Introducing Suzie Star: New Cat Joins the Expats on Grand Cayman

(aka “Little Miss White Paws”)

PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!. I am Suzie Star and I am a native Caymanian Cat!

Life at Cayman Island Humane Society

I was born on August 5, 2023. I don’t remember much about those first few weeks of my life. My records show that I arrived at the Cayman Island Humane Society (CIHS) https://caymanhumane.org  when I was just 6 weeks old.

Those records show that those folks took really good care of me. They gave me shelter, fed me well, kept me healthy, gave me vaccinations, and made sure I didn’t get parasites. I don’t really remember much of that either. What I do remember is lots of playmates! We would have a grand time playing chase with each other. That’s where I learned to purr.  I did A LOT of purring there.

My First Day with Rick & Anne

It was February 2, 2024. I remember because I was just 3 days shy of turning 6 months old. Strangers walked through our kitty play area frequently, but this day a fellow came in that caught my eye.  He looked so kind – and before I knew it, I wasn’t in the kitty play area anymore. I was in a small space, and I was moving!

When we stopped moving, the top of that small (albeit, soft and cozy) space opened up, some hands reached in, picked me up and put me on a floor in a strange place. There was that kind-looking fellow again (his name turned out to be Rick) and now a small lady (her name is Anne) was crouched next to me. My curiosity meter was off the charts! Apparently, I was in my new home – a top floor condo. Everything was different – so I started to explore.

At the top of my agenda was to find food and a litter box; I’m a smart puddy so that didn’t take long. There were new spaces around every corner. Stuff I had never encountered was everywhere – see through walls (windows) and a wall that had stuff moving on it (television). There were sounds at night kind of like purring (Rick snoring) and all sorts of unique smells, not just cat food and litter boxes like at CIHS. Every morning, I would smell something Anne would drink (coffee) and every evening after dinner I would get a whiff of something Rick would eat (chocolate). My nose never stopped twitching!

That first night I had this HUGE bed that I shared with Rick and Anne. The problem was, they wanted to sleep all night. I’m okay with napping periodically, however I need my play time. So when I felt like playing – since there were no other kitties to play with – I would just attack whichever one of my humans moved first. I had a good time. And I did A LOT of purring.

The Early Days to Follow

My First Adventure

My explorations continued in those days that followed. Every day I would find new “kitty possessions” intended just for me – fluffy beds to bury myself in, a kitty yoga mat, my own private mini condo, cool cat scratch pads. And lots of new hiding places to keep Anne and Rick guessing as to where I was.

There was one adventure that perhaps I should not have embarked on. One evening after dinner when Rick and Anne were distracted, I discovered that I could squeeeeeze through a narrow space in one of those see-through walls. Then I did one of my skillful athletic vertical leaps to get a better view and when I finally landed, I had no idea where I was! So, I crawled into a small dark space. I was scared. I had been crouching there awhile when a bright light shined on me. Then Rick tried to crawl toward me, but he was too big. Then Anne crawled toward me. She was trying to reach out to me. Now mind you, in those early days I was no fan of being held. However, I decided that it might be a good idea to let Anne grab me. When we emerged, there was a lot of crying (Anne) and before I knew it all 3 of us were back at home sitting together on the couch. Cat-astrophe averted. And I did A LOT of purring.

Apparently, I had gone out on the balcony, cat-apulted myself 4 feet up and over another see-through wall (the balcony railing) and down 3 floors to the ground below. My hiding place was under the first floor condo’s “crawl space.” All I know is that those narrow squeeze through spaces are gone which is fine because I sense that it is unwise for me to go through them anyway.

My Names

“The naming of cats is a difficult matter . . .”*

CIHS named me “Suzie Star.” Rick and Anne decided that since I had that name most of my life, and it was on all my official paperwork, it would be wise to stick with it –

“First of all, there’s the name that the family uses daily …”*

though they typically just refer to me as “Suzie.”

However, in the days that followed, Rick gave me an additional special name that only they use –

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular, a name that’s peculiar, and more dignified …”*

“Little Miss White Paws.” This photo of me in my “What Did I Do” pose shows my paws off particularly well. They are one of my best features, don’t you think?

Suzie the Grand Cayman Cat

Of course, I have one more name –

the name “The cat himself knows and will never confess.”*

and I’m not telling that

“ineffable, effable, effanineffable”* name to anyone!

* From “The Naming of Cats” in “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot. 1939

Fluffy Donuts

I have two Fluffy Donuts. My favorite is in the living room; the second is in the bedroom. Let’s see, how should I describe a “Fluffy Donut”. It’s a circular-shaped bed – like a raised donut, however instead of a hole it has a sunken center – constructed of soft yet durable foam and enveloped entirely with a soft, closely spaced covering of 1” fronds, like fine feathers.

What is particularly nice about Fluffy Donuts is that when you want a quiet “do not disturb” nap, you can curl up inside the middle and no one knows where you have gone.  

(Of course, I always keep my disturbance-detecting antennae just above the surface.) However, what is really cool about a Fluffy Donut is that it enables my practice of feline contortionism. This is one of my favorite poses – “The Twisted Donut.”

