Remember this dainty little feral cat? Tumbleweed became comfortable with us so quickly it was hard to believe she was a feral. But she's not so tiny any more.
In fact, she seems to get bigger every time I see her. Unlike our cat Hodr, who begs to come in when it's cold, she is so well insulated that she seems happy in the snow.
This is not my cat. I saw this photo online and was struck by how much it looked like Tumbleweed. I followed the link and discovered it was a Maine Coon cat. And that lead me to reading about them and it all started falling into place. Maine Coon cats, it turns out, were bred in Maine to withstand the cold winters. They have a silky overcoat and a fluffy undercoat, with a particularly dense coat on their bellies and backsides to protect them against the snow. Maine Coons also have a distinctive furry ruff around their necks, bigger tufts of hair in their ears than other cat breeds, and fat fluffy tails. It's as if they were describing my cat. Maine Coon cats are fierce hunters but super affectionate. I cringe a little at the number of chipmunk tails and deconstructed birds I have found in the shed where Tumbleweed sleeps. And yet, she is one of the friendliest cats I've met, throwing herself into any available lap and demanding belly rubs.