Special Guest Cat

Meet Belle. She’s the cat of my in-laws, who is temporarily hanging out here whilst some home repairs are being done on the in-law house. As with Zeus and Lopsided Cat, Belle is a found cat, which is to say the in-laws found her living under their deck, along with a rooster that also had taken shelter under there. Apparently they were sharing the same living space, which is an interesting arrangement if you ask me. The rooster still lives under the deck, but now Belle lives in the garage and seems a bit happier (and warmer) for it.

For her visit Belle is staying in Athena’s room, because Athena is crazy for her and also it keeps her away from the other cats, who may or may not be thrilled to have a strange cat in their territory. Cats. You know how they are.

In any event, Belle is deeply sweet and adorable, and I know you all would want to meet her, so: Here you go.

48 Comments on “Special Guest Cat”

  1. dawn – east or west of there – PhD in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication, social media researcher, blogger, amateur photographer

    She’s adorable. And I’m glad she found a warm home.

  2. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    ben@7: Of course she’s a happy cat. She knows John is one of those people who are born every minute.

  3. She is a beautiful cat (and the fact that she looks very much like my Norman in no way colors my opinion :) ) and clearly very content.

    You know that you’re going to have a hard time separating her and Athena when this is done, yes? “But Dad, why should she live in a garage when she likes my room, and I like having her there?”

    I have to say that I’d fall for that one like a ton of bricks…probably how I ended up with five cats!

  4. pennlynn – I'm just me, and I'm also someone who has been cursed by being born with a facial difference and I struggle with this every day!! I'm hoping those who find this blog will be apart of my journey as I go though this life.

    Welcome to the blog Belle!!
    She looks adorable :)

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    She. Is. Totally. Adorable.

  6. luisaperkins – I write speculative fiction, specifically contemporary dark-ish fantasy. I've been married for nearly 20 years to Patrick, an absolute prince of a man. We live with our six lovely children and an insane cat in New York's Hudson Highlands. My passions include reading, gardening, knitting, cooking, eating, and musicking.
    Luisa Perkins

    Oh, she’s lovely. She looks a bit like my mother’s cat, who incidentally is named Bella (pre-Twilight).

  7. Aw, such a pretty girl. One of our cats was found soaking wet in a bush, having apparently been separated from her mother during a storm (by a teacher, who then foisted her on my son). She turned out to be an amazing fur buddy — really, a dog in a cat costume. She was incredibly loyal, enthusiastic, needy and loving. I don’t suppose I’ll ever stop missing her; we lost her 2 years ago to cancer. I love your in-laws for taking Belle into their home. I’d leave the rooster under the porch. Yep.

  8. *mwah* da Belle.

    Regan, currently fostering a former feral who has the master suite. Disney does not approve.

  9. That cat looks like she is generating plans to stay in Athena’s room, if not her bed, forever, screw this “garage” crap.

    I suspect you might have just acquired another domestic predator.

  10. Just saying … that cat looks like she’s got a plan, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to work hard to enlist Athena into the Anti-Garage Revolutionary Army.

    Maybe Belle’s plan is to exile *you* to the in-laws garage? Certainly, the cats I’ve had would consider that a reasonable exchange.

  11. But, if Belle hasn’t met the other cats, that means they haven’t had a chance to warn her…you know…about the bacon!

  12. O Great Scalzi, what an excellent although somewhat flawed introductory picture of FoundCat Belle.

    We note that here is yet another cat with a perceptively low opinion of you. She has promise.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  13. It’s… Look: I know that Team Scalzi loves its critters, and is wonderfully kind to critters just passing through… and I’ll take your word that Belle is happy living in the in-laws’ garage… but there’s still something so terribly sad about letting a kitty get a taste of being a housecat, and then exiling it again to a garage.

    Yes, I know it could be much much worse, but my heart still hurts for her, esp. after seeing that expression on her face.

  14. Yeah here come the rooster.
    You know we ain’t gonna die.

    I have nothing else to add, I just thought everyone else should have Alice In Chains lyrics stuck in their heads.

    Oh, nice cat.

  15. Very sweet cat, but exactly how far away from you do your in-laws live? ‘Cos given the look on that cat’s face she will be making her way back to Chez Scalzi ASAP.

  16. I think you all are overestimating how much she will like Athena’s room. Pretty soon she is going to figure out that Athena’s room lacks a supply of small furry animals to disembowel. The biggest of the clumsy bipeds clearly stated that he is keeping her shut in. After a few days, a garage with its supply of winter deer mice is going to start looking pretty good.

  17. I would love to hear more about Belle and the rooster and why said rooster hasn’t ended up being Belle’s dinner? Obviously cat and rooster realize there is more advantage to sharing body heat under the deck than having fur and feathers flying.

    Why can’t people be so smart?

  18. What an elegant expression. The tilt of the head and the half lidded eyes. Very nice photo.
    Cats may look at roosters and see chicken nugets but the fact is roosters are just a bit too big for most domestic cats to tackle.
    Roosters aren’t push overs. I have seen them bully critters much bigger than they are, including people.

  19. Yeah, and Belle is tiny, like six pounds. She’s not going to win a fight with a full grown, bad-tempered rooster.

    Incidentally, Belle is back home now, and all of my cats are giving me looks like, “you can’t hide your affair from us.”

  20. Is it just me or do found cats seem to be more affectionate? I sometimes think my cat understands that his life is so much better than what it could have been as a dumpster diving stray and is totally grateful for my having abducted …er…I mean adopted him.

    @31 I believe that is called “Smeyes-ing”. Tyra was on Larry King the other night demonstrating.

  21. Maybe found cats really are more affectionate. I remember reading Barbara Holland’s description of a rescued cat in The Book of the Cat. On wet, stormy days, that cat would sit by the window looking at the horrible weather, then look around the warm, comfy room, then at her, while slitting its eyes and purring. She said that was the only downright grateful cat she ever knew.

    Damn it, John, you have me looking at cat rescue sites. And I’m allergic.

  22. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    GL2418@35: “Is it just me or do found cats seem to be more affectionate?”

    I suspect it’s the other way around: affectionate cats are more likely to let themselves be found. Survival of the cutest.

  23. She is adorable and resembles a few of the cats we have at the shelter I volunteer with.

    Kudos to everyone who has welcomed a found cat into their lives!

  24. Pictures of pretty cats always make my day better.

  25. robertsloan2 – Robert Sloan is a 56 year old artist and writer living in San Francisco with his beloved cat Ari, a color point long hair. You can find his science fiction epic "Raven Dance" at iUniverse.com or Amazon, though he gets a higher royalty on the same list price if you purchase it at iUniverse.com.
    Robert A. Sloan

    She’s lovely! Yes, found cats do seem to be more affectionate. Miss Gemini walked into our lives by asking politely at the door for my daughter Kitten to bring her in, whereon she actually let the toddlers pet her and purred. Won my daughter’s heart in an instant. Turned out no one was looking at her, now she’s been microchipped, vet checked and fed up from the poor skinny waif that looked like an underage kitten to a small plump matriarch who takes care of everybody.

    She always purrs when I get her dinner. If she had a wallet she’d tip me. She leaves me feeling like one of these grand headwaiters at a posh restaurant just for filling her bowl.

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