Sarah Hartwell’s Cat Mr Minns

Today, 21st November 2013, I visited the first lady of the cat internet world and self confessed science-oriented geek, Sarah Hartwell. Her cat site: was one of the very first general cat websites on the internet and was online at about the time the public internet was starting or, at least, beginning to get going. Messybeast is one of the originals.

Before I go on (I’ll write some more tomorrow when I have more time) here is “Mr. Minns”:

Sarah-Hartwells cat Mr Minns an old cat

I like this photo that I took of Mr Minns because he is old and fragile. The style of the photo is quite “fragile” as well – in tune with the cat. The background is bleached out. It was taken against some white net curtains. Sarah recommended I use fill-in flash (she is quite a photographer herself) and the result, I believe, reflects the character of this old cat. He is quite frail, really. I immediately liked him and I think he liked me in return. He suffers from hyperthyroidism. He is quite boney and you can see his right eye is a bit cloudy and he has what I would call “age spots” in his eyes (brown spots).

At one time Mr Minns was called “Minnie”. He is one of those cats that “just happen” as Sarah says. They just turn up and you have to adopt them if you love cats. I think Sarah told me she found him under a bush and before she could discover his gender gave him a female name “Minnie”. This evolved into Mr Minns when she found out that his was male. She occasionally elaborates on the name as I tend to do with Charlie.

Sarah has no air and graces. It is about cat meets hard science and it is great. It is very refreshing to meet a cat lady who is so scientific and absorbed with discovering hard facts about cats and presenting them as objectively as possible. She is also one of the country’s leading experts on cat genetics.

Tomorrow I’ll do another post about Sarah with another picture of Mr Minns and her other cat.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

12 thoughts on “Sarah Hartwell’s Cat Mr Minns”

  1. Hello to Sarah,

    You appear to be the expert on male calico’s/chimara’s. I have a ~ five month old Male Maine Coon with normal appearing male genetialia. His name is Kapakai (all mixed up in Hawaiian)
    Tag. Picture attached. I will send in for genetic testing and curious about any other action I need to take to keep him in the records as it sounds like a rare cat.

    Linda from Kokuakats

    • Sarah is a cat genetics expert certainly. If you want Sarah to receive your comment make a comment in reply to hers and refer in that comment to your other comments. Comments that are responses to existing comments are sent to the person by email.

  2. How old is Mr. Minns?
    My guess is that he is around 15.
    He’s adorable. I love old cats (new cats, stray cats, feral cats, handicapped cats, not-so-pretty cats…)
    I love that pic. He has a cataract on that right eye; but, it would be far too risky to do surgwery at his age.

  3. Nice photo! Kitty came out of her “den” when I returned home from the station. They’ve both insisted on extra food for being on their best behaviour.

    Minns put on 200 grammes in 3 weeks since starting thyroid treatment and will probably put on another 500 grammes or so. He’s also diabetic so the medication is a juggling act. One eye is cloudy due to a long ago injury so he’s partially sighted on that side. His neck currently looks scrawny and scruffy due to being shaved for the last blood test 3 weeks ago. Vet nurses believe his name is short for “Beast of Bodmin” as he tries to draw their blood in return.

    The predecessor to the Messybeast site was way, way back in 1996 on AOL when there were almost no cat websites run from the UK.


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