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.
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.