Perdita, named for Agnes Nitt's gothy alter ego, Perdita X. Nitt, in Terry Pratchett's marvelous books Maskerade and Carpe Jugulum, is incredibly camera-shy. She knows the sound of the battery charging on a disposable camera and will flee in an instant. The only way to get pictures of her is to distract her with something else.

She came into our home in October 1999, though we first met her in August of the same year. Born to a very young stray cat in our neighborhood, our marvelous, amazing, stunning, cat-rescue-lady neighbor, Pat, managed to capture Tuxie (the mother) and Little Tux (later to become Perdita). She then braved long nights and an irritable skunk to capture the little black kitten she named Batman, Tuxie's other offspring. They lived in Pat's basement while Pat attempted to tame the two feral kittens (as well as spaying and vaccinating Tuxie, and vaccinating the two kittens -- did I mention that Pat is marvelous?)

Eventually, Pat realized that neither kitten was going to get used to people while they had each other to depend upon, so we took Little Tux. She spent two weeks hiding behind our toilet before we decided to take a risk and let her interact with the other cats. She immediately imprinted on Oberon as "big brother," much to his continuing dismay.

We tried naming her "Boudicca," but it didn't work. It just didn't. We tried several other names before we hit upon Perdita, reasoning that perhaps someday, she'd be more like Agnes -- good hair and a lovely personality. Two years later, she has shaped up to have both, but is still quite shy. She loves to have us pet her, and will occasionally crawl into our laps for five minutes before running away to have a little lie-down. When we corner her for some reason (trips to the vet, removing unwanted items from her fur), she emits the most awful, piteous yowls of dismay. When we let her go, she has a distressing ability to utterly vanish for periods of time, although they are shorter now than they used to be.

Perdita, under Kerey's computer table, getting ready to bolt. Perdita, in the doorway of Kerey's room. You can see her gorgeous, plush cravat and feather-boa tail in this, as well as other aspects of her "tuxedo." She bolted seconds later. Perdita in the hallway, prevented from bolting by the distraction of a cat-toy. She stared at me, appalled, for several seconds after the flash went off, then scurried away, not to be found again for at least an hour.