Timba is also the product of a month long craigslist search. I took one look at his kitten picture and he took my heart. He is an all white cat, with the exception of orange-beige markings on his ears, face, and tail. The tail is ringed from top to bottom, which gave me the comical impression of a “pin the tail on the kitty” kind of cat. Very funny looking at first, very unique, and the funny and unique always appeal to me.
Turns out that these markings are indicative of a type of Siamese called Flame Point, Red Point, or Color Point Tabby. While certain cat associations do not recognize the Flame Point Siamese, others do. And to me, he’s all Flame Point, despite the fact that he is only half on his father’s side.
Timba is my newest little pal, and is my constant sleeping buddy and daytime companion. He came to me from a home where he was “too playful” with the older resident cat, whom it was feared would harm little Timba. Oh contraire! I do believe it was the other way around. Timba was a feisty little kitten, all piss and vinegar, claws and bite. While my former roommate and I downsized our larger multi-cat home, I like to think that Timba picked them off one by one.
My first online viewing of Timba was at my mother’s house. I saw the ringed tail, the blue eyes, and called my mom into the room to see him. She said he reminded her of a white lion. I had to concede that interesting observation, and set about a search for white lions. I learned of the Timbavati region in South Africa that is home to a reserve for white lions. They are absolutely gorgeous creatures, sharing Timba’s white fur, mingled at times with beige, and of course, the stunning and rare blue eyes.
Of course you see where I got his name. But as Toby doesn’t prefer Tobias, Timba doesn’t prefer his full name of Timbavati.
I named him before I even got him, at the conclusion of those initial ‘white lion’ search results. He was Timba from that point on. I had to wade through about 3 weeks of slow and stagnant email correspondence before I finally found myself on the road driving an hour and a half away to get my new kitten. He was so much more endearing in real life. And I will never forget the baleful expression in his eyes as he sat in the crate beside me, as if to say “you evil woman, you dare take me from my home, who do you think you are?”
Well, his first impression obviously changed.
Regarding his name, I fear it has become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy – named after wild animals, dominant, aggressive creatures, lords of the land. This is precisely how Timba has shown himself to be. He is the aggressor in any cat relationship, and earned the early nickname of Bitey Boy. I had him neutered in hopes of toning this down, and in large part, that has been the case. He still hassles Toby and chases him around, tackles his back, and causes him to thrash, yowl, flee, and hide. To which Timba merely responds with a smack of his gray-fur covered lips, as if to say “hmm, tasty … better luck next time.”
For all his mean streak and active behavior, Timba is the sweetest boy at heart. He loves to be around me. He is a regular cuddle bug, joining me at the computer, in front of a book, making dinner, or sitting around. I will chronicle his activities with as much affection as I have for him, and hope that stories of who and how he is can touch someone other than myself.