This is where it all started
with Hawkeye and Bhu Fan
< <    on the river road.  
Hawkeye came first. He was born to my
big brown tom, JoJo Bear and Silver Rain,
a pushy broad if there ever was one,
went to a couple in a nearby town who
put his litterbox in the far end of a distant
basement where they rarely visited and
then couldn’t understand why he didn't
use it. Maine Coons are people cats.
They don’t like to be separated from their
families. As a result, Hawkeye came
home and never left again.
He was clever, bright, opinionated—and
so curious he couldn't stay out of trouble
to save himself. He was a clever cat that I
simply had to write about.
       Bhu Fan
Nightwing as Shere Khan
Madame du Maine
I cannot tell you, as I said, where the haughty
little Korat came from. She simply insinuated
herself into my head, her royal pedigree
included. I confess, I wrote about her first--or
she wrote about herself. I'd never seen one,
had never read anything about one. So I set
about boning up on her breed's background
after the fact and was a bit bemused that I got
it right. The Korat is still relatively rare in this
country. I did manage to find a little male and
brought him home--to the amusement of my
Maine Coons. Korats are a very hyperactive,
in-your-face kind of cat. Very affectionate, but
as I said: very busy. It's a bit like living with a
buzz-saw. Or a Tasmanian Devil on happy pills.
Here you see Vector as Bhu Fan on an antique
quilt of mine(that has its own story to tell) which
is part of the plot in the 3rd book:  
Sing A Song
Of Sixpence
which is now up on
Madame and Shere Khan were also taken
from real life. In this photo here of Madame.
You can understand why she might have
intimidated Bhu Fan--along with everybody
else. But for all her Halloween poster image,
she was a very affectionate if sly queen with
a wry sense of humor. And you can well
believe that cats, Maine Coons in particular,
have a highly developed sense of humor.
Madame has gone to the Rainbow Bridge
and I still miss her terribly.

My model for Shere Khan came from 3
sources: a cat of mine named Nightwing (the
Danish version of Batman) who went to
Watercoons cattery in Denmark.  The other
cats Khan was taken from were the great
Simon Underfoot, seen here in a drawing by
his mistress, Donna Chase of Thunderpaws
Cattery in Stacyville, Maine and the real
Siberia Farm and Nightwing's sire: JoJo
Bear, who at 10 years of age, still keeps
everything kosher in his household just a
few miles from here.
Miaka Ragtime Cowboy Joe AKA JoJo Bear
Thunderpaws Simon Underfoot    
                                         by Donna Chase