Monty (Sphynx cat), photo by Sofia Diana Gabel

Monty (Sphynx cat), photo by Sofia Diana Gabel

I have a problem. I can admit it. I’m a crazy cat lady. Always have been and likely always will be. And, my cat du jour is the Sphynx. This is the hairless, slightly quirky-looking breed that some people might remember as Mr. Bigglesworth from the Austin Powers movies. Sphynx have appeared in other movies and TV shows, but to me, my Sphynx or Sphynxi-my plural notation for multiple Sphynx-are simply companions. Although, my two boys are actually related to Mr. Bigglesworth (Ted Nude-gent is his real name), so there is a little Hollywood running through their veins.

Here’s the low-down on Sphynx. They are mutants! Truly. Their breed is a mutation. And, surprise, they aren’t truly hairless. In reality, they are covered in a fine, downy fluff, but because it’s hard to see, they look hairless. According to the breed standards, they are allowed to have limited fur on their feet, ears, face and tail, but it can’t be too much. Also, as they age, hormones can affect the amount of fur they have and their coloring.

Now comes the fussy part. Without hair, the oil on the skin collects and this, naturally, attracts dirt. So, they get dirty quickly and need to be bathed as frequently as once or even twice a week, depending on how dirty they get. I bathe my less in the winter due to it being colder. Another thing is that they do get cold and really like to burrow under blankets or sit in front of space heaters. I have a heated bed and so many baby blankets that they are never cold. They also have quite the wardrobe of tee-shirts and I’d swear half of their clothes are nicer than mine. Like any cat, Sphynx love to lie in the sun, but without hair, too much sun can give them a sunburn. Sunscreen isn’t a good idea because they’d just lick it off, so limiting their sun bathing is something I try to do.

The boys hugging

The boys hugging

Sphynx also have a faster metabolism and they feel very warm due to this. Their temperature is a few degrees warmer than furry cats. To drive this super heat-generating metabolism, Sphynx eat a lot. All the time. They never seem to stop. I learned early on that it’s a good idea to always leave kibble out for them or they’ll meow for food every few minutes until my ears ring.

While Sphynxi are felines in every sense of the word, they are definitely NOT aloof. Not even a little bit. They are affectionate and require a lot of attention. There is constant sitting on laps, shoulders or being cradled like a baby, wrapped in a soft blankie, and they will follow me from room to room. Wherever I go in the house, there is bound to be one or more Sphynxi trotting along with me. Even in the bathroom and especially on my laptop while I’m writing. This constant need for affection makes them a bit more dog-like and many people who can’t have a dog will choose a Sphynx because of this. I think that’s cool.

Sofia Diana Gabel, romance

Sofia Diana Gabel, romance

Luckily for me I do a lot of writing at home, so my boys are able to pester me incessantly. I can’t complain though. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t end well for me. Monty, my red (looks pink) boy has a blog of his own where he whines about what it’s like living with a writer. He’s a sassy blogger and posts all sorts of incriminating photos about how ‘tough’ his life is because I’m always at the computer and not paying him enough attention. Nonsense. Like any cat, he owns me and runs the household. I know my place and accept it gladly. And you know what, I wouldn’t change my life for anything.

Even with the Sphynxi distractions and Monty’s blogging, I have managed to get a new novel published, a historical romantic suspense, Charity’s Heart. It’s available at the publisher’s website (www.frontporchromance.com) and from the usual retailers like Amazon.

Charity's Heart by Sofia Diana Gabel

Charity’s Heart by Sofia Diana Gabel

My website is www.sofiadianagabel.com, and you can check out my other sites at: https://www.facebook.com/sofiadianagabel, https://twitter.com/sofiadianagabel, and http://approachablefiction.blogspot.com/,and you can follow Monty’s latest ravings at Monty’s Catablog: http://montysphynx.wordpress.com/.

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