Barney and Fluffy were the childhood cats of me and my brother, but I should clarify that a bit. We found Fluffy (a Manx) outside on our elevated patio deck on a bitter cold and icy Northern Virginia morning on the 23RD of December in 1983. She remained with us (our family) for over 17 years – until 2001 – long after me and my brother had become adults and moved on with our respective lives. Barney arrived about 4½ years later in 1988 while I was living here in Homestead (at the air base) but my brother was still living at home. Barney remained with the family for about 18 years – until 2006. Both cats lived long, fat, and happy lives. Fluffy was the most lovable feline I have ever known in my entire life, and Barney was simply ‘the cat that didn’t like me’ – although during his last year (of perhaps senility) he came over to me and purred on me as if to ask me for my forgiveness for all of those years in which he didn’t care for me.
Here are some classic pictures of Barney and Fluffy. The first one has a date imprinted on the back of it of ‘APR 89’; however, I suspect that the picture was actually taken around Christmas-time of 1988. That would make Fluffy about 5½ to 6 years old and Barney less than a year old. The second picture was taken several years later well into the 1990s.