Jay’s Bio

Jay posing majestically in the kitchen window


I don’t remember a life before Jay, my mostly Maine Coon cat, nor do I want to contemplate one without him. I have probably turned into the crazy old cat lady. I can live with that!

Jay the day after he came into my life


In the three years after he came home with me at seven weeks of age, Jay went from being a tiny 1.6 lb ball of fluff to a giant 17.50 lb ball of fluff. The time in-between has been a lot of fun. As pathetic as it sounds I call him my fluff ball of love and always refer to him as “my bestest present,” not exactly a grammatically correct phrase for a writer to use! However, it perfectly describes how I feel about him.

Jay is now a huge part of who I am. Recent years have been hard ones in my life and he has been there all the way, making me laugh, keeping me going because I had him to look after, and just giving me so much love it was impossible for me not to feel it. Like most cats he is certifiably insane. He is often more like a dog in a cat’s body but then the crazy cat reappears to remind me he really is a cat. I walk him every day outside on a harness and leash and he likes to run up trees as far as the leash will allow him. I have seen dear friends lose their cats to coyotes in Vancouver so Jay will never be an outdoor cat as much as I know he wants to be one. He was built to be outdoors and loves just hanging out under a bush outside. Half of our walks consist of Jay just plopping down somewhere on the earth and then my trying to get him moving again!.

I suffer from a great deal of pain and when I am at my worst he knows it and stays right up against my body, sometimes all night. I believe in the restorative powers of a cat’s purring because I have felt it first-hand.

Let me state this for the record. I never intended to get a cat, at least not in this lifetime. I was a dog person, born and raised. My mother hated cats. In fact, my parents separated when I was four years old and I did not see my blood father again for 35 years. Until I was about 13 I firmly believed they got divorced because my father wanted a cat and my mother would not let him get one. I have no idea where that belief came from. My mother thought I was crazy when I told her a few years ago.

I grew up with dogs and, at sixteen, Mum and Dad bought me my own. Russ was a purebred Yellow Labrador and had the sweetest disposition you can imagine. Dogs were allowed to run free where we lived in Ottawa. I say this because after I had him for one year and thirteen days he disappeared and I never saw him again. I always chose to believe he was living somewhere happily breeding beautiful puppies.

I never hated cats like my mother but I avoided them. They, however, as cats often do, did not avoid me. They were drawn to me like catnip wherever I went. I would be in a house with cats and they always ended up on MY lap, no one else’s! I have always thought that just showed their perverse sense of humour. Let’s go bug the lady that doesn’t like us! Then in 2001 three cats came into my life and changed it forever.


Sadie and Susan

Sadie and I












I met Finnie (Finnegan) and Sadie when Seema moved in next door to me and we became close friends. They immediately began to work their way into my heart. To explain the above photo of Sadie and I, let’s be clear about one thing. Sadie does not like taking medicine. The lives of everyone involved hang in the balance every time liquid is poured down her throat – or more accurately across the floor, the walls, our clothes, whatever is handy. Actually she has improved considerably but at the time of this photo extra precautions had to be taken to protect my hands and arms. It was still a battle. Sadie is such a sweetheart that it is a surprise to see how stubborn she can get when she does not want to do something. Definitely a cat.

Like my boy Jay, Finnie loved to be under things – sheets, covers, beds, he was not fussy. This was good because he was a little afraid of even his own shadow and dived for cover (!!) whenever anyone showed up. I was honoured that eventually he did not run from me. Here he was coming out from under the sheets and you can see how incredibly handsome he was. They were both beautiful cats who have sadly left this world and are at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for their mum who misses them every day.

And then there was Patch.



From the moment he walked around the corner into my friend’s kitchen to meet me, I was in love with him. He was so tiny then and yet had such a determined little walk he was irresistible. I sometimes brought him home for the weekend or longer as his young owner was very kind and was willing to share a little part of him with me. I owe her a lot and will always be grateful. I came to love Jay in a deeper and more profound way but Patch was definitely my first love.

I finally decided that I should have my own cat. I am also allergic to cats I should point out but I heard that you will adapt to the dander of your own cat and that is what happened. I was looking on Craigslist when I saw an ad for two cats from someone who was not looking for money for the cats but just wanted a good home for them. I wanted a cat with white paws and Jay’s brother had some so I made an appointment to see them. They said one had longer hair than the other and was a bit more skittish. That was Jay. I had absolutely no idea he was going to be about 95% Maine Coon and huge when he grew up.

The couple was very sweet. Jay and his siblings had been abandoned by their owner at three weeks. When he left he had taken the mother with him!! They raised Jay for the next four weeks and by the time I saw him he was eating both wet and dry food and was using the litter box. I picked up his brother and held him for a few minutes and then returned him to the floor. I was talking to the couple when I heard this little meow squeak coming from my feet. I looked down and there was Jay. I picked him up and I looked into his eyes and I never put him down again. He had chosen me to spend his life with. For three days I was really worried because I did not feel the instant bond I had felt with Patch but that is all it took. However, while it took three days to bond it only took one day before I had to take him to the vet but that is a story for a later date. Jay’s ability to get into mischief sent us to the vet a few times in the early months! It was driving to the vet that first time that his name came to me. I am completely crazy about the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball team) and he seemed like a “Jay” as soon as I thought of it.

