The quintessential Cat Lady

17 cats may appear like a LOT of felines to the common folk; it actually constitutes a vast improvement compared to the 40 cats my sister Odile used to nurture when she shared a large mansion with her husband in the outskirts of Brussels.

Bengals, Maine Coons, Ben-Coons and Maine-gals, the rescue cats, the dog Le Iench, the VERY large snake rescued from a lamp maker in Morocco, the mice befriended before becoming reptile food: all lived in perfect harmony… except for the husband who undoubtedly could not compete against so much furry love and left the menagerie to lead a more appropriate lifestyle for a respected banker (Oh how very boring!) In all fairness to him, my sister seems to live in a whole different world than you and I.


In my sister’s reality, her dog Le Iench is not obese, she has an “uncommonly large thoracic cage.” The poor thing spends all of her time on her back, perfectly balanced by generous pounds of fat. The dog is the most humongous dachshund I have ever encountered.


Eventually, my sister had to sell the castle and purchase a smaller house in Waterloo. She moved in with 9 cats, placed the other 31 with loving families. She did not have to worry about the snake anymore since he had escaped from the yard one afternoon (for all of you inhabitants of Braine l’Alleud whose dog, cat, pet pig or wee child disappeared one day, I think the culprit may be Moroccan.)

That was two years ago. The count is currently back to 17 but in Odile’s world, she has only 11.1/2. Hilarious! You see, according to her, one cat belongs to her son Nicolas (who can’t remember which one exactly.)

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Another to her son Antoine (who does not even like cats.)


A gray kitty now belongs to Antoine’s new girlfriend (the cat won’t let her approach him but that’s just a detail.)


The housekeeper has a cat as well although I’m not sure she knows about it.

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The dog, yes no typo here, the DOG owns a cat. Finally, one cat just comes home during the night, therefore and in all logic, he merely counts as a half cat. So, really, you see she only possesses 11.1/2 cats!

I’m surprised Albert II King of Belgium does not own one of her cats!


3 responses to “The quintessential Cat Lady

  1. Haven’t your dogs commited catrocide in the past? I love the pictures you post. They all have a very classic film noir feel. Please consider Sherman as a subject of your blog. He would fit in great in quirky world we like to refer to as Nathalieland.

  2. My kind of lady! One can never have too many cats (well, almost never). And they’re quite photogenic to boot! Then again, I know a large part of good feline photography rests squarely on the photographer’s shoulders.

  3. nathaliewithanh

    Well, Jason, I’ll put in a good word for you with my sister. Who knows? If you are lucky, you might get a cat too! That would bring her total to 10 1/2.

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