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"I would have in my house . . .
a cat moving among the books."
~ Unknown

"I cannot exist without a cat . . .
Life would not be worth living without a cat."
~ Peggy Bacon

"If animals could speak . . . the cat would have the rare talent of never saying a word too much."
~ Philip Gilbert Hamerton

I didn't adopt Elliot Brett, he adopted me. In November of 1999, I went to the pound in search of an adult female cat who had already been spayed and ended up coming home with Elliot, a skittish, wild-eyed tom, three months old. He was standing in the cage screaming, reaching his little paws out to me, insisting on being picked up. Of course, I did pick him up and hold him for a while, but once I put him back in the cage he became even more demanding. He cried and reached out to me until I had no choice but to take him home. He was tiny then, but now he's grown into an impressive twenty-two pounder and quite a handsome one, too. He shares the same August 9th birthday as his favorite hockey player, Brett Hull. [Elliot passed away in October of 2012.]

Emily Michelle may well be the sweetest little girl cat ever. I got her back in July of 2000 to keep Elliot company while I was working. She was the tiniest thing then, not even six weeks old, and she was a little spitfire, too. She would cover the food bowl with her entire body and growl to let Elliot know he'd best keep his distance. To my delight, though, he was immediately taken with her and took care of her as if she was his own. Emily has grown into a beautiful and gentle-tempered cat who loves to be cuddled and who can be quite acrobatic when playing with her toys. Her birthday, as well as her hockey hero Mike Modano's, is June 7th. [Emily passed away in March of 2012.]

The big talker of the family is Eloise Nicole. I got her in August of 2003 because she insisted. I have no other excuse for it. Elliot and Emily didn't appreciate the acquisition at the time, chiefly because of Eloise's tendency to bop them on the head in an attempt to get them to play with her. Now that she is more grown up and mostly less wicked than before, the three of them get along famously. She still tends to believe a whack on the head will endear her to other cats, but she generally keeps it to a minimum now. She's a voluminous talker (much more than my other cats combined), purrs loudly and often, and loves to have her tummy scratched. Her birthday is the same as former Dallas Stars winger Niko Kapanen's, April 29th. [Eloise passed away in August of 2014.]

Elizabeth Louise is my little teacup cat. I got her in June of 2010 when she was just four weeks old. It was a challenge to bottle feed her and keep her happy, but now she's grown into a beautiful, fierce and tiny adult. She's surprisingly motherly towards Petie. We'll see what happens. Her birthday is May 17th, almost like the July 17th birthday of her hockey namesake, Loui Eriksson.

Peter William ("Petie") is my feisty little ginger cat. I got him in November of 2012. He loves to play with everything, pull everything off my shelves and bite his siblings, and he is absolutely darling doing it. His birthday is September 1st, and his hockey hero is Bill Guerin.

Edwina Marie ("Eddie") is my sweet little tuxedo girl. I got her in September of 2014. She's a big talker and makes sure to remind me when it's mealtime. Even though she's the youngest, she's also the biggest (about 18 pounds) and doesn't hesitate to try to get everyone to do what she wants, but she's also incredibly affectionate and very few things bother her. Her birthday is April 2nd, and she was named for Dallas Stars' Stanley Cup winning goalie, Ed "Crazy Eddie" Belfour.

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