My partner and I have three cats, and each has made their way onto one of my products. I have the whole trio eating cake on one celebration card, and Toby take's pride of place on a brooch and necklace. But I have a few pieces inspired by our youngest cat, our British Shorthair blue cat, Monty.
Monty isn't the typical British Shorthair blue. He has a blue dad and brother, but he takes after his mother, a blue spotted, golden tipped cat. He looks stripey from afar, but when you look closely, his stripes are made from spots, and this is nowhere more evident that on his belly (which surprisingly he loved you to pet).
Other than being a little shy, Monty (or to give him his full moniker, Baron Isambard Montgomery Bonnieblue - his colouring inspired us to name him after famous engineers. His surname is the family name), is the most contented out of cats I've met. He never seems to be upset or sad, and one of the few expressions he wears that isn't a happy face is a confused or curious one. He loves little more than sleeping in the smallest, darkest places possible (in wardrobes, on a pillow under the bed, at the back of a shelf), and unlike a lot of cats of his breed, actually will sleep in your lap.
When I first brought him home, he had a five minute adventure in our bathroom (somehow getting stuck on the side of the bath) before coming over to me, lying on my legs on his back, belly exposed, and falling asleep. I've never seen a cat so suddenly settled in their new home.
He took to the other cats like a house on fire. Mog, our oldest cat (she was 13 at the time) didn't even seem to care that there was yet another cat in the house (she'd already had two other cats come into her home), and only hissed when he got close enough to sniff her (obviously asserting her dominance; within a few days they were giving each other cat kisses).
Our ginger tom Toby was a bit of a different matter. He had been the youngest for six years. When Monty first saw Toby you could see the excitement in his big, round eyes. His eyes had instantly gone to Toby's big fluffy tail and he started to follow his new "big brother" everywhere.
Toby was not so enthused. The first two days any time Monty was around (we supervised them in short bursts, keeping Monty from getting close and giving Toby lots of affection and treats), he would let out a serious of "no no no" noises. After this stage, he calmed down somewhat, though he still seemed out of sorts for the first two weeks. Monty would watch him from a distance, eager to become friends, and started to show subservient signs to Toby, making himself smaller (at this stage, Monty was one kilogram, Toby was five) and bowing to Toby. As Toby let him come a little closer, Monty would imitate him. One of the funniest things I've ever seen with our cats is when Toby would "fall over" onto the floor, Monty would instantly copy the motion half a metre away, looking towards Toby for a sign of approval.
They continued like this for the first few days, and would nap close to each other. At the end of the first week, we had a big breakthrough; when Toby went to sleep on the sofa, Monty followed him and set his head against Toby's rump. Okay, although Monty looked like the happiest kitten in the world, Toby had an expression of "oh, god, why did you bring this little bugger into the house?", but it was incredibly cute. We always knew Toby was a gentle giant (he's part Norwegian Forest cat, part lord knows what), but seeing this really brought home what a softy he is. He would just let the kitten do as he wished without being hostile to him. And we realised what a glutton for cuddles and acceptance Monty was; he wasn't going to let Toby's initial freak out dissuade him from doing everything he could to make friends with this fluffy big cat.
After this point, the two really became close friends. They would often spoon on the sofa, and shared the bottom of our bed at night. When they first started to wrestle, we were a little worried over the size difference, but realised that though Toby would have Monty pinned on the floor on his back, he was literally dancing around the little kitten to make sure he didn't hurt him.
They've been together now for four years, and have a real bromance, though I still think Monty loves Toby more than Toby loves him! Mog reigns as boss cat (despite being the smallest of the three), but she and Monty also have a loving relationship, still giving each other loads of kisses.
I'm so thankful to have a happy clowder of cats in our home.