Elayne was (literally) caught by Chris in 2006 when she tried her best to skedaddle out of the garage she was born in. But she was so soft and shiny, Chris kept her. Her siblings were given to neighbors and other family members, where they are hopefully less ornery. Elayne basically always gets her way and has one heck of a pout face that makes it very clear to Chris and Sarah when she wants to get under the covers. She has the rare feline trait of enjoying belly rubs, and will frequently choose these over bacon. She is named after a powerful queen in the Wheel of Time series.
This little fluff-butt was adopted in 2016 through a non-profit organization in the Philadelphia area that pairs adorable kitties with their lucky human parents. She and her sister, Michonne, peered out from a little cat carrier in the living room of their foster home and captured Chris and Sarah’s hearts without so much as a meow. While she was shy at first, she eventually came out of her shell and showed off her kitty-ing skills. Chris and Sarah soon learned that her natural disposition is outgoing, friendly, and approachable, so she earned the name Maggie (after Maggie Rhee on The Walking Dead). She is usually the first one to ask for breakfast.
Michonne started her life with Chris and Sarah by hiding on the back of the futon frame, scooting as tightly as possible under the cushions and holding still when they came near. If a hand went her way, she hissed. If a hand touched her, her claws turned into katanas (earning her the name “Michonne”). But Chris and Sarah knew she was scared, not mean, and they worked with her. If they pretended they weren’t trying to pet her, but touched her anyway, she began to allow it. Then one day, she looked up and meowed… a tiny squeak they’d never heard before, and when they looked down, she arched her tiny back and blinked at them, like, “Duh, pet me.” Now, she wakes them up every morning and purrs as soon as she’s touched.
Gamora found her way into Chris and Sarah’s home from the streets of the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Kingsessing, where they were visiting a friend on the night before snowstorm Benji of 2017. She approached them, and Chris said, “kitty.” Sarah, of course, turned to see and leaned down to pet the little calico wonder. Gamora (then un-named) seemed happy to be pet, but Chris and Sarah didn’t realize just how happy until they began to walk back to there car. A few steps later, they heard a little “meow,” and turned and saw her bounding from porch to porch, following them. She walked right up to the car and stared at them, round-eyed, as they tried to get in. They decided she could come with them so she could get out of the zero-degree temperatures IF she got in the car on her own. Well, Sarah opened the door, and the little soft creature put her paws on the edge, then hopped on in. She sat in Sarah’s lap for a moment, then stretched herself between the armrest and the door and sat there looking out the window until they arrived at her new home. They tried to find out if she had humans already, but never got a response, so they named her Gamora after the fearless alien warrior from Guardians of the Galaxy.
~A Special Note~
Obi Wan was a pound kitty from Morgantown, West Virginia whom Chris adopted in 2005. He survived Chris’s undergraduate years at WVU, including moves to five different houses. In 2010, Obi made the trip to Ocean City, Maryland where he again made several different houses more like a home by claiming kingship over each of them. He was the main reason that Chris and Sarah met because she says she may not have made the first e-move on Chris if he hadn’t had the picture of Obi on his profile. Obi moved to Philadelphia with Sarah and Chris when they decided to pursue their writing careers, and was an invaluable companion to Sarah as she finished her MFA. He kept her company and even sat on her thesis draft when he knew she’d had too much. In February of 2016, Obi lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and went on to wander in the afterlife. He was a special cat who could convince even the greatest of anti-cat people that cats might be alright. He is greatly missed but never forgotten.