Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan
Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan
Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan
Penny's photo by Chanan Penny's photo by Chanan

Penelope’s story begins with a tale that is so bizarre that it would take a few pages to tell it, and nobody would believe it anyway. She was born in my house in 1983, one of five kittens, to a solid blue cat who took on the identity of my long-lost spayed Korat, Lingh. There were two black females and three tabby males in the litter.

She was the first born, and she needed my dad’s help to come into the world. Lingh just dropped her, didn’t clean her or anything, so my dad had to rub her and start her breathing. It wasn’t until the next kitten was born that Lingh got a clue and began to clean Penny. Once she figured it out, Lingh was a good mom. We had a lot of fun watching the kittens grow up, we gave them each a bunch of silly names, and eventually we found homes for all but one of the girls. We kept a girl because my parents didn’t want any male cats. One of the tabby boys had a thick band of black color around his eyes so he was nicknamed, “Bandit”. Naturally, it followed that one of the other kittens should be “Smokey”. Smokey seemed to like my brother-in-law a lot, so he and my sister adopted him. They kept the name and several years later they got a dog, which they named, what else? Bandit!

Lingh’s kitten “Bandit” was the only one that I personally did not find a home for. My college roommate took a tabby that I had named Rocky, for reasons entirely too silly to explain here, but she renamed Rascal. The black girl that I didn’t keep, whose kitten name was Chandar, again for silly reasons, went to my neighbor down the street. I kept Artemis, named for the Greek goddess of the moon. Yes, I did get flak about that, from people who thought Artemis was a boy’s name. Maybe so but not to the ancient Greeks, and I was in a mythological mood. My vet found a nice family for “Bandit” to adopt.

Three weeks after taking her home, my neighbor brought Chandar back. She said she couldn’t keep her, but if I wanted, she would pay to have the cat spayed and declawed, and her daughter would give her a home after she was married. This was November; the wedding wasn’t until the next fall! My mom thought we should try to find her a home.

We didn’t try very hard, and before long she had bonded with her mother and sister. Artemis died suddenly about a year later, and Penny stayed here. She kept her name, too, because I decided it was mythological enough and it seemed to suit her.

Penny was a real in-your-face cat, to the point of being annoying! She liked to rub and lick and park herself right in front of whatever we were doing. She wasn’t a very playful cat most of the time, and not very smart either, according to my dad. I used to let her mother and her outside, and Penny had this habit of finding herself on the roof, and then yowling for someone to get her down because she couldn’t figure out how to do it herself. She also used to throw herself at the front door when she was ready to come in.

She was also very pretty, with a plush shiny black coat, so while I was showing Ab and Bo, noticing how much fun the people showing household pets were having, I considered showing Penny.

I finally entered her in a show, an ACFA household pet-only show, a few months before her tenth birthday. I had no idea how she’d like it or what the judges would do with her. She finaled once at that show and didn’t seem to really hate it so we tried it again. She got all the way to QGM in TICA and then I quit showing her because I felt that she was uncomfortable with being handled and lifted and stretched by the judges.

Penny was always very close to her mother. I have so many pictures of the two of them lying together in one blue and black furry ball. When Lingh crossed Rainbow Bridge in 1996, I knew that Penny would join her soon. Penny was diagnosed with throat cancer in the fall of 1997, and a month later, she quietly left me to be with her mom. She was 14.


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