Besides all the garden inspiration, I loved his plan to host 100 cats and call each of them by a number. What a smart way to go about it!
Mr. Nichols reminded me that there were some gaps in my life just then, some missed opportunities for happiness. It was time to love a garden again. And it was time to have cats. Possibly a dog or two. Maybe not 100 cats. Maybe something more like 10. Not at once. Just as the years ticked by.
The Mint Dynasty was born. (I believe Miss Mint makes her first appearance in Laughter on the Stairs.)
It started with Miss Omega Mint, an aged Siamese who’d been parked in the shelter for several months. She needed to own a home again. I needed her. We also needed a kitten, so neither of us would get too hinky or obsessive. W&M picked out Jack T. Mint for me, based on his alleged intelligence. A pesty kitten with a ridiculous tail, he was destined to become our alpha.
Omega died too soon, a grand old lady when she came to me. Her passing made way for Elsa Mint and Augustus Calendar Mint, who, with Jack, established a sort of neighborhood pride. This was entirely Gus’ fault. (If ever someone recommends a kitten to you as “a lover, not a fighter,” run the other way. That lover will make friends with other cats, teach them to use your cat door, and share his meals with them.)
Since then the ranks of the Mints have swelled, mostly unintentionally. Every time I realize we’ve got a new one, I have that sick sense of dread. And every time I find so many surprise moments of laughter and love. We’ve got a great beast of a dog on board as well, Maxim M. deMint. When he’s not guarding (aka bossing) me, he delights in staggering around with his nose up the other Mints’ grills.
I love watching this dynasty develop, and am honored to be their host. Their dynamics are endlessly interesting and every time I think I’ve got them figured out, I’m quickly corrected.
Lucky us, all the Mints are flourishing after this move to Boise. Even dreadful Barn Cat, who I felt guiltiest about relocating, is thriving, probably the happiest he’s ever been.
So, that’s the Mint Dynasty in a nutshell. A strange and vibrant social organization that has delegated their care and feeding to me. Sometimes they even let me sleep in. Sometimes.