The Cast

These are the current, and two late, animals at our house. As of February 19, 2013, we have, Lucy, who belonged to Mark’s late mother.

Zeus was my fourth Doberman pinscher. I got him from a rescue group, which had taken him back from a previous adopter who apparently couldn’t keep the peace. He had a large gash in his side. Zeus (not a name I would have chosen, but he came with it) was a good dog. He got along with everyone, including cats. He had the misfortune to follow Hugo, my third Doberman, and the best dog in the world; pretty much any dog would suffer in comparison to Hugo. But Zeus did his best, and that was good. Zeus died Christmas of 2009 from cardiomyopathy, a condition that Dobermans in particular are susceptible to. I had him for seven years. I don’t know how old he was. Very, I hope.

Zeus trotting across a stream at Berry College

Zeke is our current dog. He was abandoned near our house and “adopted” by a neighbor in 2006. He ended up at our house because the neighbors ignored him. He was a roaming dog, completely unreliable off leash. We found someone to adopt him, and warned them not to let the dog off the leash when they got home. Then we went on a two-week vacation. When we got home, we were contacted by someone who had found him roaming some distance from where the adopter lived. They traced us through his rabies tag; we always get our strays vetted, even if we plan to find homes for them. We took Zeke home and he has been with us since. He was completely (let’s say) uneducated when we got him, but has made great progress since. His behavior reminds me of some type of bird dog. He’s big and goofy and thinks everyone who sees him cannot wait to pet him.

Zeke. His tail is not docked.
















Zoe was a replacement for the wife’s wonderful cat who died before we were married. He was found wandering in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, an appropriate location for him, given his appetite. He was a very pretty, very small kitten. Now he is a pretty, rather large, and damned unfriendly cat. I would call him ungrateful, but that’s too generous. He has an annoying meow, which he uses to demand food, usually about an hour before we normally wake up. Do not let this cat bite you unless you are eager for a course of antibiotic injections, and possibly a short stay in the hospital. My wife knows this. But she still loves him.

Unfortunately, Zoe is no longer with us. He disappeared in late October 2014. There has been no trace of him, so we can only speculate about what happened.

Zoe in his office chair

Chloe was the first stray cat to appear after we moved in. We can’t remember exactly, but it must have been in the latter half of 2005. She is a smallish, friendly gray striped mama cat who brought her three kittens with her. We found a home for one of her kittens, which looked like a Siamese, but the other two stayed. Chloe follows us on walks with the dog and sometimes spends the night on our bed. But most of the time she stays outside. Rusty (the redder cat) and Dusty (the lighter cat) are Chloe’s babies. They are semiferal. Dusty is the most feral, although even he will occasionally let my wife pet him, and sometimes lets the dog sniff him. Rusty butts heads with Zeke, so apparently they are okay with each other. They used to stay in the garage until the next two cats came along.


Chloe, Rusty and Dusty, sleeping in a pile in the garage

Smokey and Sylvester are the latest additions. They have been here around three years. Sylvester is the black cat, a slinky killer of small animals. He is obnoxious around Chloe, Rusty and Dusty. He also walks with us sometimes, and engages in what would probably be called antics. We tried to give him away but failed. He does not have a lisp, as far as we have been able to determine. Smokey, the gray cat, is probably the best cat of the lot. He likes to be petted and pretty much ignores the occasional, accidental kick. He’s calm and even tempered, although he also gives Chloe, Rusty and Dusty hell sometimes.

Sylvester (the black one) and Smokey (gray) in the kitchen

Lucy in her new home

Lucy in her new home


8 thoughts on “The Cast

  1. Cool site. Zeke looks like a loveable guy. Reminds me of Elroy. Tres just took our anti-friendly cat to the vet to have his mouth looked at. I am concerned one of us may die in our sleep tonight as a consequence.

  2. Zeke is lovable. There’s just no way not to love him, although Leah is not happy about the way he ignores her commands when I’m around. When she calls him, he looks at me before deciding whether to go to her.

  3. I remember the dobermans well. Miss them too. Had a solid white male cat once named Christopher. Some friend of mine named Tom tormented it with a gloved hand as a kitten and the cat never forgot. He turned into a quasi-feral cat, took on dogs without hesitation (A dog, even an angry German Shepherd, would charge the cat, only to have Christopher return the charge chasing the dog homeward); and even once took on a city of Atlanta bus with bad results, blinded in one eye, fractured jaw but the cat survived unbowed.

  4. You do have quite the adorable menagerie. Love the pic with Chloe, Rusty, and Dusty. I wish our little feral kitty cat were a bit friendlier. He’s a wild one, but he’s finally gotten enough food and trusts its reliability, to start leaving a bit in his dish.

  5. Cat people say that feral cats can eventually become friendly pets, but Dusty is as skittish as ever. He does let Leah pet him sometimes, and I actually touched him for a few seconds a couple of days ago. Progress!

  6. I once traveled with a feller that swore up and down that he disliked cats. Even went as far to say that the best part of cats are the parts where they act like dogs. But I think he must have mellowed in his advanced years because he now has 6!!!!

  7. Jo Ann — I don’t think it’s accurate to say “he now has 6”. It’s more like “it’s amazing how mellow he is to let six cats live in the vicinity.”

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