textiles · exploration · misadventure


My Sister Has These Cats

One champaine and one platinum Burmese

Somebody and Pasty

I can’t help it. I have to write another post about cats.

Remember these guys? From here? They are the tip of the iceberg. My sister raises Burmese cats. It’s a small operation, and she breeds them for genetic health and sociability.

Every time I go to visit her in Chico, there is an abundance of cats—ney, a wealth, a herd, a flock—of cats. And I freaking LOVE it. We don’t have pets in our apartment here in San Francisco, and a visit to my sister’s is a vicarious couple of month’s-worth of cat companionship.

Four cats: grey, platinums, and sable

Jasmine, Somebody, Pasty, and Chickenlegs.

Jasmine, up front here, was my Guest Cat on this visit. I LOVED her! She crawled under the covers and slept curled up in the pit of my stomach or the small of my back. She has a BIG thing for the Feet-Under-the-Covers Game before bedtime. And she let me read my book until I was ready to turn the light off, and only then moved in and barnacled on.

You always get a Guest Cat when you stay. Sometimes you get three.

Five cats, differnt colors, stuffing themselves on top of and onto a chair.

Somebody, Pasty, Nika, Dev, and Burley hanging off the end.

There is a reason these cats are called “velcro cats.” The way they’re sticking to each other here is the way they usually stick to their humans, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, these cats will curl up under the covers with you on a cold night. On the other hand, if you have more than one of them, they may suffocate you instead. They’re kind of like a burr you can’t get out of your sock.
Sable Burmese Burley, and his belly, on top of the fish tank

Burley and his belly.

This is Burley. He gets the warm spot on top of the fish tank by right of his advanced years. He’s pretty much the dad or grandpa or great grandpa of everybody you see here, and he’s quite a lover. I’ve woken up many nights in my sister’s spare room to find Burley snuggling up to my head, or sleeping on my chest. Yes, it was hard to breathe. Why do you ask? But Burley is worth it.

Two sable Burmese, warming up on the fish tank heater

Burley and Devil, old pals

Peaking out from behind Burley is Devil. Dev will let you do anything to him, but he will give you an absolutely condescending and disgusted look while you’re doing it. Which makes you do it more.

When you think he’s had enough and put him down, he’ll fling himself at your feet and roll around so you have to pick him up again and pet him. He’s a cheap strumpet. But irresistible.

Runt and bruiser of the litter

Bruiser, right, and the Runt, left.

This is Bruiser and the Runt. I wouldn’t want to meet these guys in a dark alley. They’re kind of a badass team.

They’re two out of the SIX kittens in residence last November. The kitten room was like a black hole. I’d go in to pet a kitten, and come out an hour and a half later.

Biggest in the litter.

Bruiser. A beautiful dude.

Six kittens

Bruiser and the Runt, lording it over.

Licked his own belly for fifteen minutes in this position.

Licked his own belly for ten minutes in this position.

Kitten playing with hand, for scale.

The hand, for scale.

Platinum mama nursing a pile of kittens.

Mama Jacey and kittens

Kittens. See what I mean? Black hole.

Grey tabby cat, great stripes

Zig is a very catlike cat.

And then there’s Uncle Zig. Clearly not related to the Burmese by blood, Zig is nevertheless a world-class snuggler. He’s also Burley’s best friend in the whole wide world.

I thought I’d taken pictures of everybody, but once home I realized I missed Pink, Spicer, and Auntie Fuzz.

This particular visit was a record-breaking cat-o-rama. Jasmine was boarding, Pasty, Chickenlegs, and Somebody are teenage cats in transition to new homes, and Jacey’s kittens were sold months ago, and by now are at their new homes.

After the ten part-timers left, my sister was left with her usual suspects, a mere eight cats.

And then this happened.

Three-day-old Burmese kittens.

A fresh crop. Three-day-old Burmese kittens.