Suffice it to say that some, if not several of the cats, were named after human counterparts. My best friend;s mother was called Mona. At one time when relating stories of her mother's often difficult behavior, she told me that one of the relatives described her mother as being aptly named.
Mona the cat had ample reason to complain about her lot though. Found in the shrubbery of the garden, looking emaciated and sick, I had no idea as to what I was going to do. Money was always short and getting more so in the number of cats that were turning up for food.
Feeding her seemed the only option and it soon appeared to be the solution. She would be waiting on the porch in the morning only to greet me with warning hisses. I would say 'And good morning to you too' only to receive an even louder hiss in response.
Mona was a tortoiseshell My first impression was that of a very elderly cat but as diet improved her health she dropped several years in a short span of time.
That December I had bought a cat bed, a soft fluffy cloud of cushion. On Christmas Eve I left it on the porch for her.. In the morning of Christmas Day, Mona was lying on it with an expression of unbelievable pleasure. What better kind of Christmas present could I have?
Soon though, Mona exhibited an even fuller belly. Mona was pregnant.
I reported to John that the male cats don't seem to care what the females look like. Even if they are ugly like her.
Mona was not ugly, of course. As her pregnancy wore on she blossomed but as she did I became increasingly anxious that she be caught before the kittens were born. Shortly afterwards she seemed to disappear.
Our young neighbor reported with dramatic emphasis :
'Someone is feeding Mona and I don't know who!'
It would seem that Mona had found a caring person to look after her.
After a time of absence Mona reappeared one day at feed time. She stood around watching the other cats eating. then left by the fence into next doors escape route. She came one more time, seemed satisfied about things and never came back. She was not pregnant. She was actually quite beautiful with a glossy dark tortoiseshell coat and clear lovely eyes.
Mona had moved up in the world. We never saw her again.
Unfortunately I was never able to get a photo of Mona. The two cats above were part of her family though, Charlie at back died two years ago of kidney failure and his mate Dennis (below) continued to live with us for the past four years. Sadly we said goodbye just three weeks ago.