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Noki: Seasons greetings. I hate snow and am getting fat, through no fault of my own. The big guy with the beard (not Santa Claus) takes very good care of me. (I think I'm his favorite, probably because I'm a Senior as well, although I don't know about cat years equating with human years.) He is very kind; cleans the litter box, puts out fresh water and chow before he makes his own breakfast. What a great guy! He used to let me sleep snuggled right next to him, but that wife of his, suddenly got extremely “allergic” to my dander, or that's what she says. I cut her some slack because when I was rescued by them from the shelter she didn't care that I had extra toes, plus she changed my boring name from Midnight (I'm black) to Noki, a nickname her younger brother called her when he was a baby. My hobbies are hunting and killing, sleeping and purring.


Orange: My first name was Creamsicle or Marmalade (I know, so unmanly...), then when I was adopted by this nice family, some girlfriend named me Simba, from the Broadway show The Lion King, then off she went to college to study Arabic dialects in Morocco. Whatever. I'm a bit bonkers and have ruined many things in the house with my claws. I go by several aliases---Orange Kitty, L'Orange, and I think I'm the favorite, but then there is my sister, who looks nothing like me. Her original name from the shelter was Patches. She's part calico with a patch of black near her eyes. I'm surprised the family didn't go with a piratey name. My specialty is meowing in a most pitiful way. I also enjoy climbing up on the roof in nice weather and then forgetting how to get down.


Bizkit: I was adopted at the same time as my brother, Orange, and we were inseparable at the beginning. Now it's like he's in some boy band, so I curl up elsewhere. Being the only female, it's easy to get away with naughtiness, like chewing important papers or knocking over house plants. The nice big guy calls me “the little girl cat,” which endears me to him. He also hand-made brass name tags for all of us, very thoughtful if we get lost. (He misspelled my name “Biscuit” but I don't mind.) I'm smaller than the guys and keep my girl-cat-ish figure because even though I'm spayed, you never know... My favorite things to do besides looking cute for photo ops, are trying to sneak into the forbidden zone and hide under beds. If there's a heating pad, I'm on it. I also enjoy empty boxes. Who doesn't?


Jack: I'm the youngest and hence, the favorite. I forget my shelter name but I answer to Jack. I arrived via yet another girlfriend, by way of Rhode Island in a car that got a ticket for speeding, a flat tire that caused the bus connection to fall apart. I slept in a carrier, inside a duffel bag through most of the adventure, still a kitten. I've been told someone drove me to a bus station and I arrived in grand style during a camping weekend. I vaguely remember being put in a college dorm dresser drawer at some point. My new owners were vetted over the phone and I immediately began to have fun annoying the other cats, especially Noki, who hated me instantly. I would have suspected cat color racism, but we are both black and polydactyl except I have seven to his five toes on the front feet and my back feet are polydactyl as well, his aren't. I chalk it up to paw envy. It's been a few years and now we all have adjusted. We feel loved. We feel well fed. We don't care. What we all sense is that things have changed in the house, almost like when the old grouchy alpha cat, Kit, got sick and died, so we've cut back on our curiosity and hi-jinks in cat deference to this family. (Oh, by the way, my full name is Kikkoman Soy Jack, named after Samurai Jack, but I will glance your way if you say Jack, Jackie-Boy, “the other black cat”, Jackster or Jackmeister.) The big guy with the beard and the lady with the long hair are adjusting to something. The other two big guys randomly pick us up or take snap chats of us (we even let them kiss us---it's purely platonic). My favorite pastime other than sleeping is hunting and checking the perimeter for dogs and moths. I still enjoy an empty grocery bag. We're all looking forward to getting catnip and cat toys in our stockings. I think I can speak for all of us when I say Peace on Earth would be nice, too, but some things never change.

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