Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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More Kitty: Mika and Leo

Catherine Ryan Hyde

My Twitter friend and the wonderful blogger behind Notes of Life, Nikki-ann, was kind enough to share her kitties Mika and Leo for this blog.

Nikki-ann writes, "Mika has been with us now for 10 and a half years. He was a young cat at around 6 months old when he turned up at the school where my parents worked. The poor little mite was wet & cold and he decided he'd like to hitch a ride in Dad's car. Dad wasn't sure about that and so got the cat out of the car, but no sooner had Dad got back in the car so had the cat! So home came Mika and he's stayed ever since! We did put up a couple of posters in the village to say we'd found a cat, but I'd fallen in love with him at first sight and couldn't have imagined giving him away.

"When Mika arrived we'd already got a dog, a staffy called Zoe. She was a gentle dog and didn't mind Mika. We think Mika thought he could be a dog himself as he started to take on some of her characteristics! In fact, this kitty didn't even purr until our other cat Leo came along!

"Mika doesn't like going outside. Actually, for the first couple of years he wouldn't contemplate going near the front door, let alone going out through it! Has any one heard of an agrophobic cat? Well, you have now! It took months of getting him near the door and opening it. Now, he'll open the door if he knows it's unlocked (we have to keep it locked, otherwise he'll open it and sit on the doorstep)... Sometimes he'll be brave enough to dart outside, but he soon comes running around to the back door to be let in... if there's nobody at the back door then he cowers under the oil tank or shed and it can take ages to coax him back indoors. However, as funny as it may be, he will be dressed in a harness and wander around the garden as if we were walking a dog. Go figure!

"A couple of years after Zoe died, Leo came into our lives. He turned up at my workplace. I was on a break and stood by the back door talking and this small cat came bounding over. He had a pink collar hanging around his neck, he had fleas and his fur was knotty, but he was really friendly. We had to get back to work so went back indoors. Half an hour later, I popped downstairs and into reception only to find the cat hanging around outside the front door. We let him in and it settled itself on the sofa in reception. We phoned the cat rescue people and asked them to come and pick up. I'd have taken him home, but I had Mika to think of, plus living with my parents I wasn't sure if they'd be too happy about me bringing another cat home. During the day the cat came upstairs to visit a couple of times. You can safely say I'd already fallen in love with this scruffy cat.

"A month or two later and the cat rescue people came in to collect some print work and I got talking to them. They'd named the cat Leo, he was part Maine Coon and they hadn't found him a home. I took their number and pursuaded them that we could home him, so home he came. Mika was not impressd and I didn't think it was going to work. Mika even seemed upset with me for bringing this furball home! Finally, after two weeks, Mika decided Leo could stay and became more hospitable towards him (rather than hissing and spitting at him!).

"With Leo living with us, Mika finally realised that he's a cat and finally started to purr. It's a quiet purr, but a purr none the less. Still, nothing could compare with Leo's almighty purr. He sounds like he's got a Mercedes engine under all that fur!

"Leo hasn't grown to the full size of a Maine Coon, but with his massive paws and chunky legs he's just that little bit bigger than Mika. Of course, all that fur makes him look a lot bigger than what he actually is. 



"Leo loves to be groomed. He'll asked to be brushed two or three times a day and only fusses if he gets a knot (though I'm not sure how he gets knots considering all the brushing he gets!). He likes to talk a lot too, especially in the morning and in the evening. He'll sit on the bed and miaow, you can pretty much have a conversation with him, not that you know what he's talking about (he's probably telling me to shift over so he can have some more room!).

"Mika & Leo get along quite well together now, though they're more likely to give each other a gentle tap and chase each other rather than curl up together."

Then Nikki-ann expressed a little concern that maybe that was too long.  But the whole idea behind this meme is how much people love to talk about their pets.  It's encouraged.  Thanks for sharing Mika and Leo with us!