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Meet Frodo and Sam

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Photo contributed

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova with Frodo and Sam.

Lou and I adopted Mister Frodo from Home Alone Cat Rescue about two years ago. We have a soft spot for big orange cats. Frodo is part Maine coon (large with furry feet) and part American bobtail (large with short tail). A description of the American bobtail breed on the Internet says they are "born scared"—which sums up Frodo. He is the proverbial "fraidy cat." For the first few weeks after we adopted him, Frodo refused to go into the living room, dining room or master bedroom for fear of our ceiling fans, even when they weren't moving. When he accidentally escapes the house, he comes scurrying right back when birds chirp at him. Despite being timid, Frodo is very playful. He "races us" up and down the stairs and loves to chase Lou's laser toy.

Last year I decided Frodo might benefit from the company of another cat. When I ran into Lee District School Board Representative Tammy Derenak Koufax at the Lee District Bridge Walk last summer, she showed me a photo of three kittens she and her children, Matthew and Halle, were fostering as part of a school project. They were less than a month old and adorable. Sam looked like a little tiger cub! Her siblings, solid soot grey, looked like little bears. They had been found living behind a restaurant in Washington D.C. My husband and I fell in love with Sam at first sight.

Once Sam was old enough to come home with us, we introduced Sam and Frodo over a few days, keeping Sam separated in the guestroom. It took a few months for them to work out "dominance issues," but now they are chasing each other around the house and amusing each other. Sam has a fascination with water. We have to keep her water bowl upstairs in the tub because she splashes the water all over the place. When she does this, Frodo looks at her as though she is completely uncouth. It's hard to believe Sam was a feral kitten. She is very affectionate and loves to have her head stroked. Pets definitely add an important dimension to our lives!

—Sharon Bulova and Lou DeFalaise