Flynn, Basil, Olivia, and Lionel were named after actors from some classic movies. Olivia DiHaviland and Errol Flynn co-starred in Robin Hood and Captain Blood. Basil Rathbone and Lionel Atwill were also in Captain Blood, though Basil Rathbone was also Sherlock Holmes. I was told there was one girl and three boys, so as they arrived I named the beautiful little calico Olivia, the short-haired black and white tuxedo Lionel, and the long-haired tuxedo Basil. But the last kitten - a brown tabby - was clearly not an Errol. A re-examination revealed that the kitten was in fact a little girl, and without the internet movie database on hand to give me more leading lady naming ideas I hastily went with Flynn.
Little Lionel was the bravest of the bunch and the first to let me hold and cuddle him. The rest all cowered behind the giant cat tree I had installed, although Olivia came out briefly to lick some cat-food off of a spoon. The next morning I realized I had made the same mistake as my friend and left the closet door open. Worse my closet had an attic loft behind it. Lionel and Flynn were quickly rescued, but Basil and Olivia had figured out how to hide under the floor boards of the attic, so it was a few hard days of patience and bribery with food before I lured them back out and blocked the door.
Lionel would sit in my lap every afternoon while I worked on the computer, purring away. Flynn was a little shy but she and Lionel were quite happy to play with toy mice and feathers on a string. Flynn especially demonstrated that she was well named - as a pirate cat she loved making toy mice walk the plank. Lionel was the sweetest and the first to be adopted. I was sad to see him go although he went to a family with another black and white cat who was seeking a playmate. Flynn remained affectionate and soon Olivia was joining her in playtime. Basil remained reclusive and shy, spending most of his days hiding inside the cave in the cat tree. Olivia revealed that she loved to be brushed and that was how I was finally able to hold her. She tolerated my petting her as long as I was brushing out her soft fluffy fur. As a leading lady she insisted on being well-groomed and glamorous. Basil also purred when he was brushed, but any attempt to pet him without a brush in hand resulted in hissing.
After a month in my care I placed the kittens with an adoption agency. Flynn, the pirate cat, found a home straight away and Olivia did after a little while. Basil took the most time to adjust to domestic life. He was such a beautiful long-haired cat but his early days in the hoarder's house had made him wary of people more so than the other three.
Author: Prof. Jones
Illustrator: Marjorie Skiba
Editor: Marjorie Skiba
About the Author: Prof. Jones has three cats and lives with her husband and son. She likes to study old bones and do intricate craft projects.
Have a happy tale to share? Drop me a line and let me know! All formats welcome: prose, poetry, comic, illustrations with captions etc. I want to spread the rescued animal love as far and wide as possible!