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The 3 Sisters: Burleose, Toulouse, & Marie


Having been introduced to my three kittens in Caroline’s Neon Sign, let me now give you a little more of their story…

Burleose and Toulouse are both calicos, but are distinguishable by their size and appearance. Toulouse is definitely the largest of the three girls, but even at that she’s not very big. She has a completely black face which gives her the appearance of being up to no good at all times. Burleose, on the other hand, has a half black face with her left eye covered, which makes her look a bit like a pirate. Both sisters are very lean and, in fact, all 3 retain the look of cats who live in and enjoy the great outdoors.

Marie is the odd girl out in terms of color…she’s a gray tabby. But in terms of temperament she is similar to her sisters. All are skittish of strangers, and are not particularly tolerable of visitors. I’m not sure if that’s just their nature or a result of the fact that the most frequent visitors to our house happen to be loud, 10-year-old, active boys who tend to travel in packs of at least four. Needless to say, our visitors can certainly be terrifying if you weigh eight pounds and stand a little over a foot tall!

The three sisters are all big talkers and will announce themselves from quite a distance. I think I’m their favorite human to talk with, either that or they just like to make fun of the way I speak “cat talk.” As the sisters have grown older, the three of them have retained a close bond. In fact, it is not unusual to find two of the three curled up together inside the house. Outside is a different story, as each of the girls frequents their own favored spots.

Marie heads to the back of the property where the girls where found. Along the way, she has 2 stopping-off points in which to nap or hunt. One is in my bed of perennials, in a nest she has formed under the ferns’ fronds. The second is atop the arbor from which we hang our hammock. Evidently this is the best spot for observing the targets (ie – birds and squirrels) since she can be found there almost every morning, perched precariously on the corner.

Toulouse, meanwhile, has found the side of the house with the garage to be most to her liking. She has a spot carved out in my Angel Trumpet display between my two raised garden beds. It is from here that she stalks the squirrel who nests high in the Poplar tree just on the edge of the neighbors yard. And let me tell you this, with her calico camouflage, she’s quite hard to spot at times!

Her other favorite spot is her safe haven, even if she does have to share it occasionally. Underneath the Weigela bushes with their heavy, weeping branches, she can see out on the world and rest comfortably in the knowledge that no one can spot her. I’ve even seen the neighbors dog run right by her, nose to the ground the whole time, and never notice Toulouse. On second thought, I’m not sure who that says more about… the dog’s lack of sense (yes, I mean sense, not scent) or Toulouse’s ability to hide.

Now, Burleose is more of a mystery. She is my wanderer. She usually exits the house and yard via the front and I have had sightings of her at least five houses in each direction on the street. She does seem to have her favorite stops along the way though… I guess she likes to make sure everyone is where they are suppose to be. She is a superb huntress and several of her stops are near wooded areas and locations are known to be frequented by wild animals. She can be seen and heard trotting down the street to our house with her prey in her mouth. Her many presents have included; mice, moles, squirrels, birds of many varieties, frogs, lizards, rabbits, and yes, snakes.

I actually call both Burleose and Marie my mighty huntresses as they both regularly bring up prey. I cannot fathom where they find all the animals they bring up as presents, perhaps that is why Burleose travels far and wide. Fortunately, for the animal involved and for me, Burleose makes quick work of playing the creature to death and then proceeds to eat most of what she catches.

I wouldn’t want anyone to mistakenly think that their lives are all work though. Oh no, a good game of crouch and chase is regularly had in my back yard. That’s how the game starts and then it advances the wrestle, roll, and run stage. This is a hilarious game to view and I have gotten many good laughs just watching the three as they play. While it usually involves just two of the sisters at any given time, occasionally all three will get in on the fun, especially this time of the year as the weather cools off. Let me tell you, sometimes it’s hard just to keep track of who is chasing whom and vice versa! While I love them, the three sisters are not particularly “people” kitties and prefer to be off in the outside world attending to whatever it is that needs to be attended to at any given moment.

Fortunately, my neon sign has not failed me and indeed I have had other girls to find their way to my house. But these other kitties are more along the lines of traditional lap cats, even if their path home to me was not a traditional one. But that’s a whole new cup of tea, so next time I’ll introduce Brulee… (the one kitty who keeps all the others on their toes!).


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).

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