Origin Stories: Trooper and Sprite

There was a call, down in another thread, for the “stories” of Trooper and Sprite.

There’s really not much to tell, here.

Socks’ death left a big hole, not only in the lives of Cat Farm Management, but also in Mozart and (though she would never admit such a thing) Scrabble’s lives.  We had initially decided to wait until November to take on a new crew member, since we knew we had some traveling coming up, what with the BEA and the book tour.  We changed our mind when Mozart seemed to still be expecting us to be bringing Socks home This Time, every time we went away.

Here’s Socks:

Socks in a box
Socks in a box

So, we went looking for an older — i.e. Not a Kitten — Maine Coon, to keep Mozart company.

We deliberately kept our search within New England; indeed, within Maine and New Hampshire, and no more than a day’s drive from the Cat Farm.

Which search led us, in the fullness of time, to Kelimcoons, where the decision to retire Trooper from Show Business had only recently been taken.  Here’s a link to the show cat page at Kelimcoons.  Scroll down a little, and you’ll find Trooper.  After a lengthy discussion and many questions asked on both sides, it was decided that Steve and I  could drive down to New Hampshire, meet Trooper, and put the question to him in person.

We did that at the end of June; the reply was in the affirmative, and we brought him home with us.

Trooper has been a joy from the start; he’s a sweet-natured, and genuinely kind cat, interested in the doings, and respectful of the elder cats.  We worry that he’s a little serious, but then he’ll perform an unsubtle and, to him, hilarious, Maine Coon gag and put it all in perspective.

Bringing Trooper into the house demonstrated really clearly the difference between a four year old cat and an Elder Statescat.  Trooper wanted to play — and, having come from a house full of cats, he wanted to play with somebody.  He tempted Mozart with springs and ping-pong balls and Turtle and. . .Mozart wanted to sleep.  Which was OK; Trooper likes to sleep, and he’s perfectly fine, sleeping with the Old Guy.

Just not, yanno, all the time.

So, we realized that, yes, we were going to have to get a cat for our cat.  As frequent readers will recall, we made an attempt to bring in local talent to fill the position, but the talent had a different vision and we quickly, and amicably, parted ways.

Even knowing that they didn’t expect to retire any other adults until late fall, I did it — I hoped over to Kelimcoons, and. . .there was Sprite.  She had lost her first litter of kittens and rather than put her, and themselves, through the trauma of attempting another litter, the family had decided to spay her and put her up for adoption.

I was immediately drawn — that face!  And, then I was convinced, because, as it happens, Trooper had sired only one single litter, and Sprite?  Was from that litter.

She was 15 months old, a little younger than we had wanted, but — Trooper’s daughter!  And Trooper’s such a doll.

By this time the book tour was breathing down our necks, and we didn’t want to bring a new cat into the house while we were away, and. . .

I wrote the email anyway.  And Kelimcoons very kindly agreed to hold Sprite for us until we returned from the book tour.

Which is why two days after the end of the tour, Steve drove down to New Hampshire and came home with a young lady cat, who immediately hid in the cellar until she realized that Upstairs was where the action was.  She has spent her time since ascending attempting to Conquer this territory.

If Trooper is a little too serious, Sprite is a little too goofy.  Until she collapses in your arms, and turns on her twin-engine purr-box.  Then, she’s perfect.

So — there you have it.

6 thoughts on “Origin Stories: Trooper and Sprite”

  1. Wonderful origin stories! I am glad the two youngsters are fitting in so well with the senior occupants. Out here, we are recovering from Sully’s first dental cleaning. The vet says all went well, but Sully has abandonment issues and wants us to promise this will *never happen again*! I am again tempted to find her a feline friend to share her human supervisory duties. . . .

  2. Thank you for sharing the stories. I love seeing them both.

    My rule is to never get one cat at a time (realizing rules are meant to be broken, I had never yet gotten more than one cat at a time prior to this summer.) This summer, after losing our dear shoulder rider Zia, we ended up with three youngsters. That’s what life does to you for planning – you end up with four cats when three would have been great. Turns out, four is the perfect number (well, Hannah Piper would disagree but she tired of the constant demands of being an only cat – one can only take so much petting and worship from a-near.)

  3. Thanks so much for answering my question! As cat staff myself I love seeing and hearing about life at the Cat Farm.

  4. When I lost my 16 year old only cat, Sheba–I held out for no new cat for two weeks. I called around and a vet had a young kitten whose mama had been found by the side of the road with her kittens. I brought Jennifer home. She loved being held…until she realized she had me hooked and then did not want to be held. I leash trained her as I had Sheba. She tried very hard to make friends with other cats. So I got her a kitten. She pretended to hate the kitten. Until it occurred to her that the kitten loved to be held and “mommy” was not bothering her anymore. Then she pretended to “hate” until I spotted her bathing the kitten–she saw me and started to bite. I said “Give up Jenny I know you like her.” They remained good friends all their lives, even tho’ other cats came and stayed too. Most of the others walked up to the back porch and talked their way in. Jenny, Pansy, and Pretty Girl are gone now. Chessie came and died 2 years ago. Now have Sugar, Kit and Baby Boots and her three kittens. Then added my one-eyed wonder, Tangy (Baby Boots’ nephew). I love my fur-children!

  5. We got a stray kitten one Christmas. [Monday was too cute and scaredy cat to be left on the street, yaknow?]
    After we got him out of the dashboard of the car, we drove back from Tennessee with him inside our shirt.
    I was afraid that Friday, the aging tomcat, would not take this entirely well. [I’d lived on a farm where toms would kill kittens that weren’t theirs if we didn’t protect them.]
    Monday was kept in a cat carrier for a few days so that they could smell one another and hopefully get used to this new companion. He could not stay in the carrier forever…he was sticking his arm through the bars and yelling to the warden that he was being mistreated, for one thing.
    I let Monday out and tried to monitor the situation. No loud noises. No crying in distress on either of their parts.
    Then there was the sound of the thunder of little cat feet as Friday chased Monday from the back of the house to the front. “Oh, no,” I cried, “rescue!” and away I ran toward the livingroom. Before I could get there there was the sound of little cat feet running back toward the kitchen. Friday (the ol’ black tom) was in front and the couple of month old kitten was chasing him.

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