So, a little more about Stormy. We moved here in Dec 2002, so not more than a year after Tori passed. In October 2003, I was on a trip down to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps friends of mine from CA were now stationed there. They knew it was Deb's birthday that weekend and she had talked about getting a cat now that Tori was gone. There neighbor had just discovered a litter of kittens in the storm drain, and brought over the remaining one. I had no other real pet commitments, so I said sure, I'll take - what was told to me - him, and surprise Deb.

Well, we named him Stone, or Slate, or something to represent the grey color. Of course, first visit to the vet to have him fixed revealed that he was a she - by the way, tortie's are almost exclusively female - so, she was a dark storm cloud color; hence, Stormy. At first, she was a pretty loving cat, but still had a particular habit of, when she was done, she was done. Britt was around 7 going on 8 at the time, and we claim that she squeezed all the cuddliness out of the cat. It also didn't help when Deb and Britt came up with this brilliant idea that they were going to take the cat for a walk, using a harness and leash. You could tell Stormy was not comfortable with the harness and when a house door slammed closed from the wind, she jumped about 3 feet straight up, and took off like a bat out of hell with that leash "chasing" her. When we caught up to her upstairs under Nick's bed, she was hissing and growling and shaking, and I had to use gloves to get her out and that harness off of her. She was never quite the same.

She is a fickle cat. She can be loving and tender - she will curl up in Deb's arms between her and the keyboard when she is on the computer, and she will jump up to share a blanket on the couch. But try to call her when she is walking by or try to get her to play, and forget it. It's like she isn't even hearing you. Not an ear twitch, not a look back "you stupid human." She was never really playful, but you will catch her all on her own playing with a toy every once in a while or rolling around on her back.

I would say, she is the most emotional of all our pets. Add to what I wrote above about the harness episode, before the rats went off to school, she slept with Britt. When Britt left, Stormy was obviously out of sorts. Although she had this habit before, more than ever she would take clean clothes from our pile and with this moaning cry, carry them all over the house. Not particularly to you or anyone, just about. When Boo came about 3 years after her, she was not impressed. There are a few photos of them sleeping near each other, but that was because he snuck in there. She never played with him, really, even though he'd chase her, she'd rather whack him and bite his ass. But, now that he is gone, again, we can tell there is something not quite right about her. And as far as human interaction, as I began to say, she can be very sweet; however, in a flash and without warning, while still purring, she will have had enough and your hand will be bleeding from a swipe out of nowhere.

Lastly, she loves having her outside time to chew on some grass, and will run past you when the door opens if she has been in the house by herself for the day. But she stays within the yard and will generally go back inside on her own or if you get to the other side of her, tell her to go inside, and she has a clear path to the door. Once inside, she reluctantly sits for treats when commanded - as opposed to Boo who you could get to sit, lie down, and sometimes rollover on command.

Anyway, that is our Stormy cat.

One other thing about Stormy... She is our hunter. Not often successful, but she has been known to wait in the garage for hours in front of a particular spot (like the refrigerator), or want to go out there days in a row, and eventually bringing in a skink and once, a mouse - always live, mind you.