Notting Hill Cat Company’s clients are cats of all different shapes, sizes and characters. Today I thought I’d introduce you to some of our more unusual kitty’s in our care.
M is a quirky cat that is named after the signature letter that embellishes her forehead. She is a 2-year-old Pixie Bob with a gentle, playful nature and soft striped fur. Although rumoured to be descended from the American Bob Cat, Pixie Bobs are more likely descended from a combination of unusual tabby cats. M doesn’t have the bobbed or shortened tail sometimes associated with the Pixie Bob breed, but the soles of her paws are covered in soft black fur, she has tufted ears and on each of her front paws she has an extra toe that resembles a thumb. This makes it look like M is wearing mittens and the results is a case of extreme and almost unbearable cuteness.
Cats with six toes are officially known as polydactyl cats or sometimes Hemmingway cats after the author Ernest Hemmingway whose home is now a museum that houses between 50-60 Polydactyl cats.
M is a very social kitty and when I arrive for her morning visit, I usually find her rolling around on the hallway rug, unable to contain her pleasure at the anticipation of company. She follows me in to the kitchen and hops onto the counter nudging her food and bowls in my direction. Occasionally distracted by a bird, M will lift her thumbed paw to the window and tilt her head as she watches it fly by.
After breakfast M loves to be groomed and a wag of her favourite purple brush has her rushing happily towards me. To make the job easier M, will proffer the bits that need the most attention, beginning with her chin which she points up at you with an anticipatory squint and ending with the arch of her back and a shake of her stripy bottom.
Fleck is a gentle cat, still sad because his sibling, litter mate and constant companion died recently. His owner says he still searches for his sibling and when I open the door to his home he pops his head out and looks slowly from left to right before following me, resigned back into the living room for his dinner. A 15 year old Lynx Point Siamese, Fleck is an unusual breed that is the result of a combination of a Siamese and a tabby, whose facial markings resemble that of the wild Lynx cat. A large, noble cat Fleck has stripy legs and a ringed tale with a classic tabby M on his forehead. His round eyes have smudges of white above and below and his ears are outlined in black.
Charged with the job of keeping Fleck company with daily visits while his owners are away, we soon fall into an easy routine. After dinner, we settle on the sofa, Fleck standing with his two front paws on my lap and his eyes nearly level to mine, with his fur floating around us while I stroke him from head to tail. Although I’m told by Flecks owner that he still loves to play, he clearly misses his family and during my visits most of our time is spent petting him. He never quite sits on my lap but after a few days of visits he stands with all four paws on my legs as I stroke him until he collapses purring next to me on the sofa. He wraps his paw around my finger and tucks into the side of my leg, staring into my eyes as he drifts into a light sleep.
As a stray kitten, Sapphire chanced upon her owner after crossing a large garden and wandering into the then strangers home. Although her prospective owner had never wanted a cat, Sapphire, a pretty white bundle of fur with bright blue eyes, proved irresistible. Sapphire, or Sapphy as she is known, moved straight into the exclusive Holland Park lodging. Her choice was a good one, as she is adored by her owner and Sapphire still has access to the huge garden which was once her home. Soon after she was adopted by Sapphy, her owner noticed the colour of one of her eyes had changed to green. Expecting the other to soon follow suit she was surprised to notice while one eye got greener the other stayed a twinkly blue. Sapphy is now four years old and has a genetic condition that is more commonly found in white cats and is official called Heterochromia. It has no adverse effect on her, she is wonderfully agile and a great hunter, it just serves to make this unique cat even more special.