All the cats in the Magical Mister Mishkins Series are real. The bond that so many of us have with our beloved feline friends is very special, and to be able to celebrate them through the pages of Mister Mishkins’ Apothecary is wonderful. You can find out more about each of the cats below.
Mister Mishkins is a ginger part-Maine Coon, born in 2021. He loves the sunshine and being warm, although he is somewhat of a fussy eater. His favourite game is playing tunnels with the other cats, although he does love a good catnip mouse – Molly’s Mice and Zebedee’s are his favourites!
When not helping those in need on Mosaic Street, Mister Mishkins likes curling up with his mum as she works. He also loves a good photo shoot – and carrying flapping fish around the house! He has been known to line three up in a row when Samantha starts a journey home from abroad.
THE MAGICAL M CATS
There are three Magical M Cats, all long-haired black cats, and all of whom belonged to Samantha. They are Merlin Cat (2006 – 2021), Minski II (1988-2005), and original Minsky – named The Great Minski for this book (1975 – c. 1986).
Merlin Cat was Samantha’s faithful companion from the moment he was born until the very end. He loved chattering to us as we unloaded the dishwasher, and also chattering to birds; Bird TV (Live) was one of his most favourite things – as was Christmas. Merlin Cat truly was a Christmas Cat.
Very partial to roast chicken, Merlin Cat had a great sense of humour and would frequently wink at those around him. When he passed, there were several rainbows in the skies – Samantha said that Merlin would be sliding down them, hence Merlin’s arrival into the story is just that!
Minski II was a boy cat, although he shared the same name as Samantha’s first cat, Minski. More independent than Merlin Cat and Mister Mishkins, Minski was born in the same litter as the original Marmaduke. Minski was Samantha’s best friend through teenage years to university and beyond. He loved to play, and had a very loving personality.
The Great Minski
The original Minsky – with a y – was a kitten when Samantha was born, and her brother was the original Whiskey. Minsky would alert Samantha’s mum if she was crying as a baby. She would snuggle in bed with Samantha, and tolerate all the things that kittens of young girls have to! Sadly, when the family moved, Minsky went missing. Our hope is that someone found her and took her in, but we will never know for certain. However, Minsky was solely responsible for Samantha’s love of cats, and was the foundation of her own ‘M’ line.
THE APOTHECARY CATS
Biggles – aka Lightning
Biggles was our third ginger cat – and he loved wearing fancy collars, as you can see here! Biggles’ real name was Amberley and he was brother to Jade. We got Jasper a month or two before, hence all being named after semi-precious stones.
Biggles was very athletic and lean, and he was a very smart cat with his white ‘tuxedo’. His favourite trick was to run up the back legs of anyone wearing jeans, and then leap onto their shoulders, where he would proudly sit like a parrot. He was a great cat.
Bumble – aka Sundays
Bumble belonged to my friend, Natasha, who I’m known since school. Her cat Bumble – who was female in real life – loved a Sunday cuddle with Natasha, who would post a weekly ‘Sunday Bumble’ photo.
Bumble was such a curious looking cat, with her unusual markings, and when I decided to do a chapter on Sunday’s, I knew she need to be included. Not least as there is a photo of her with milk on her chin, which made a great scene for Mister Mishkins’ Apothecary.
Jade – aka Rain
Sister of Biggles, Jade was a very beautiful ‘cool chick’. Petite and refined, and incredibly loving, she was the perfect choice for ‘Rain’. She was a cat who could make anyone smile, and she was also incredibly fast when she ran!
Jade loved nothing more than curling up with Biggles and, despite being smaller than him, would pin him down and wash him. She also loved Merlin Cat, and would frequently curl up alongside him as well.
Jasper – aka Thunder
Like Mishkins, Jasper was part-Maine Coon. He was incredibly loving, but he didn’t suffer fools gladly – if he didn’t like you, then that was it! He managed to go missing for a few nights once, and he was so grateful to be home – and to a tin of tuna!
Jasper, Jade and Biggles all arrived with us more or less at the same time, and I love that their stories go together so well – making the perfect storm of thunder, lightning and rain.