I can tell because the desk in the top picture was in a duplex I rented (1114 15th Ct., Tuscaloosa) from 1991 to 1992; that cat was the issue of a friend’s girlfriend’s cat. Said friend’s girlfriend was too irresponsible to (a) spay her cat or (b) vaccinate mama or the kittens, so unfortunately that little cat — Hudson — was born with feline leukemia and had to be put down in fall, 1992.
Hudson most truly belonged to a Former Heathen Companion, who visited the duplex often and fell hard for the not-so-bright-yet-very-cute cat; Hudson decided she hung the moon, and that was that. Before we knew she was ill, F.H.C. had managed to adopt her. We all moved to two apartments in Northport in summer 1992, but it wasn’t long before we realized Hudson’s condition.
Hudson had a little while, we were told, before she’d be really ill, but she couldn’t be around other cats. We set her up in F.H.C.’s apartment and kept her happy, but we knew it was a matter of time. Crafty bastard that I am, it was also during this time that I started trying to find another cat, which was oddly harder than it sounds. Tuscaloosa County Human Society had no kittens at all for several weeks. Finally, they called me back. They had one. I left my office immediately and drove out to TCHS, where I met a very scraggley, rat-looking, frankly ugly little kitten who was nevertheless VERY VERY VERY VERY HAPPY to be touched, held, etc. She came home with me, and for a little while we had a cat in each apartment (and a rigorous hand-and-clothes-washing plan). Eventually, Hudson had to be gently promoted to the Choir Invisible, and we consolidated Cat Operations in my apartment. We missed Hudson, but Bob’s healthy-kitten antics made it easier.
The bottom picture is Bob, asleep under the sheets on my old waterbed in that Northport apartment, sometime between summer 1992 and summer 1993; since the shots are from the same roll of film (film! What the hell is that?), I’m inclined to say earlier rather than later. I can tell by the bed placement, F.H.C.’s laundry basket in the background, the closet door, and the dresser thing on the right.
It was just a happy coincidence that Bob ended up being a dead ringer for Hudson once she put on a few pounds, but I’ve never minded. It certainly made F.H.C. happy, especially since Bob was quickly just as much her cat as Hudson had been. Amusingly, the only other H.C. that Bob has truly liked is, of course, Mrs. Heathen, whose lap she is loathe to leave even for cheese. The cat’s got taste.