I call him my muse because my writing comes from inside me when I am most alive and I am that way with Jay. He keeps me connected to the world in a way nothing else does. He is excited when I come home even though I work from here most of the time and rarely leave for more than a few hours. I watch my baseball and other television lying in a chaise lounge chair. Jay likes to lie on top of my legs and because of his size (almost 40 inches from the tip of the front paws to the back ones) stretches out almost the length of my body from my chest to my toes. His head rests on my feet. He often wraps his paws around my ankles and will sleep on my legs like this for hours. Jay loves (in no particular order): Anything edible that is chicken or turkey (no beef or fish for my boy as he won’t touch them), sitting at the window and watching the garden and anything in it, drinking water in the bathtub, his daily walks, biting into soft toys – and me.

I hope to share stories about Jay on this site, so if you like cats or want to know more about Jay then please check in from time to time. Every month I will be adding a new entry into the My Muse Jay, Jay’s Stories section. It will have new photos and a new video and there will be archives of previous posts. They will cover the period from the time he was a little guy to the magnificent creature he has become. And if you have any questions about him, ask away and Jay and I will do our best to answer them.


Jay in one of his favourite poses and I always find the look he gives me a little unsettling!


  1. Doreen Pendgracs
    Jan 26, 2013

    You and I share a love of cats. They are the most divine creatures on the earth — large and small alike.

    You’ve got a real winner in Jay. He’s gorgeous.

    • Susan McNicoll
      Jan 28, 2013

      Thank you so much for coming to check him out. I am bias, of course, but when I said he was my “bestest present ever” I really meant it and considering I am not young that is saying something. You are right. Cats are the most divine creatures on earth. Every day I wonder how I got this lucky – even when he is being a cat and driving me crazy. But there is just something other worldly about them. They touch my soul. Thanks again.

  2. Suzi
    Feb 9, 2013

    My Dear Sue and Jay The Muse,
    I cannot tell u how absolutely wonderful, heartfelt and rich it is to read your story about Jay and the previous cats in your life. How they enrich us and give us what we need! The pictures of Jay are just totally Jay from the conquest of the tree trunk to his drop deadman “delicious” spread open of his truffles!! Oh dear who could ever resist. The vid is grand and a pleasure to watch as Valentine’s Day fast approaches. Always a Valentine one can count on is the unconditional love of a cat.
    Love you my Sue. Your website is classy, beautifully designed and I am so happy that you have invited me to be part of sharing it!

    • Susan McNicoll
      Feb 9, 2013

      I am honoured you have taken the time to read the page and look at the latest video (oldy but good!) and the photos. Jay was a determined little guy. Just like his mum I guess (that would be me!). You understand cats so well. I am always in awe when I witness the unconditional love that cats give us. You see it time after time at the shelters you volunteer at. They still accept and give love even after they have been thrown in a garbage bin or lived in a boiler room. The work you do is amazing and I am proud to call you a friend. Hold your furry family close to you. They sustain us through the hard times and share our joy in the good. Every day is Valentine’s Day when you have a cat!

  3. Cassandra
    May 27, 2013

    Thats such a touching story. Thank you for sharing. I think our maincoons are very similar, and it’s nice to see those similarities. My boy is Simba, he weighted 16 pounds at 9 months old, and he too like Jay, acts like he is a dog. I had to buy Simba a dog bed and dog carrier because of his size. Maybe it’s the breed, but I could related to many of your stories. Simba too captured the vets attention, and everyone in the building had to come check him out. What I find inspiring is that you walk Jay. I have always wanted to get a body harness and try that with My boy. He is such a hunter and so curious about the creatures outside, I really think I may try that. My boy too has always been an indoor cat, I could never chance all the dangers outside. I have had my baby since the moment he was born, I rescued a feral cat who gave birth and….. Simba was born. I really like your page, and may have to build a page of my own. I look forward to sharing more pictures and storeis on Twitter, and will check back to your page. 🙂

    • Susan McNicoll
      May 28, 2013

      Hi Cassandra

      Thank you for checking out the page and Jay. I wish I had set up a Jay’s page archives (something I am planning to do in the next month or so) as I think you would have enjoyed all the photos and videos of him that have been posted in the last six months. That is such a touching story about having Simba since birth. What a lucky guy because you obviously love him very much. Be patient with walking him as he is a bit older starting out. Just let him sit right outside the door the first time if that is what he wants. I even let Jay run up trees as far as the leash will allow it. I love looking up and seeing him looking around at the world up there. He is skittish though (quite common for many Mainecoons). Within the next week when I post the next time for Jay you will see that I have officially become the crazy cat lady because I bought a carriage so if I go for a longer walk (they don’t walk so much as go ten feet and stop for ten minutes!) I don’t have to leave him behind!
      Look forward to following Simba’s story.

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