Check out this gorgeous creature, posing so artistically:
Yes, you recognize that charming face, that knowing expression; that silky coat, that white blaze and ruff.
Ah, a nice photo of Possum, you say.
But look at the ears.
This isn't Possum; he has not been to a reconstructive surgeon.
* * * * *
It's a small world, at least among cat people. I love stories like this one, especially when I'm the lucky one telling it. It begins with a message I received recently:
I came across a photo from your blog during a Google image search. It was an older pic of Possum and his siblings from the foster home. I thought you'd be interested to know, we are the family who adopted Abenaki, Possum's sister! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the picture! If you're interested, I would love to share some pics of our sweet Abenaki with you.
Yes, we have just connected with the family of Possum's long-lost sister! Here's another photo:
Abenaki, Possum's spectacular sister
I'd know her anywhere. Her face looks more feminine than Possum's, in tiny ways that are hard to describe. My husband and I were delighted to see her photos and hear her story because she was a beautiful, memorable kitten.
For those who are new to this blog, I'll tell Possum's story again: We adopted him in October 2009 from a rescue organization in Marlborough. His shelter name was Passamaquoddy; he had a brother, Ossipee, and a sister, Abenaki. They were named for Maine Native American tribes because they resembled Maine Coons.
They were born outdoors in Shrewsbury and would have had to fend for themselves — except for some rescuers who ran a trap-neuter-return program. Neutering and spaying reduces the feral population and helps keep unadoptable, wild cats from fighting, roaming, and starving, too.
Possum/Passamaquoddy was trapped, neutered, ear-clipped, and released when he was just a few weeks old. He got trapped again, and the rescuers realized he and his siblings were friendly enough to be adoptable. So all three kittens ended up in a great foster home in Marlborough:
Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, and Ossipee, in the lap of luxury instead of the streets
All three were great friends
We found the kittens via Petfinder.com and were invited to choose between Abenaki and Passamaquoddy; Ossipee was spoken for. At that time, everyone thought Passy was a girl. It was hard to choose. Abenaki was perfect: sweet, outgoing, gorgeous. My husband wanted her. But Passamaquoddy won my heart with "her" chopped-off ear and soulful eyes. I also worried that "she'd" be less adoptable with that missing ear, while Abenaki would easily find a great home. I prevailed.
Abenaki and Passamaquoddy's last moments together.
The photo above was taken the night we took our kitten home. They were curled up together and we were sad to separate them, knowing they'd never meet again. We wanted them both. But our vet had warned us that having five cats was a recipe for behavioral problems; four was a less risky number.
So Passamaquoddy became Possum, took over our household, and became my feline soulmate. But my husband and I often wondered about his siblings. Were they equally happy and healthy, and did they have good homes? Did they sing for their suppers and eat with their paws, like Possum?
Last night Abenaki's family recognized a photo from this blog during a Google search, and got in touch with me. It's a wish come true and the best thing ever to come out of this blog.
So here's the news: Abenaki kept her original name, and lives in another state, with a family that includes three children and two more cats. Her family reports:
That's just what I remember about her: she really does smile. Her family also reports that she gained some extra pounds as a youngster, just as Possum did, but they helped her lose them, as we did. Abenaki does indeed eat with her paws, like Possum, and they both like to dip into their water dish that way, too. They are both very vocal when it's time to eat. Peas in a pod!
Here's another photo of Abenaki, looking quite as smart and opinionated as Possum. (Hmm, should we try to teach him some tricks?)
I know exactly how soft and silky that finely striped tabby coat feels.
I look forward to keeping in touch with her family and sharing stories of our sibling cats.
Now we just need to find Ossipee!