With the recent release of the first book in my Clockwork Calico series, I thought it fitting to post about the cats who inspired main character Cali.
This is Pie. She’s the main inspiration for Cali. She was the first cat I ever had after moving away from my parents’ home to attend college. I was delighted when my landlord told me I was allowed to have a cat. Living alone for the first time was quite a change for me, since I grew up in a household with several children. So inviting Pie into my life was a welcome relief. She provided companionship at a time when I needed it most.
The day after I was told I could have a cat, I went browsing at a nearby flea market. I mentioned the idea of getting a cat to my boyfriend (who later became my husband), and another lady overheard me. “My parents have a kitten whose looking for a home,” she said.
I gave her parents a call and went to their home to meet this kitten. She was larger than I expected at about 8 weeks old. But that’s a Maine Coon for you, and she definitely had some of those genes in her. Her mother was a beautiful calico, and Pie was as well.
The picture above shows her beautiful coat. Most of the gold markings are woven into the dark brown like a tortie, but she had large patches of gold on her inner hind legs.
When we first met she was aloof. She was far more interested in playing than in being cuddled. That lasted a long time. 🙂 The first night I brought her home, she ran through the apartment like a crazy cat, even when it was time to go to bed. I shut the bedroom door to get some sleep, and within a minute, she was mewing at the door.
I opened the door and asked, “Are you going to be good?”
She answered by settling herself on my pillow. For the next year, I slept with her on top of my head, purring. After awhile she chose to sleep at the foot of the bed, but I’ll never forget the time she spent sleeping on top of my head.
When I’d come home from school or work, she was usually just waking up and crawling out from under the blankets on my bed. She’d run to greet me, and we’d spend a few moments catching up on each other’s day. We lived in the country, and she would spend time staring out the window at wildlife, or trying to catch that pesky squirrel who took up residence inside one of my walls.
We moved together many times in her lifetime as I changed schools and got married and eventually bought my first and then second house. She stayed by my side the entire time. She had a few bouts of bladder stones which had to be managed with a special diet. It didn’t work as well as I would have liked, and I was sick with worry over her on a few occasions. But she was stoic, and she always pulled through like a champ.
At age 15 she was diagnosed with cancer. I was told it was aggressive, and she only had up to six weeks to live. She lived for 11 wonderful months, passing her Sweet 16 and defying the odds. She was vibrant and active right up to the end, a true fighter.
Pie’s feisty attitude and ability to rule the house and all the animals in it (including humans), inspired me to write about Cali. Her little quirks such as grabbing her Daddy’s head and pulling him in for a forced cleaning session can be seen in the three-book series. She was a special girl, and she took a piece of my heart when she left. She will never be forgotten by me, nor by anyone who reads the Clockwork Calico series. That’s the impression this wonderful girl has left on the world. She is now immortal.