That “beautiful cat” was Lyta (Lee-ta) Alexander. I adopted her back in 2004. She was brought to the rescue I was volunteering for then at about one-year of age and very pregnant. One of the other volunteers fostered her until the kittens were ready for adoption. They named her Faline, after Bambi’s girlfriend, and her kittens all got stuck with the names of other Bambi characters (Flower, Thumper, Mrs. Rabbit, etc.). It has been my eternal hope that all those poor kittens were renamed after going to their forever homes.
Anyhow, after the kittens were adopted out, Faline was brought to the store for adoption. She caught my eye immediately, both for her striking markings (classic patch tabby with splotches of light tan and orange with cream on her chin and belly) and for her antics. She was very social for a cat, and would climb up the cages when she was out to see who was in the upper cages that she could visit. I took that as a promising sign that she would get along with other cats, and ended up adopting her myself.
I lost her two weeks ago, at around age fifteen, to pancreatitis. It was sudden and I was unprepared. We still have three cats, but she was the last of the “original” cats who knew George (Clueless Wonder) and Jutta (Warrior Princess), who were the first two cats that The Prof and I had when we got together.
I took the picture last November, and it is one of my favorite pictures of her.