Thursday, November 25, 2010

Princess Daisy -- Thanksgiving Day

      I've mentioned her previously in passing, but here is my cat Princess Daisy sitting in her usual king of the mountain/sentinel position in the high window of Signal Hill.

     Outside our house, especially at night, Daisy is visible to visitors, poised aloft looking down across our property and at Sugartown Road below, stationed in front of the house's high lantern. Because Signal Hill was one of the five lookout points for the Valley Forge encampment in the winter of 1777-8 (Caroline's ancestor Captain William Sproat was present and a member of General George Washington's staff, having recently survived the Paoli Massacre in September 1777), it seems appropriate to have a cat on sentry duty at all times.

     Daisy is one of our cat Tige's two surviving offspring.  Tige's kittens were born in our garage in Tuxedo Park and continued to live there in downy, pillowy comfort with their mother, but after a raccoon mauled the third kitten in the litter, we brought the family inside to live with us.

     Daisy is physically slight, but strong and agile.  Watching her leap up and across to her viewing position, then back to the stair landing again, is breathtaking.  Most people would say she's "funny looking", but I love tortoiseshell cats and I like her looks.  They show her intelligence and personality.

     For a long time, Daisy dwelled in our basement with her mother, her brother KingKing, and with our other feral cats, Honey and Tiger Lilly.   Then Daisy began her emerging and, although shy, she is now fully an "upstairs cat" whose sight, sweet insistent voice and curious habits are dear to all of us.  She is everything a cat should be in the "predictably unpredictable" department.  She spends a lot of time in Jane's room and is very much at ease with her, which is fairly typical.  Even the shyest animals seem to gravitate toward children and Jane is especially good with all animals (and small children also).

     I had hoped to post a photo of KingKing here, but haven't been able to get the shot yet.  The best opportunities usually come in our kitchen between 4 and 5 am when he slides all around the house before re-disappearing.  He was very good company during my recent exam prep.  He (as you will see soon) looks nothing like his sister or his mother. He's a large, elegant black and white cat and he is gorgeous.

     My original plan was in fact to publish something here featuring all our feral cats in honor of the recent National Feral Cat Day, but the series seems destined to dribble out with one cat at a time being featured.  I think the cats would actually prefer it that way.

     I think that every day should be National Feral Cat Day.

     And this Thanksgiving I am deeply grateful that Princess Daisy seems so happy.


  1. A beautiful animal. One of the pleasures of my most recent (almost said last, knock wood)) decade has been getting acquainted with cats again.

  2. Thanks very much. I'll pass along your compliments to Princess Daisy herself. She's really something. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope both your kids are with you and Francie. Nice reading Willie (I mean William) Clay's posts. It's snowing in Tuxedo. Am not sure how to feel about that. Curtis

  3. Anyone who finds a tortoiseshell funny-looking ought to be taken out behind the barn at the farm where the tortoiseshell lives, and turned into a mouse... for at least an hour or two.

  4. I am happy that such a high hymn to fur and assymetry has crept into these pages. You force me--and perhaps many of us-- to realize that however pudgy or scrawny our own cats may be, truly, we must somewhat be, under all our surface liberality, stern symmetrarians, demanding from the left as we do from the right, endless and most eternal mirrors of the center. (More Mark Tobey than Morris Graves.)

  5. TC and WDC, thanks so much for liking Princess Daisy. I'd love you to meet her. She's shy of physical contact, but less and less so, especially around Jane. Someone once told us (a propos our two calicos, Rose and Pansy) that 3-colored cats were lucky. I haven't counted all Daisy's colors, but I think she's quite lucky. Our animal friends were the really bright part of our Thanksgiving. Curtis