Sunday, 9 August 2020



April 2003.
I get a phone call from Stefanie, who tells me that Tricks is pregnant and asks me if I'm still interested in a kitten. “Of course”, I reply, “ but only if it is a red tomcat.” Tricks is due around the 12th of May, now I have to be patient.

In the meanwhile I had seen several red Burmese cats and found them to be extraordinary beautiful. My household now counts 3 castrated females (one of them is a lilac Burmese) and one castrated male. Comparatively it's time for a male. Besides that, it is my experience that males aren't as hot-tempered, in contrast to two of my females. That's why I chose a (red) male.

On May 10th I check to see if there is any news. To my surprise Tricks has already given birth to a litter of seven kittens. Their colours aren't always clear yet, but as last a little male is described to be red/cream(?). I immediately e-mail Stefanie to express my joy and to congratulate Tricks with this achievement. Now all I can do, is wait to see if the male will turn red.

That evening the phone rings and Stefanie informs me about the delivery, how Tricks is doing and that the kittens are fine. She expects the red/cream (?) male to turn red. I don't have anything to worry about and will have to wait patiently for the little man to grow old enough to move to my household.

If I could, I would move in with Stefanie for 4 months so I wouldn't have to miss a day out of the live of my new house mate. That's impossible, of course, so I ask for a lot (lots and lots) of photo's. Thankfully that ís possible, long live modern technology and the internet.

On August 30th Stefanie comes to deliver the little man. She has given him the name “Red Cloud”. I will call him Robbyn, an adjusted red gemstone for a precious red rascal. Robbyn is a tiny man, off-white with orange ears and a orange stripe on his back and tail. On his forehead he has a cheeky orange spot. Is this supposed to be a red male? It doesn't really matter anymore. One look in his beautiful brown eyes and I'm in love with him. When he first sees me, he is a little scared, but as soon he's inside, he calmly explores the room. That the other cats growl or hiss, is of no interest to him. But when Stefanie leaves his sight, he immediately meows sadly. As soon as he sees her again, he runs towards her and surrenders to the cuddle she gives him.

After Stefanie has left, Robbyn explores the room again. Calmly he walks around, sniffing up new smells and after a while he jumps up on my lap. He washes his paws, sniffs my face and after patting him, he puts on his motor. He has a lovely purr in his body. Slowly he falls asleep.

In the meanwhile the other cats carefully enter the room. They have seen the little, strange smelling creature. Now the coast is clear to see if he has left with the visitor or if he has stayed. Alas, I've done it again, the little man is still here. I'm surprised to see them walking across the room already. Even sitting on the couch or on my legs, while Robbyn is asleep in my arms. A year and a half ago, things were very different. When lilac Burmese Zohra came to live with me, the other cats wouldn't come into the living room for three days. Maybe it's because Robbyn smells very familiar. That's my opinion, maybe they think so too. What ever the reason, I'm pleased with it.

The first days go by quietly. Robbyn doesn't worry about a thing. In time a bit of food, something to drink and a visit to the litter tray. He makes it through the day playing with a mouse, a shoelace or a leaf. The interaction with the other cats is careful. They hiss and growl when he comes too close and move in a wide circle around him. In confrontation he jumps back. When the danger has gone, he continuous his games.

Zohra, one and a half years old, is still playful and active and finds Robbyn both very interesting and scary. When he is playing, she watches him closely and with great interest. One step too close and she hisses, moves back and runs off. Robbyn follows her happily, thinking it's a game. Anxiously Zohra seeks a safe place and finds it on the bookcase. When Robbyn returns to his game and smacks his mouse around the room, she sneaks down. She sits down close by and watches him. When he comes too close again, she takes off and he runs after her. Again she finds herself on the bookcase. It's a delight watching them.

After 4 days the “big” cats feel safe and secure enough to sniff Robbyn close by. Especial when he is eating or sleeping, they dare to come close to him. Zohra lays on my lap with Robbyn against her back. She is washing herself. Robbyn looks curiously at her and busy washing, she washes him too. He enjoys the attention. After a little while Yottum (my big male) comes to look if there is room for him as well. Zohra is his pal and he licks her tenderly. When Robbyn looks at him, he licks the sleepy rascal too.

Robbyn has explored the garden as well. It is cat proof, but kitten proof? I hadn't intended to let him into the garden yet. He was asleep when I opened the door for the other cats. But he awoke and walked to the door. Just when I wanted to pick him up, the doorbell rang. I'm distracted for a second and he seized this opportunity. When I look at him, I can see him smile behind his paw. I shake my head, but stay outside to keep watching him. He doesn't need me there. He amuses himself just fine. Loves to lay down in the sunshine or try to catch a fly.

Within two weeks after Robbyn has entered our house, I lay on the couch with three or four cats on my lap and at rare times even with all five. At those moments I would purr, if I could. But I can't so I therefore enjoy this in silence.

It's incredible to see how totally different Robbyn is in comparison to Zohra. She absolutely needs to be close to me, won't eat if I'm not close by. She did everything that wasn't allowed at least ten times more, demanding my attention all the time. She is incredibly lovely, but a little dictator as well. Robbyn, on the other hand, is fine with everything. Eating alone, no attention for a while. Isn't this allowed? Fine. He is so relaxed and easy going, I can have ten of him in my house.

Zohra has become more calm and relaxed, only eating alone is still an issue. So she comes to get me, resulting in an empty food bowl because on of the others has eaten her food. She is very devoted to Robbyn. She washes him head to tail, she plays around with him, cuddles him and sleeps with him, curled up to a ball. Only if he becomes pushy, she will hiss at him and leave, only to return immediately.

Yottum also plays with Robbyn regularly. Not as intense as with Zohra, but always sweetly. My big girls have accepted Robbyn, but prefer to avoid him. They have a need for peace and quiet and a playful kitten doesn't fit into that.

Robbyn is now six months old. After a growth spurt he now looks like a little cat instead of a crane fly. Is it my imagination or has he turned more red? His eyes are just like amber, matching his fur beautifully. It's a lovely little man and I hope I will be able to enjoy his company for many years.

Thank you, Tricks, for your beautiful son. Thank you, Perdita, Macho and Roderick, for your help raising Tricks' litter, that made Robbyn such a lovely boy. Thank you, Stefanie, for two very different, but indispensable Burmese cats.

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