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My name is Laura Dumm and I share my life with twelve amusing cats and one understanding husband.

All of our cats were strays, either very young abandoned kittens or cats that were injured and needed help. We have always had a multiple cat house but I’ll only tell you about the cats we currently have.

China showed up in 1987 as a small little ball of black fluff that would fit in your hand. She is the eldest. Tigger (a tiger) came to us in 1988, he lived on our porch for a year before we decided he wasn’t going anywhere and so we took him in. Emmett showed up in 1990. He was in terrible trouble. Some awful human had set him on fire and his tail was badly burned. We took him to the vets and his tail had to be amputated. He is now a loving grey and white shorthair. Smudge, a tiger and white fatty, came to us in 1996 after getting hit by a car in front of our house. We took him to the emergency vet and nursed him back to health. Smudge has the most beautiful eyes.

Homer used to live next door with 9 children and a Rottweiler. He decided that he would rather live with us and the rest of the cats. Every time he got out of his house he would run over here and hang out till I took him back home. Finally his family gave in and let him stay with us. A few years later while he was playing he ran into a branch and injured his eye. Sadly he lost his site in it and now only has one good eye and only is allowed to play inside the house.

In 1997 we found a black feral cat with 6 kittens. We took them in and gave Mom our basement to raise her babies. We found good homes for 3 of the kits but ended up keeping her and three of her boys. So now we have MOMA (named after the Museum Of Modern Art, because she had 6 little masterpieces) and the boys, Bongo Monkey (a black and white big boy), Sam (a tiger and white) and Mr. Grey (a sleek grey shorthair). Moma cannot get along with the other cats, so she lives in my studio by herself and is happy with that arrangement. One summer morning in 1999 we were awakened by a kitten crying. We opened the front door and in ran a little fuzzy tiger. He was full of fleas and scared. Belly, now 5 years old, is the biggest, sweetest cat we have.

Fluke (a tiger with white socks and face) showed up in the fall of 1999. He had a bite on his front leg so we took him to the vets only to find out he was positive for feline leukaemia. For some reason we decided not to put him to sleep. We brought him home, built him an enclosure (apartment) upstairs complete with window, plexi-glass door, shelves on the walls for climbing, all topped off with flying mice and bumble bees painted on the walls and ceiling.

Then in 2001 we were awakened at 2 a.m. in the morning by a kitten, crying very loudly. Again I went down and opened the front door and called ‘kitty, kitty, kitty’ and in ran a very pretty little pastel tortoise kitten. We thought she was about 6 months old, but later we found out she was just small and she was over a year old. Because we found her by the light of the moon, we named her Luna. She now runs the house and is very talkative.

So that’s the bunch. They are all spayed or neutered and are indoor cats. They have an enclosed porch where they love to watch nature and sleep. We (the humans) are artists. I am a freelance graphic artist and when I’m not working I paint, draw, take pictures of, do cartoons and hang out with the cats. I also volunteer and do all the graphic work for Northcoast Animals, a cat rescue shelter in Cleveland Ohio. We focus on finding good homes for stray cats and spreading the word to spay and neuter your cat. The comic strips you will see in the coming months will explore the lives of these cats. They will be informative, funny and sometimes touching. My husband is a cartoonist who draws and inks for the comic book American Splendor, as well as working on other independent projects and his own comics.

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A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.

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