Although for the longest time we barely greeted each other when coming in or out of the apartment, my next door neighbor Ryan recently became very friendly. He had discovered the adjacent location of The Tender HQ and admitted to reading the site and particularly the kitteh of the week section. One day, upon seeing me in the street playing with the attention-loving Vixen, he even stopped to chat about his cats. I had met one of them on a couple of occasions when she escaped his apartment in search of adventures in the hallway, but it hadn’t occurred to inquire further. As it turns out, he was dying to have them featured on The Tender, and I was happy to oblige.

Pictured above is the cheekiest and youngest of the three cats, Madeira. She’s a three year-old pure breed Maine coon and escape artist in her spare time. She also loves laser pointers to the point of manic insanity.

Roxy is much calmer, usually hanging out on the bed or any other elevated surface watching what goes on in the apartment with an air of bored indifference. Milan’s indifference goes even further, looking annoyed at the disturbance for the picture.

Milan was the first kitteh that Ryan adopted in a shelter in Seattle, where he lived prior to moving to San Francisco. Milan and Roxy get along really well, often grooming each other and cracking jokes about attention-whore Madeira. Before Madeira they used to have another sister named Sprite when they lived in a different apartment on Post, but unfortunately she fatally fell off the window (they lived on the 8th or 9th floor). Now they have three rats as their roommates.

Ryan says he had never thought about owning a rat, but one day he saw an abandoned dresser on a sidewalk that looked interesting. He was going to check the drawers when he saw a friendly rat hanging out on one of the shelves. He felt sorry for the newly-orphaned little fella, and decided to adopt him. Eventually, he got him some companions at Petco. Pictured above is Moo-Cow and here’s Brownie looking cute for the camera (the third rat is Blackie).

The cats don’t pay much attention to them as they’re too big to be interesting and/or huntable. Sometimes they’ll play with their tails, but that’s about it. I’d even say they’re a bit intimidated by them, as proven by Madeira’s wary reaction to Brownie’s attempts to be friendly.

The rats don’t usually pay much attention to the cats either, except for when one is sleeping on top of their cage and they try to steal some fur for their nest. They don’t usually leave their cages as they get nervous and pee all over.