black smoke Maine Coone
23 May 1999 – 28 Oct 2008
Aliss came to us from a breeder in the wilds of the Yorkshire moors; Olive had been recommended to us, and it was fate, really – it turned out that she had known my aunt in Cork really well when they were young, and had known my mother too. Pete wanted a black Maine Coon, and Aliss fitted the bill perfectly. Quite how we ended up with a silver one too, and indeed Zool, at the same time, is an exercise for the reader.
Someone once mailed us, said that they had loved the pictures of Aliss, and that she looked entirely mad. And she was entirely mad. Utterly insane, but in a good way. She was always from then on referred to as “the mad cat”.
Aliss was a most excellent cat. Black of coat and of heart, with astonishing eyes, every shade of green imaginable (and some shades not imaginable at all). We named her after a witch, which proved to be remarkably prescient – she could turn creatures to stone with just a look, and had the ability to walk through a rainstorm getting only her (huge) paws and (magnificent) tail wet. Then she would return, and dry them on Pete, preferably when he was wearing a white t-shirt.
Like all Maine Coons, she had a wonderful voice … she trilled and chirruped, and had a very sharp sound for “put me down this minute” – and woe betide you if you don’t obey instantly. For reasons I cannot now quite recall, I once tried to play her like an accordion; she wasn’t struck, made that noise, and put her claw through my lip. I didn’t try it again.
I have posted only yesterday, I think, about her concern re terrorist shoelaces. She clearly felt that you couldn’t be too careful, and they must be guarded with Extreme Vigilance. Pete is out digging a grave in the garden now, and we shall bury her with a couple of laces so she has something to guard.
She liked to wash people – or flense, really; not so much in later years, but when she was a kitten, she would grab your hand in all four paws, and wash it for minutes on end. We used to call her the Washingest cat. She
liked cold black tea and plain chocolate, although not at the same time. And mice, which she brought home for us – how kind.
I cannot tell you how much we will miss her voice, particularly – and her madness.
Go well, my Aliss.