The Cat’s Meow

Well, all my plans to get anything accomplished on Thursday flew right out the window when STARZ released this slice of heart-melting cuteness into the universe:

Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ…that is so unbelievably adorable. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Adso Fraser.

“Still he hesitated for a moment, loath to break the spell of the Place. Some tiny movement caught the corner of his eye, and he bent down, squinting as he peered into the deepening shadows beneath a holly bush.

It sat frozen, blending perfectly with its dusky background. He would never have seen it had his hunter’s eye not caught its movement. A tiny kitten, its gray fur puffed out like a ripe milkweed head, enormous eyes wide open and unblinking, almost colorless in the gloom beneath the bush.

‘A Chait,’ he whispered, putting out a slow finger toward it. ‘Whatever are ye doing here?'”

-The Fiery Cross

Most of my readers know that in my real life I’m a veterinarian and so these pictures were the perfect pairing of both my worlds. Truth be told, although I’m a lover of all creatures great and small, I hold a special spot in my heart for cats. Of this I’m certain I’m not alone within the Outlander fandom.

Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight by Joseph Wright of Derby, c.1768-70

I don’t know all the details on this kitty, but I’ll update this post if production releases any more information. I do know that it is quite cute and appears to be a British Shorthair of sorts. It is totally plausible that a kitten looking like this would be found as a stray somewhere in the eighteenth century American Colonies; American Shorthair cats are descended from those brought to the colonies by English immigrants.

A Girl With a Kitten, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, 1743

Cats were mostly kept for their mousing abilities and helped keep the rodent populations down on ships and in the colonies. I have a whole post dedicated to eighteenth century veterinary medicine- featuring both Rollo and Adso- so stay tuned for that.

A Visit to Grandmother, John Raphael Smith after Thomas James Northcote, 1785.

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to write an imaginary veterinary examination for this adorable wee cheetie. If the Fraser family brought this kitten to me in my imaginary eighteenth century veterinary office, what could I say based on this picture alone?

Boy and Cat, John Russell, 1791

So, here is my fictional examination. In the medical world, we often use a “SOAP” format for records: Subjective (the patient’s history), Objective (the physical examination), Assesment (putting together the history and exam, our overall analysis of the problem and patient), and Plan (our therapeutic plan for the patient).

A Girl Holding a Cat, Philippe Mercier, c. 1750

As an aside, if anyone from production is reading I am offering up my veterinary services pro bono. Just saying.

Warning: minor spoilers from The Fiery Cross. Enjoy!

Subjective: Patient found in the backcountry of North Carolina by a tall, breathtakingly handsome Scottish man. Unknown prior history. Readily ate bowl of offered cream. No concerns per owner.


General: bright, alert, responsive, app early adequately hydrated. Mucous membranes pink.

Eyes/ears/nose/mouth: clear AU/OU, no nasal discharge, visible oral cavity appears within normal limits

Lymph nodes: no overt peripheral lymphadenopathy

Cardiovascular/respiratory: unable to auscultate; appears eupneic and and to be nasal breathing; no overt respiratory distress

Abdomen/urogenital: unable to palpate or examine; no overt discomfort

Integument: haircoat appears full, clean; unable to assess for ectoparasites

Musculoskeletal: appears adequately muscled and symmetrical; ambulatory x 4; body condition score 5/9

Neurologic: no overt deficits; appropriate mentation

Assessment: Apparently healthy kitten, adorable wee cheetie.

Plan: Integrate cat into Fraser household. Knock over items in the pantry and surgery, play with visitors’ wigs, catch bugs and hunt rodents, survive Revolutionary War. Offer comfort by way of purring and lap naps. Provide warmth on cold mountain nights. Be a good cheetie and a beloved member of the Outlander universe:

“He reached across my body to touch a silky, translucent ear, and the kitten twitched its whiskers, screwing up its face as though about to sneeze, but didn’t open its eyes. The purr continued unabated.

‘One of the books she liked was written by an Austrian, from the city of Melk, and so she thought it a verra suitable name for the kit.’

‘Suitable …?’

‘Aye,’ he said, nodding toward the empty dish, without the slightest twitch of lip or eyelid. ‘Adso of Milk.’

A slit of green showed as one eye opened, as though in response to the name. Then it closed again, and the purring resumed.

‘Well, if he doesn’t mind, I suppose I don’t,’ I said, resigned. ‘Adso it is.'”


10 thoughts on “The Cat’s Meow”

  1. I’ve always wanted a solid gray kitty, but I doubt I’ll ever have one now. I’m getting up in years, and if I ever do adopt another cat, it won’t be a “wee cheetie,” I don’t think. Besides, my tuxedo, gray tabby, and tortoise shell would probably strenuously object if I tried to bring in another cat to share my lap with them. (not good at sharing). This little Adso though…my heart just melted when I saw this picture! Thanks for the “examination,” Doc!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my first comment, so first let me say how much I love reading your blog. As a matter of fact, I am teaching a class this summer, and on the resource and recommendation sheet I made of my favorite “go-to’s”, I have you listed as one of my favorite blogs.
    I was thrilled to see Adso today. He is just adorable. My husband made a comment that his head looked a little big for his body. I figured since you are a vet, I would ask. Is that aspect of this breed? Or is it normal for this age of kitten? Or is it just the camera angle? Just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow- thanks so much for that! What do you teach? I’ll have to really up my game this summer!

      As far as the big head…probably a few different things. It doesn’t look really all that big to me, but purebred Shorthair breeds tend to have more apple-shapes heads, especially compared to Siamese breeds that have the triangle or wedge-shaped head. He’s also a kitten, and they’re like human babies in that they often are born with their heads disproportionately large to their body…they grow into their heads, so to speak. I also think the camera angle contributes.

      He is adorable, I agree!


  3. Speaking as a person with a 4-cat family (I have a husband and daughter who lives with us also, but back to the important family members) I highly approve of this blog entry! I think that Adso le chat looks like he/she is full of piss and vinegar and will make a great addition to the family. Sam seems to like cats, and judging by the number of times he or Cait have mentioned that he has been cat sitting with Eddie, apparently they like him. That indicates a man of good character!
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post, looking forward to more posts regarding the nonhuman members of the Fraser clan!

    Liked by 1 person

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