Tippy was the grouchiest cat on the planet, and the only creature I've ever seen that Brit did not get along with. Tippy was named for the white tip on her tail (and no, strangely enough, in this household it's not the children who give dumb names to the cats, it's the adults! For example, my Dad always called Brit "Blackie" because she was black.)
Tippy never could stand anyone touching her tail, and we think she was abused as a kitten, probably by a bratty kid who kept grabbing her by it and pulling. She was a funny-looking cat all right--she was slightly wall-eyed, the fur on her nose wasn't quite right, so it was pink for nearly an inch, and her mouth was square. No lie! Square.
We suspect Tippy was so grumpy and evil because she had made a pact with Satan. At one time, she had two little symmetrical bald spots on her head, and we were totally convinced that's where the horns were about to grow in! For whatever reason though they never did. She didn't want to blow her cover, I guess. She would only ever allow you to pat her on the top of her head. Anywhere else and she would snap at you. If she ever sat on your lap she would do so all tucked up and tense, and on one leg of the lap--she never seemed to be able to relax enough to just sprawl.
Tippy was famed for her very loud meow that sounded like a garage-door spring breaking, which she would amplify to great effect by putting her mouth down by the threshold so the sound came through the gap under the cellar door.
One time Tippy found a big black carpenter ant walking along the floor, and decided to see if he'd taste good. Well, not only did he not taste good at all, I think he bit her on the way down because she stuck her tongue WAY out over and over again to get rid of him. Cats' tongues are scarily long. I'm talking anteater long!
For all her grouchiness and scratchiness and biteyness, though, we treated her with kindness and patience. And we loved her--she had personality! Like I said, we think she was abused, and she needed a safe haven, so we gave it to her. You just had to let her do things on her own terms. Tippy has long since passed away of great old age, and towards the end it seems she found God (or senility); she would sit comfortably on your lap (!), let you pet her like a normal cat (!!) and she started purring constantly (!!!).
Alternate names: Tippy-tippy-tembo-no-sai-rembo-cherry-berry-buts-berry-pits-perry-pembo, The Miserable One, Fang ("I wish you hadn't told me that"--actual quote from the local vet)
Check out some other cat friends of mine:
My little brother when he was much littler (like 5th grade or something) with Tippy, who's listening intently to the self-timer on the camera.
Uh-oh. this is Tippy's "cute" pose, where she tried to lure unsuspecting humans to give her a belly scratch. Anyone who knew her knows that you'd lose your hand!
You can see a little of Tippy's square mouth in this shot. She looks quite content, doesn't she? Not at all like the grumpy thing she usually was.
Tippy in the studio, displaying the innate sense of artistic composition all cats have.