Disclaimer: Okay, Tessie isn’t, technically an Aby. But she is descended from Abyssinians only 3 generations back.
Tessie, née Bes Butterfly, flew from Tualitin, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts, on 20 May 2005. She arrived around 10pm and we picked her up at Logan’s air cargo pickup.
This is the crate she flew across the country in…she seems to forgive it for its part in her ordeal.
She fit in right away. That same weekend, she was playing fetch with me.
She only hid a little bit. By the next morning, she was on the bed with us.
She bonded with my Siamese, Harri (who was 14 years old at the time) almost immediately. They were actually both born in the Year of the Goat, which might have had something to do with it (if you believe in that sort of thing).
She bonded with Patrick, too…sort of. Not like she bonded with Harri, but they became friends.
We actually adopted her because my now-husband wanted a “kitten of his own,” who turned out to be Kylie. Tessie had her own litter of kittens before she was spayed and we adopted her.
So she was, kind of, adopted to be a surrogate kitten momma because the resident cats were 14- and 11-year-old boycats.
It wasn’t entirely what you would call “smooth sailing” at the beginning.
Although Tessie quickly became Kylie’s role model…
…and surrogate mother.
Even now, seven years later, Tessie and Kylie are the best of friends.
Tessie also stood in as “Momcat” for Gun-Hee…
Although, she didn’t like Angel when she came to live with us…and still mostly just tolerates her.
Despite her round Burmese body, Tessie is a very athletic cat. She wasn’t even two years old when we first got her, and compared to my old Siamese men, she was a whirlwind.
But even now, almost nine years old, she’s still remarkably agile. She loves to jump up into my husband’s arms.
Unlike most cats, she prefers cool weather to hot. In my old apartment, she used to camp out in front of the window AC unit.
One of Tessie’s trademarks is that she loves to flop onto her back for belly rubs. If she thinks we’re paying too much attention to the other cats, she’ll start doing this. It’s kind of her version of Puss in Boots’ “big eyes” thing.
Sometimes, she goes a little overboard with it.
Tessie likes to go outside…
…and she doesn’t mind playing dress-up once in a while.
Tessie is a smoke tortoiseshell, which means that her undercoat is white and her colour is only on the tips of her fur.
All the Burmese variants love their people. They are often called “velcro cats.” Last year when we went on a trip for a week, Tessie missed us so much that she started overgrooming her belly, pulling out her fur til she was bald.
Because she was doing this, and also because of the hairball issues that ensued, we took her to a groomer to get a lion cut. She actually really loved it! When she comes home from a haircut, she marches around proudly, as if she knows exactly how cute she is.
Happy anniversary, Tessie!