Shelley's story

Shelley Maze

Shelley Maze
born 10th October 1982

That is her full name - the story as to how she came upon that is a very strange one!

This tortie girl we found asleep on a plate of sliced ham in a stable when she was a very young kitten. The owners said we and our son could have her, so we carried her out at arms length and quickly gave her a bath before taking her into our caravan. We were working on a TV series called "No Excuses" and we called her Shelley Maze after the main character.

After the shoot, on the way home that little kitten who had only known us for two days cuddled up to our slightly older Siamese who was crying when we started off. He never liked travelling! After a short while the crying stopped, and when we looked round to see why, there was Shelley with her arm round him! They slept like that all the way home

Shelley became very popular with our customers, and her photo was taken many times and seen all round the world. The Japanese in particular liked her as she looked a bit like their 'lucky cat'. A friend designed a logo for us that used her silhouette.

She didn't like me playing my organ. If I really wanted to annoy her, I played in the highest octave, and she would shout, jump on to the organ, and threaten me! Also if I whistled as high in pitch as I could, the same effect. She (and others) had a cat door fitted into our showroom door and from there they could visit our workrooms. There I would sometimes be using test tones to align audio equipment. OK up to an octave or so above middle C, but as it got higher, so would her temper!!!

Shelley's image became very well known as we adopted her greeting posture for our business logo. A neighbour was a graphic artist and we asked him if he could help us with suggestions for a logo to go on all our correspondence and price lists. I don't know who thought of it first, but the way that Shelley always wanted to be noticed gave him an idea. He drew some basic cat outlines using her as a model and one of those was so typical that we accepted it. As colour printing was in its infancy then, we had to be content with a silhouette. We then added our business name, TAM, - in lower case, as was the latest style then! - and here are the basic colour results.

Shelley as a logo - copying Shelley as a logo - letters Shelley as a logo - mastering Shelley as a logo - duplicating
Sadly she had become very ill in the week or so before we left Finchley in March 1994 so she showed very little interest in our journey. In a way that was lucky as she just slept with us or another cat all the way. The day after we arrived in our new home at Skt. Klemens we asked our neighbour, the estate agent, if she knew of a vet we could visit nearby. She suggested Højby Dyreklinik so we took her there - it was only a 10 minutes drive. Peder, the vet checked her and diagnosed that her abdomen was full of fluid. He drained it but explained that she had a virulent infection that could not be cured and she must have been developing it for more than a week before we started our journey. There was no treatment possible and the only thing to do for her was to continue draining the fluid which could not be stopped, every day. With great sorrow we agreed with him to euthanise her and she became the first of our cats to have her grave in our new garden.

Sash was very sad to lose her. We found later that she must have had FIP which was only properly described as a cat problem around 1972. It is not actually an infection but a viral mutation with no cure.

Her story is yet to be written in a later Chapter (18) of our History (link under menu, Text).

She was 12½ when she died on 24th March 1994 in Denmark.

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