Published 2020-05-07Carol E. Leever
Was Tormy's namesake (our beautiful Maine Coon from college) ever in an actual box? Well, not one we ever put him in (he did love to jump into boxes), but he was in a purse numerous times.
Camilla found Tormy in a storm outside her apartment (the cat and the storm were both outside, in case you were wondering). He was just a kitten, apparently abandoned. He had no fear of people so had likely been raised around them. He was probably no more than about 7 weeks old -- far too little to be alone. And he was adorable.
Camilla took him in (she had two other cats at the time), fed him, and named him Storm (seemed appropriate). Her two adult cats took to him right away. They were both probably also Maine Coons -- (incidentally, all these cats were adopted from shelters). Tormy was originally a scruffy-looking orange "tabby." I'm convinced he turned into a Maine Coon just to mimic the other cats.
I came over to visit Camilla the next day and instantly fell in love with the little guy. For some reason, my family cannot leave a name alone. We have to play around with it -- change it -- make ridiculous sounds with it. Camilla went along with this tradition. Storm became Stormy, and then quickly morphed into Tormy. And that name just stuck -- suited him well.
And every time I came over, I plotted ways to steal him. I'm not typically someone who resorts to theft -- but this cat was something special. I'm also not typically dishonest by nature, so I felt it only fair to warn Camilla when I was planning on stealing him.
When I'd say goodbye and gathered my things to head home, I'd always call out, "Well, I'm off, I'll just get my purse, my coat, and my Tormy and head home."
I'd pick up my coat and my purse, then I'd stuff Tormy into said purse and head out the door. Tormy was always a good sport and kept quiet so he wouldn't rat me out.
I actually made it all the way out to the car once before Camilla caught me. She always caught me.
Eventually, to stop the great Tormy-heists, we agreed to get an apartment together and share custody of the little guy. And curiously, Tormy seemed to develop a distinct fondness for purses. Our purses always had long, orange cat hair on them, and a typical answer to the question "where's my purse?" was often, "under Tormy." (He got far too big to fit inside them.)
NOTE: Sorry the pictures are such poor quality. All we had was a cheap old Polaroid camera and very little money to buy film. This was the days way before cell phones and digital pictures.