Today is Miss Helen Hope Mrrrlees's rebirthday. Two years ago to the day, Marianne and I dropped into the Montgomery County ASPCA and fell in love with a tiny little cat we thought was still a kitten. It turned out that Miss Hope was so slight because she was half starved. Over the next couple of months, she almost doubled her weight, becoming . . . a slim, svelte cat.
Miss Hope is a Bengal, a breed created by crossing Asian wildcats with tabbies, and so she's separated from the jungle by only a handful of generations. Bengels have long tails, large eyes, spots, an incredible stretch, and it was only after we got her home that we learned that they're "for experienced cat owners only." Which is to say, they're very active and need lots of attention. Miss Hope is a bit of jock, I'm afraid.
Luckily, Marianne and I have owned many cats over the years, so this is not a problem.
Happy Rebirthday, Miss Hope! I trust you'll consider extending our contract.
Above: Miss Hope reminds you that it's time to put up your holiday lights. And then take a nap.