The Real Cats That Inspire the Stories

These are just some of the wonderful cats that have graced the Freiheit home over the years and provided a wealth of inspiration for the "Back to the Drawing Board" stories.

My family were always "dog people" so cats tended to stay out of our yard until one day, during a rare "dogless" phase, a mother cat, "Phyllis," appeared in the very back of our yard leading a parade of identical black kittens. We went out to feed them but our yard was very large and it was a long walk back there so little by little we kept moving the plates closer and the cats came along. Eventually word got around that this was a good place for a free meal and more and more cats began to call our yard home. Many of them were brave enough to move into the house but some of them remained "outdoor" cats all of their lives, but they still got well-fed and got plenty of attention and affection. I've found that just about any cat can be tamed if you have the patience to work at it and it's always worth the effort.

It cost a fortune in food and veterinarian bills but we had every cat spayed and neutered and eventually got the wild cat population in our neighborhood under control. (Although some mean-spirited grouch, who refused to identify himself, tried to get us in trouble with the city which led to me getting a petition signed by all the neighbors and a letter of commendation from the vet which I delivered in an impassioned speech at City Hall and got special permission to own more than the "legal" limit of cats.)

I don't know how many we've had over the years and I'm sad to say that I can't recall all of their names but I certainly remember all of them when I see their pictures. They've all been rescued from somewhere and they've all gotten along amazingly well, no matter where they came from. They also got along with our dog, our goats, and our parrot, although the parrot did have to defend his cage a few times from curious cats who wanted to perch on top of it!

Now I can't imagine life without a houseful of cats. They bring so much joy and love into our lives and ask for so little in return.

Scott Freiheit

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