Monday, August 16, 2010

We Are Siamese

We are Siameeiz if you pleeiz,
we are Siameeiz if you don't please.
We are former residents of Siam,
there are no finer cats than we am.*


When I was a child, our family used to visit my father's cousin in the San Fernando Valley in southern California. Although he shared my father's New England blue collar background, Buddy (his family nickname) had started out writing for radio, hitchhiked to Hollywood as a young man, and worked his way up to being a screenwriter for some of the Alfred Hitchcock movies.** When Buddy was still at the starving artist stage my father treated him to many a meal, and he never forgot the favor when later his star rose and my dad remained a tow truck driver.

Well! I have to tell you that visiting with Buddy was just about the most glamorous thing that us kids had ever done. He lived in a house that had once been owned by one of the Beach Boys (scream!), and it was just down the road from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans ranch! His house had a swimming pool, a guest house, and I'm pretty sure there was a cleaning lady somewhere. Heady stuff, indeed!


Buddy might have known plenty of big names in Hollywood, but for us little kids, it was his ownership of the Siamese cats, Ting and Ling, that gave him a place in our hearts. Those cats, fairly rare at the time, were just plain weird with their crooked tails and crossed eyes and their strange caterwauling. They would terrorize us by appearing in places where we didn't expect them, like up on top of the fridge, where they would rise up shrieking like manic babies. We adored them and I vowed to have a pair of Siamese of my own when I grew up. 

And I did. Sometimes I have even had more than two. 


*The Siamese Cat Song from the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp. Written by Peggy Lee and Sonny Burke.

**Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much


becky said...

cute kitties, clair. i notice you are getting a break in your hot weather, enjoy!!

Sandy ~~~ said...

I remember the first Siamese I 'cat sat' for. The voice, the presence, the attitude! He definitely ruled the roost, just let his people live there with him...just because!

Deb said...

Although I've never been a cat lover (gasp) not even an animal lover (double gasp! Call the police! She must be deranged!), I have always been intrigued with Siamese cats. They always seemed to be the "upper crust" of the cat world, as if they know something the other cats don't!

The movies you noted at some of our favorites! Funny, isn't it, when we get these kinds of connections!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Throughout my childhood I wanted a siamese cat. When I moved away from home to go to college, I had one in my possession a month later. Now they are the standard. In fact, I recently got my fourth Siamese. This time I went with a flame point. The others have been seal/chocolate points.

Linda said...

Beautiful cats, but what is it about California that gives cats attitude? When we did a house exchange with a family in LA we discovered we were caring for a cat with 'challenging' behaviour. His favourite trick was to sneak up behind you and bite your calf. Not a problem in Scotland, where clothing would have got in the way, but wearing shorts...

Max-e said...

I do so enjoy siamese cats. They are so "different". We have two - one full grown and the other a kitten. The older one has been sulking for about a month now. She has objected to the intruder.
Thanks for stopping in at the Max Files and for your comments.

Sara Chapman said...

I have had a Siamese cat and I loved her very, very much. Her name was Ftatateetah, (don't ask) the name of Cleopatra's nurse, I am told. We called her Teetah. I hope I see her in heaven, along with a few other animal friends I've had. Lovely photos, and thanks for the story.

Jackie said...

Lovely photo's, do you ever show pics on 'Cats On Tuesday?'

I've never had a Siamese, I have had two Persian cats, but now have feral cats.