Our dear departed cat, Henry VIII, was a medium-haired Maine Coon, and although he and I were kind of thrown together at first, his disposition, sense of humor, good looks, and dog-like attitude utterly charmed me. I loved him completely, and all those great qualities conspired to make me a life-long fan of the breed. When our house is finished and we move back home, we’re planning to rescue another Maine Coon and wait for the hilarity to ensue.
If you’re not familiar with the breed, they’re gorgeous. They’ve got long- or medium-length hair and come in all colors and patterns. They often have taxi-cab-yellow eyes, and tufted ears. But what makes the Maine Coon distinctive is their extreme size. They’re the largest breed of domestic cat by quite a wide margin. Adult males average between 17 and 25 pounds, and they can grow to more than 3 feet in length from nose to tail. Henry used to stop next to my chair and reach up to pat me on the cheek while keeping his hind feet on the floor. He didn’t even have to strain to reach my face.
Animal photographer Robert Sijka has an abiding love for the big cats, and he has made it his mission to “combine these two things as good as possible.” He combines them plenty good, indeed. I loved all his photos, but the closeups showing their giant, fuzzy feet made my heart hurt.. Missing our big boy something awful today.
I almost forgot! If you’ve got a place in your home for a massive feline with a sense of humor, there are Maine Coon rescues all over the place. Here’s a link to the U.S. network, and I’m sure there are similar networks in other countries as well.
All photos are the property of Robert Sijka.