I'm told it's a law of the Web that I must mention my cats in the description of my household. So I did.

For several years, the above was all I had on this page, plus a note that I didn't have any pictures. But now I do have pictures. So . . .

We used to have two cats, but alas, one of them never learned not to play chicken against cars, and was killed in August, 2001. A year and a month later, we adopted an abandoned kitten and so went back to two.

The one we lost was Falstaff, shown here (left) in his favorite easy chair. He was a big orange lump. His brother, Orlando, is the big white lump on the right. The bottom picture shows the two of them in their accustomed pose.

Falstaff Orlando
The new kitten is named Cerberus. One of our daughter's co-worker's children found him abandoned in a dumpster, probably at about six weeks old. Now, some might think it odd that we named a cat after the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades. (No, the cat has only one head.) Or you might think we named it after an aardvark. (There's a comic book aardvark named Cerebus. Word has it the author intended to name it after the three-headed dog but misremembered the dog's name.)

Anyway, I think it's partly that the kitten was going to be named Purrrrsephone, because it purrs very loudly, but then we discovered it's a boy, and Cerberus at least retains the underworld reference, which is appropriate for a kitty rescued from likely death. But the main reason is that it's fluffy, and indeed the people who first found it called it Fluffy, but we refused to have a cat named Fluffy, and meanwhile there was a three-headed dog in the Harry Potter books, and it was named Fluffy, so our fluffy kitten got named after a three-headed dog. Simple, right?

So anyway, here's a picture of Cerberus soon after he arrived, and one of his earliest attempts to sneak up on Orlando.

Cerberus Sneak

In 2010 Orlando succumbed to the frailties of age. Our original plan was to give Cerberus some time to see if being unopposed (except by alpha-male Don) would turn him into a less skittish cat. But in October our younger daughter came across two kittens abandoned at a bus stop, and came to ask us how to find a shelter for them as she couldn't keep them at her apartment. My wife promptly fell in love with them and so Cerberus is stuck trying to defend his turf from two uppity kittens.

Continuing our mythological-monster naming theme, the newcomers are Sphinx and Chimera, shown here soon after their arrival and then in one of their favorite poses, also known as "helping momma use the computer".

Sphinx Chimera
kits in arms

Alas, as the saga continues, Sphinx, by far the bolder of the two, could not resist the temptation of the Great Outdoors and was killed by a car in summer 2011. My wife vowed to train Chimera to be an indoors-only cat, and after some weeks of checking animal shelters found another young cat to adopt so Chimera would have a playmate. The newcomer is a lovely black male whom we've named Charon. And after only five more years I've finally snapped a picture of him!

silky black cat

Cerberus was thoroughly disgusted with the entire state of affairs, and became even more so when we decided he too had to become an indoor cat. We moved out of our house for a year while it was being remodeled, and there was no way we could let him roam outside while we were renting a house in San Jose, so aside from a few well-timed escapes the poor fellow had to go cold turkey. Now that we're back in the rebuilt house, we still keep him indoors, but he clearly remembers owning all that territory he can see/smell through the windows.

three cats sunning