ARTIST J.Sharkey Thomas



oc∑e∑lot [ ůss-uh-lÚt, oss-lÚt ] (plural oc∑e∑lots, oc∑e∑lot) noun: a medium-sized cat with black markings and rosettes on a light brownish or silver coat that is found in small numbers from the southern United States to South America. Latin name Felis pardalis.

But that is only the beginning. Fur like the finest Italian velvet - heaven to the touch, a pattern designed by the gods - no two the same, uniquely intelligent, with remarkable memory, sometimes aloof and introspective - always the stunning grace of a cat. Sometimes almost canine, - earnest, expressive, happily fetching toys or swimming. In true rough-house mode behaving like a monkey, with astounding speed at climbing and leaping antics, powerfully strong, incorrigably creative about reaching a fixed goal. A bewitching sweetness, altogether a glory to watch, and for me, an ongoing inspiration.

Ours were adopted from a variety of situations. The eldest, "Ishka", for whom we were foster parents and a fifth home, lived to the marvelous age of twenty-five, the last twenty-two of them as a member of our family. Sleeping with her under the covers was like having a puff of cloud resting on your shoulder and curled about your toes all at the same time. Back
J.S.T.

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