go. Nevertheless, that time had come, and our new arrival was just a train and subway ride away from his new home, and his new brother.

…who – it must be said – was a little less than welcoming. “What…are you?”

Alf being a ragdoll (and, by extension, a living cushion), we weren’t even aware that he could hiss until the day we brought Pip home. Thankfully, he started to warm to him after a few days…though not before he’d pulled out his own fur with stress and given himself a tiny bald patch. :\

Two days later, he finally let Pip sit next to him without getting up and walking to the other side of the room.

…though Pip did, at times, abuse the privilege. They’re also frequently to be found chasing one another around the house; though not always in the arrangement you might expect. Believe me when I say that there are few sights more ridiculous than that of an 8kg ragdoll being chased around the house by a kitten.

…aaaand then this happened.

So as I said before: our ultimate goal was always to have three cats, just not in quite so rapid a succession as what ended up happening. Nevertheless, the very Monday after Pip arrived, we received a phone call from a Persian breeder here in Scotland who told us that the red Persian kitten we’d been waiting (quite literally) years for was finally available.

At first we were concerned that it might be a little too much stress for Alf, but we reasoned that he was already so put out by Pip’s arrival that it would probably be worse in the long run to let him settle down to some semblance of normality then make him suffer through the whole upheaval yet again a few months down the line. (To say nothing of the fact that we’d waited this long already for that ever-elusive red and god alone knows when we might find another.)

Impulsive as it seemed at the time, I’ve actually wanted a red Persian for almost as long as I can remember; and still have the cat sticker album somewhere that inspired this lifelong yearning in my 6-year-old self. Two decades later, he was finally here! And very conveniently located in Falkirk, which is just thirty minutes outside Glasgow.

We took the train out the very next day (ostensibly just to visit him and see if he was the right cat for us), but the minute I laid eyes on him, I knew we wouldn’t be leaving that house without him. We didn’t even bring a cat box, but the breeder was lovely enough to give us an old one of hers that she no longer needed. She also drove us back to the train station, and since I’d brought a chequebook instead of cash, we had to hit up two ATMs along the way to pay for him, haha.

The two kittens are really close in age (Pip is younger by one week), so we figured it would be nice for them to grow up together – and leave Alf in relative peace.

This didn’t quite work out to plan, though Alf and Pip did finally begin to bond over their mutual abhorrence of the Persian. Progress?

Thankfully they took to him much better as soon he stopped smelling like the perfume of the breeder he’d been with before us.

Never has a toy mouse been stared upon with such hatred. (Actually, while the Persian has the grumpiest face of the three, he’s actually the jolliest and purr-iest of all of them.)

Look, he has no face in profile! Which necessitated some expedition in choosing his name since I’d started to call him Voldemort and that just seemed cruel.

I love that his eyes and nose are all in a row. Actually I love everything about him more than I can humanly express and couldn’t leave him alone for the first week.

Pip struggled at first with the concept of ball-on-a-string (I have the most wonderful video of him growling in frustration as he tried to drag it away), before he eventually figured out that he could just gnaw through the damn thing. It lasted about a week.

The animosity between the kittens lasted even less time, and they were pretty much inseparable after the first few days. In fact, if you remember the cat massage video I posted a while back; Pip does that to Wilfred all the time.

Here’s the official notification of our adoption on the website. Jasper was the name they’d given him, until we finally settled on…


Rightly: Wilfred Burkle Millar-Liddell.

Pip’s markings continue to get more impressive with each passing month. Bizarrely, I took Alf to the vet the following week and was on the subway home when the girl opposite me turned and said, “Oh, is that a ragdoll? I have a ragdoll and a bengal!” ME, TOO. 😐 It’s not as if either is a particularly common breed of cat to begin with, but to have the exact same combination…?! If only she’d had a persian, too.

Whenever I’m on the computer at night, Wilfred climbs into the in-tray and uses this glasses case as a pillow. ♥ (Compare and contrast Alf in the same spot.)

Within a week of the kittens’ arrival, my mum and brother were on a train to Glasgow to come meet them. They were sure to greet Alf first, however, so as not to add to his abandonment issues. (As an aside: I always thought Alf’s weight would be detrimental to his health…and then I threw my back out two days ago trying to lift him.)

When I said there’d be a mandatory bag check before she left, I had been kidding. (John’s mum has a soft spot for Pip but I don’t think there’s any question of where my mum’s favouritism lies.)

Pip soon made a bid for freedom, but Wilf was quite content to let himself be ferried around in a handbag.

Also, every time I see this:

…my first thought is this:


Un portrait de famille, on account of the last photo of the three of us together being taking at my graduation…five years ago. We look so Aryan, haha.

Aaaand then I had to physically tear my mum away from the Persian so we could go have dinner.

Note that both kittens take up half the sofa, versus Alf who barely fits on it by himself.

They actually sleep next to each other all the time, though not always in the most comfortable arrangement for both parties.

Unrequited love. T_T

Literary Persian.

I think this is the exact moment I went from this to this.

Oh dear…Wilfred’s first bath. As per the breeder’s instructions, we blow dried him afterwards…and still have the scars to prove it.

And finally: a rare sighting of all three boys together. A rocky start, but we got there in the end!

  1. Markus McD says:

    Love Wilfred in the bucket!

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