is a page dedicated to the two most popular cats in Austin, Texas. I
realized that today. True, 99% of people in Austin may have never heard
of these two boys, but can they name any other two famous cats in
Austin? I think not. These two boys have eaten Purina One for five
years and promoted it (through me) on radio. Lots of listeners have
emailed me to ask about Nathan Jr. and Willie since I was let go, so I
will use this page to show you a little more about their lives.
This was the first picture taken of Nathan Jr. in June 2001. He was just a few months old.
had once had a special cat named Morris. Morris lived a healthy 13
years, from his birth in a box in Mark's closet to his death in Mark's
arms. He died in 1993, just before Mark and I met. I grew up with
dozens of cats on the farm starting with Brownie and her brothers and
sisters. But I had never had an indoor cat and never ever wanted to
have one. In 2001 Mark said he thought he would like to have a cat
again, what did I think about that? I said that was a possibility, but,
of course, it would be mostly an outdoor cat. It might get to sleep in
the house at night, but I did not want an indoor cat. No plans were
made to FIND a cat, we both believed that cats find you. Not long
after, our neighbor Katie came over with a kitten and said, "Mark,
didn't you say you wanted to have a cat?" This kitten had been left
when a family down the street had moved away. Can you imagine?
Especially to abandon such an absolutely perfect cat. This is one of
our first pictures, and an all time favorite picture, of Nathan Jr.
was love at first sight for us all. He wasn't named Nathan Jr. right
away. Lyndon was an early contender. But if you've seen the movie
Raising Arizona, you know the name of the kidnapped baby is Nathan
Arizona Jr. That is one of our favorite movies, so that seemed to
fit more than Lyndon. And it has been Nathan Jr. ever since. Or Nate.
My mother had a house cat when she was a teenager named Nathaniel. We
didn't know that when Nate came along, but when Mother and Daddy would
visit, they called him Nathaniel more than Nathan and that was fine,
too. Junior, Supernate, Natona, Soop, and Buddy all work, too.
Nathan spent his days exploring the neighborhood and making himself a friend to all.
the part about being mostly an outdoor cat never really happened. He
was just too adorable to let go! He slept on my head at night.
and with Mark every chance he got.
Nathan's first Christmas was special.
It wasn't all fun and games. Nathan had a wild side, too.
we love to dress up the cats. There are only about 678, 993 other
pictures of Nathan I would like to put on here and 78,456 stories that
need to be told, but let's move on to the arrival of Wilburt into our
It was Christmas Eve 2002. We stayed home that year and
that evening I opened the front door and there was a cat on the
doorstep. We didn't know where she belonged, so we welcomed her into
the house and gave her food, water, and shelter. She was a sweet
long-haired cat that we named Miss L Toe. "Miss Toe" was loving and
sweet . . . and fat. As we looked for the home she came from, Mark
asked our cat lady neighbor Katie if she thought Miss Toe might be
pregnant. Definitely, she said. And it appeared she was due before too
long. Boy, we were wrong about that. As days and then weeks went by, I
checked the gestation period for a cat. A cat is pregnant for 72 days.
So, figuring she was at least a month pregnant when we got her, we
expected kitties in February, but no arrivals. More days and weeks go
by. Finally, this sweet cat is looking like she was going to give birth
to a basketball.
the blessed day came . . . a full 75 days after she walked into our
house, already pregnant. So, WAY overdue, for sure. These kitties were
almost born with their eyes open!. Mark had a gig at Casbeer's in San
Antonio. I went along for the ride. We got back home about 4 in the
morning and checked the box in the closet and found the sweetest pile
of fluff you've ever seen.
came pretty easy. Guess which one became the Red Headed Stranger? The
others were Ringo, Turbo, Mambo, Pinky, and Grace (Grace was the lone
left on a month long tour of Europe when the kittens were about three
weeks old. He said, "Please don't let any go until I'm back and can
play with them some more." But the minute he had left the house, the
kittens decided their world needed to be bigger than their cardboard
box. I tried corralling them in the bathtub, but that quickly
became no barrier. So I was living with eight free-roaming cats. Where
was Nathan in all of this? He was usually outside during the entire day
and when he did come in he stayed in the garage, hissing as he had to
pass by these interlopers.
In the mornings I would try to eat
a bowl of cereal standing in the kitchen, but I would have kittens
crawling up the inside and the outside of my gown. At night I sat on
the couch trying to eat something and I would have kittens crawling in
my lap and on my shoulders. There was no escape. One night I was
working at the computer and smelled an odd smell. I crawled under the
desk and looked at all of the cords that are stuffed behind there and
found several tiny piles of kitty poop. Joy. My house was a
So I began to find homes for the kittens. Gracie
went to my namesake in San Antonio, Pinky and Turbo went to a friend in
Dallas, Mambo and the mama cat, Miss Toe, went to a friend in Houston.
Willie, the red headed stranger, who was not only red headed, but
treated differently by his brothers and sister, remained and so did
Ringo. Willie was going to go to a radio listener, but she found out
she was allergic and backed out. Then Mark's old roommate said he
wanted another cat and he would take Willie. Then, sadly, he died
unexpectedly and Willie became an orphan again. So sad! By now, Mark
was home and getting to enjoy Willie and Ringo.
poor Willie losing out on two homes and already having been the
stranger in his own family, we decided he needed to be the one to stay.
I found a home for Ringo with a co-worker.
So Willie, or
Wilburt as we call him more often, became a member of the family
permanently. Even Nathan began to adjust and started to love his little
Now they are the best of buddies . . .
And today they are both gorgeous, lovable, wonderful companions to each other and to us.
This is just a start of the Nathan Jr. and Willie page. More to come!