Aisling in the planter during Supervised Outdoor Playtime.


Aisling (pronounced ASH-ling) is the Irish word for "vision" or "dream" and it's pretty commonly used as a girl's name in Ireland.  I've always liked the name and this little girl just looked like an Aisling somehow.    


When she was little, we called her Bobbly Girl (because of her medical condition).  These days, she just goes by her real name.


Around September 14, 2002.


Aisling reminds us of Penelope in many ways, especially physically.  Like Penelope, she is a medium-small cat with a tendency to be on the portly side.  Her coloring is different, of course, and her fur is fine and soft and not as thick as Penelope's was.

When we changed the way we feed our cats (click here to read about it), she went from 12 pounds, 8 ounces (5.6 kg) to 11 pounds, 3 ounces (5.0 kg). She has some more to lose, but has made a nice start.


Since Aisling is deaf, she has no volume control and thus can be very loud at times.  When she reached adulthood, she started having talking fits once a day or so - usually late in the evening.  When we wake her up from a sound sleep, she often meows a greeting at top volume - sometimes a "Mmmmmm?" and other times a full meow.  I'm sorry to say that we often wake her up just to see how loudly she'll meow...

She also has meowing fits in the bathrooms.  Over the years, I've had several cats who enjoyed meowing in the bathroom and I always thought it was because they liked the echo effect from all the tile and such.  Obviously, that can't be the case with Aisling.

Aisling is very food-oriented, as is her brother Dubh.  When food is being prepared and served, she gets very excited and lets out a series of positively ear-shattering meows.  She makes us laugh every time.


Aisling has a very loud, rumbly purr, which can usually be heard across the room.  She makes biscuits the same way Penelope always did: while standing.  Though she kneads quite vigorously, her biscuits don't usually hurt.


On November 14, 2002, Chris came home to find MacKenzie, our youngest dog at the time, barking furiously at a cinder block in our yard.  When he investigated, he found a small, calico kitten hiding in the block.  There was no sign of her mother and she appeared to be ill, so naturally, he rescued her.

Since she was from the same stray colony that produced Arivaca and Penelope, we steeled ourselves for what seemed like the inevitable positive Feline Leukemia test.  Miraculously, she tested negative twice.

Not long after Aisling came to live with us, an orange tomcat from the stray colony started hanging around our yard.  We suspect he is Aisling's and Dubh's daddy.


Aisling is a handicapped kitty and I'm sure her disabilities have some effect on her personality, but they didn't affect it as much as I thought they would.  When we first got her, she was very feral and hissed whenever we got close to her.  After a few days, though, she realized we weren't so bad after all and became quite cuddly. 

I was worried that she'd be a shy, withdrawn cat because she is deaf and has some neurological problems, but she is very independent and adventurous and is quite bold with the other cats.  She often has "happy fits" during which she follows me around or sits in my lap and purrs loudly, but overall, she's less clingy than her brother, Dubh.  She's also the cat most likely to come out and be seen when strangers are over, though she prefers they don't touch her.

Though she gets along with the other cats, she most often plays by herself and always sleeps by herself.  Many of her little mannerisms and habits and the way she moves remind me of Penelope.


Cerebellar hypoplasia; deafness.  See details.


Eating; playing with several toys at once; hiding in boxes; turning the computer on and off (especially when I'm using it); playing tag with her brother and Molly.  She plays very noisily, especially with paper bags. Here is an example:

Aisling vs. the Paper Bag


Aisling doesn't seek out other cats much. When she was little, she used to play with Dubh, but complained when he got too boisterous.  She liked Obsidian and tolerates Molly Maguire.  The love of her life, however, is Orion, whom she has a crush on and flirts with outrageously.  (He does not seem to notice.)


Not in the least; in fact, she enjoys "helping" me vacuum and often plays with the brush as it moves along the floor.  She also looks forward to being vacuumed every week when I do the house.  Apparently if one cannot hear the vacuum cleaner, it just isn't scary.