My Pot-Bellied Cat

By Alicia Beach

No hobby farm is complete with out a few furry felines on the prowl… We’re blessed to have half a dozen of these mice gobblers, and each cat has a unique backstory and is beloved!

Henri is the matriarch of the clan. Yes, she’s female, and no, I didn’t get her name wrong. It’s a long story, featuring one of my brothers handing out names right and left with no thought to gender. Henri currently resides in my bedroom, and the end of my bed is reserved for her naps. In a nutshell, back in January I noticed she was pregnant, and it being an especially cold winter, I managed to convince my parents to let her in the house. She settled in quite nicely, especially considering she’s been strictly outdoors ever since the great flea infestation of 2012. She also ate enormous amounts of food, and slept for hours on end, which seemed to further prove my theory of future kittens.

Henri the Cat

Let’s just say she’s been inside for two and a half months now. And a cat’s gestation period (the length of time they are pregnant) is two months. Which doesn’t add up. My dad has, very sweetly, suggested that I take some veterinarian classes. I blame it on Henri, who is obviously just maintaining a slight pot-belly so that she can stay in the warmth and be pampered… She has no intention of going to all the work of providing kittens for my personal entertainment.

Next up, Marmalade.

Marmalade the Cat

He’s a bit of a Greedy Garfield when it comes to all things eating. He’s also a ladies man, with his endearing orange chubby cheeks and plump paws, one of which is lame from a fall down the hayloft ladder. I’d never admit to playing favourites, but if I did…

Anyways, he has a mild flirtation going on with Henri. It’s really quite romantic. Henri sits inside, with an expression of boredom on her kitty-face, on the basement window sill, while outside, Marmalade presses his cheek up against the window glass and stares at her. I admire his dedication.

Ellie is another celebrity among visitors to our farm. My brother went for a walk with his wife down our cracked country road, and they heard a tiny mewl. So of course they risked getting poison ivy crawling around in the ditch looking for this lone, abandoned, mewling creature. They came home with a tiny scrap of yowling grey fur and goopy eyes. My sister-in-law named it Ellie, and with a bit of care, love, and a whole lot of kitten food, Ellie was bright-eyed, gorgeously fluffy, feminine, and very spoiled.

Ellie the Cat

She’s just that cute.

There’s a few others; Gandalf, all sleek black muscle and fur. If you hover your hand above him he’ll pet himself by jumping up and down and rubbing his back all over your mid-air hand. He’s a feisty tom cat, and doesn’t get along with Marmalade very well. And that’s putting it lightly.

Danger is a pretty little cat, with a soft white chest and stockings, very dainty, and her shy nature doesn’t really go with her name. Her younger sister, Cara, is a wild thing, and her brother, Timmy, is a gentle tabby cat.

So now you’ve met met our kitty population… their names, appearances, and personalities as individual and quirky as everything and everyone else on the Beach Homestead!

 

Author Bio: My name is Ali, and I am sixteen years old. I have been home-schooled my entire life. I enjoy writing fiction, poetry, and journalism. I live on an eighty acre farm by the lake, half forest, half fields. During this Coronavirus pandemic, my life has gotten busier and busier as my large family adjusts to the financial and social changes. Within a few weeks of social distancing and the confining limits on food… my parents realized we needed to take action. They purchased a milk cow, two goats, and stepped up the egg production from our chickens. We are taking other measures to decrease our dependence on the food market, including buying a used tractor so that we can double the area of our garden, and starting our own vegetable seedlings.

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