Dramatis Feles

The Stars (In Order of Appearance)

Ma Barker

The only times I’ve seen this otherwise mean, bullying, skittish matron of the original cat brood in anything other than her normal vile state of mind have been a) when she had four kittens slurping away in the early days, b) when she’s in a mood to chase the foam rubber balls I leave lying around the yard, and c) when I have cheap cooked turkey slices. That stuff is cat crack.

She does like to come and watch whatever I’m doing in the yard, though. We’ve now established a truce – I no longer try to pet her, and she no longer tries to take off my finger like she did after escaping her cage inside my car when I’d first taken her to the vet.


So named for the weird gray patterns on his head. Rorschach is as close to Tom (as in, Jerry) as it gets, weird and annoyed squawking meows included. He’s not particularly friendly, like the rest of the family, and probably the most prone to showing up with birds, mice, and other creatures that he’d rather play with than eat.

Only really approachable while he’s face-deep in a bowl of kibble, he still doesn’t seem to grasp entirely what is happening when I pet him as he gorges on a pile of top quality gourmet €15-per-20-kilo-bag supermarket budget chow.

Very decorative, often seen wrestling with Gopnik, whom see.

Entering his natural habitat, the pot.


According to Wikipedia, G.O.P. (Gorodskoye Obshezhitie Proletariata, or proletariat alms houses) is the root of a subculture of low-class, thuggish Russian yoofs:

Apparently, Adidas tracksuits are the formal wear of choice of this demographic. Adidas has stripes. Thus, Gopnik.

Also, he’s an opportunistic, sneaky little bastard.

I spy with my little eye something that may very plausibly resemble food.

Squeaky Octopus

I named her Squeaky, because of, well, the obvious. Plus, she’s cute.

Karin wanted to call her Octopus. Because she likes octopus. Podes. Puses. Whatever.

Ah, I just got that one, after 3 years. Octo-puss. Hah.

Squeaky is the embodiment of “sweet but dumb”. This is in contrast to our other cats, who are also dumb, but considerably less sweet. In fairness, the sweetness goes away very quickly when Squeaktopus has a piece of cooked turkey in front of her – then the claws come out.

Squeaky thinks she is a lot stealthier than she is. Her default mindsets are “confused”, and “scared”. There is not much here to be genuinely scared of, so her nemesis of choice is the pine cone, or the lawn, fights against which she inevitably loses. She is usually seen, fleeing in terror from something, or in a state of utter confusion when confronted with a toy.

You cannot see me. I am invisible.

The Grumpus

He is a fat, orange, stupid, cowardly stomach on four legs, with a nearly permanent guilty look of “I have done something bad, I have no idea what it is, but I harbour a very realistic fear that if I come too close, you will eat me in consequence.

There apparently exists a children’s book character of the same name, which I must have seen somewhere and picked up subconsciously. Nonetheless, Uncle Grumpus just looks like a cat that you would call, well, that, and like all ginger cats, he has about two brain cells whose effectiveness is reduced by them constantly knocking together in his empty skull during his default state of running away.

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for food.


“Hey, you have a bunch of cats, right?”


“Want another one? My wife’s allergic”.

Well, so is mine. But sure, why not.

Sammy is chill, and the only one of the bunch who gets to spend time in the office. That has also led to at least one significant flea infestation, costing me a few hundred bucks to have taken care of. He’s also been my biggest investment so far, somehow managing to pick up a case of kidney stones that required expensive surgery and almost-as-expensive constant special food to take care of.

But I love him to bits, at least when he’s not trying to dismantle my hand. He is Siamese, after all, and it’s not uncommon to encounter a vicious, unprovoked Sambush on the path to the office. It’s either that, or walking up to people and letting himself fall to the ground with an audible “plop” like a hairy sack of potatoes looking for belly rubs.

And he is hairy, Jesus H. Christ on a bike, is there a lot of hair. Thankfully one of my colleagues recommended something called a Furminator, which helps, but my god, I should start making little felt cats and sell them on Etsy.

Sammy is the one on the left


His soundtrack is the oboe from Peter and the Wolf. Marching with purpose, like he owned the world, he started showing up during the pandemic, a muscular, dominant, confident black panther.

Once I got him snipped and vaxxinated, that façade washed away pretty quickly. He’s a big sweet snaggletooth who wants butt rubs and head scratches and turkey slices, with a tiny little red mouth and scratchy voice.

Yes, I am a middle-aged guy who likes anime, and I own a plush Jiji doll. Sammy absolutely hates the fucking thing.

I am night. Fear me.

The Trumpus

The most recent-ish addition, part II of the Orange Order. Equally stupid, fat, and cowardly, and with a stumpy little tail that made me think of Stormy Daniels’ description of you-know-who’s you-know-what.

Surprisingly, he lets me pet him while he eats, in between bouts of aggressive hissing, because fuck you, that’s what. Also, he’s made of pure muscle, so maybe I need to work on my choice of names.