Pyewacket the Bengal

A celebration of Pyewacket (born December 23, 2007), resident leopard. Pyewacket is a Bengal Cat for whom Pyewacket Press is named, and a delightful handful. At eight years old she is  just as playful and active (and devious) as she was at six months. She races around and up and down stairs, fetches thrown objects like coiled pipe cleaners, and bounces off of walls with tremendous energy every day. She actually hauls her toys to me when I am at the computer, surrounding my chair, inviting me to play with her. If I don’t notice or cannot stop in my work, she sinks a well-placed claw into my knee until I pay attention. She’s an indoor cat with free access to our roof deck and large balcony – and on both surfaces she snags low flying or otherwise unsuspecting birds on the wing. Like all Bengals she is highly intelligent and thus easily bored. I take her out for walks twice a day with her harness and lead. She absolutely requires the mental and sensory stimulation of being on the ground outside, and ends every walk by clambering up the twenty foot high wisteria vine leading back into the house. She is also very affectionate and loves to cuddle. Pyewacket was bred by Karen Shaw of Askari Bengals.

Pyewacket on the Roof Deck

Pyewacket enjoying a stroll along the roof deck railing.

Seismic, baby Pyewacket, and her sister and two brothers

Just a few days old here, with her beautiful mother Seismic. Whole lotta spots going on, but I do think Pye is in the middle, her tiny face turned to the left. Pyewacket’s breeder was Karen Shaw of Askari Bengals, a highly reputable and responsible Bengal breeder.

Pyewacket being pet as a baby

Pyewacket’s life is just beginning! She was born December 23, 2007. Here she is at 26 days.

Pyewacket at 12 weeks

Innocent little face! Little did I imagine the intelligence and boundless energy behind that placid expression.

Pyewacket making toothpicks

Pyewacket on the first full day home. She is 12 weeks old.

Pyewacket at 5 months

Pyewacket at 5 months. Spotted tummy! She even has a leopard spot inside her mouth, on her upper palate, which shows when she looks up at you and yawns.

Pyewacket In The Box

Pyewacket enjoying the pleasures of a box filled with paper already in shreds.

Asian Leopard Cat Taro of Bundas, (1991-2001)

Pyewacket’s great-great grandfather, the majestic Asian Leopard Cat Taro of Bundas, (1991-2001). Bengals were created from breeding the wild Asian Leopard Cat with domestic cats.

Head of Taro of Bundas, Asian Leopard Cat

The head of Taro of Bundas, Asian Leopard Cat (1991-2001). He is Pyewacket’s great-great grandfather.

Jax sitting on the beach in his biker vest

Kimberly Cooley was researching Taro of Bundas – and ended up finding Pyewacket. Her magnificent Jax is Pye’s cousin! She was kind enough to send me photos. Jax, as you can see, is quite large and muscular – 12.5 pounds. This photo of him in his leather biker vest is just wonderful. (I want him on my side in a fight.)

February 2015 Jax Calendar pose

Another shot of Jax, highlighting his gorgeous coat. He’s been featured two years running in the Bengals Illustrated Calendar, for good reason!

Pyewacket waiting for a Bumble Bee

Pyewacket enjoying the warmth of the Summer Sun, passing the time until another Bumble Bee bumbles by.

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{ 5 comments. read them below or… add one }
  • Kimberly July 29, 2016, 12:07 pm

    I was researching Taro of Bundas as he is our Jax’s 7th generation Grandfather. I was thrilled to find another of Taro’s offspring. Your Pyewacket is is a gorgeous girl. Our Jax loves to walk those ledges at the beach we camp at. Would love to share a pic but I cannot get one onto this comment space. Jax & his F4 Savannah brother have their very own Instagram site at “jaxandchibs”, please feel free to look/follow. Thank you for sharing Pyewacket.

    • Octavia Randolph Octavia July 29, 2016, 1:25 pm

      Kimberly, this is so exciting! I have never heard from any of Pye’s “cousins”, and am thrilled to learn about Jax (very good name!) Send me a photo when you can at octavia@octavia.net; with your permission I will place it on Pyewacket’s page so her many fans can see her cousin!

  • Susan Hansen March 6, 2016, 8:40 pm

    Currently enjoying The Claiming very much! I just read on your site about Pyewacket. Lovely cat. Was curious about her name.

    • Octavia Randolph Octavia March 7, 2016, 8:52 am

      Thank you Susan, for your kind words about The Claiming. Book Five, called Tindr will be out later this month, so I hope you continue on in your reading of the Saga. As far as the lovely and mischievous house leopard, Pyewacket, I chose the name because I read that it was the oldest attested feline name in the English language, going back to the recorded confession of an accused witch (poor woman; they made her “confess” by depriving her of sleep) in England in the 16th c, in which she recited the names of her familiars, ending with: “and then there’s Pyewacket, who comes as a cat.” Of course cats had names before that; it’s just that we don’t know what they were, many were just called Cat or “Puss”. We know the name in Gaelic of a much earlier cat, the famous white Pangur Ban, who was a scribal monk’s companion in the 9th century. “Pyewacket” became known in modern times through the charming film of 1958, “Bell, Book, and Candle”, starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, in which Ms Novak plays a Manhattan witch – a most elegant one – and her Siamese cat familiar is called Pyewacket. I chose “Pyewacket” for my Bengal as it seemed to embody the spirit and energy of this small rascal I share my life with!

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