About My Toys

I have lots of toys. They fall into 2 categories: Approved and Un-approved.

Approved Toys

Approved Toys include those that Anne and Rick have given me.

“Catzilla” was my first toy. It’s my “comfort toy.” Anne and Rick gave it to me that first day because it was big and soft, and even though it is shaped like a shark, it is very soothing. It travels with me in my carrier and keeps me calm.

“Little Yellow Mouse” – now this was a toy! It was about the size of a light-weight baseball with ears and a tail, so it was easy to bat around the house or catch midair when tossed. It seemed to have swallowed a bell so it jingled and was easy to find when Anne or Rick threw it. I refer to it in past tense because . . . well . . . I knocked the stuffing out of it! So now I have “Little Blue Mouse.” I have overheard that there are more mice hiding in a closet ready to replace “Little Blue Mouse” and play with me when the time comes.

“Big Blue Hedge Hog” – it showed up between the demise of “Little Yellow Mouse” and the appearance of “Little Blue Mouse” (there was a run on mice at the store so this was an attempted substitute). It’s bigger than the mice and has no tail, however it has little ears to grab so I can carry it around. Alas, it doesn’t jingle. Turns out it is a toy for small dogs; figures. What do dogs know about toy design?

“Ebo” was here when I first arrived, however he didn’t start to come out to play right away. Maybe that is because he is hard, rather than soft and squishy, makes lots of weird sounds, possesses red laser eyes and seems to have a mind of his own as he wanders around the condo. Now that I have tons of confidence, “Ebo” comes out a lot, especially during breakfast. If he comes racing toward me or tries to sneak up behind me, I’m not afraid to give him a right jab and a left swat. I have even been known to flip him over, grab one of his wheels with my teeth and cart him away.

Un-Approved Toys

Un-Approved Toys are those that Anne and Rick have indicated that they do not want me to play with. They generally keep these toys on hard-to-reach places like counter tops. Although now that I’m a Big Girl, nothing is difficult for me to reach (I’m working on learning how to open cabinets). Since playing with these un-approved toys upsets Anne and Rick, I generally reach for them when they are asleep.

Toilet Paper – OK. I know. I am not the first feline to find toilet paper entertaining. However given it has a long history of consistently charming felines, who am I to argue with high peer approval ratings?  I tend to prefer the basic unscented, white variety – however in the premium quality MEGA size rolls because the latter are long lasting. When I first discovered toilet paper, it was hanging on a roller so I would just twirl it with my paws and unroll it. It’s even more fun now that Anne and Rick have taken to trying to hide it on counter tops or on top of the toilet because then I get to knock it on the floor and unwind it while I chase it around the house.

Minimix Tomatoes – Anne calls Minimix Tomatoes “The Jewels of the Caribbean”; Rick just says they are marvelous to eat. I find them incredibly attractive because they come in so many bright colors, have an irresistible aroma, are about the size of marbles and they roll! I have yet to eat one. I just like to knock them from the counter onto the floor and chase them all around the house.

My Favorite Things

”These are a few of my Favorite Things” . . .  ranked by “Most Favorite” at the top.

Rick – This should be no surprise. After all, he picked ME over ALL my many kitty playmates at the CIHS to take home to live with him and Anne. He will eternally be my BFF!

Eating – Who says kitties are finicky eaters? Not this kitty! I think I shocked Anne when she first put down the food bowl and I literally inhaled the entire meal. She speculated that perhaps at CIHS, I had no choice or my kitty companions would eat it out from under me. She has been trying to teach me to eat more slowly and to savor each morsel. “Now chew 10 times between swallowing” she coos as she slowly strokes my back while I demolish my meal.

Purring – I did not leave my Purring Forte behind at CIHS. I can purr anytime, anywhere – even while eating. Anne likes to have me wake her up in the middle of the night with my purring as she says that it’s soothing. Rick’s not so sure about that.

Bathing my Toys – It took Anne and Rick a while to figure out that I was intentionally dunking “Little (Color) Mouse” and “Big Blue Hedge Hog” in my water dish (“Catzilla” and “Ebo” are too big to fit) before sending them slip-sliding around the house. Sure, it leaves a big puddle around my bowl and little ones on the floor, but I just love water. And a bonus to the fun is when Anne and Rick hear the “kerplunk” and bellow “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Suzie!”

Playing “Mole” – I discovered this the second day home. The big bed we sleep on has a pretty blue striped comforter spread over the sheets during the day. It’s easy for me to crawl under the comforter so no one knows where I am. Mostly I slowly burrow around to different areas of the bed, or I’ll pause occasionally for a cat nap. At night, the comforter is pulled back, so I burrow under the sheets and if I want to play, I just attack whatever human body part moves first.

My Future

Anne keeps mentioning something about me wearing a harness so I can go for walks outside. I have no idea what she is talking about, although occasionally they have slipped something over my head with buckles for a minute or so. She says I will so enjoy this when I learn. OK. It’s hard to believe my life could get any better than it is right now but if Rick is going to go on harness walks with me, then I’m all in and my future shines!

PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!.

If ai cannot solve a problem by baking a cookie, I cannot deal with it

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