Fred Fred came with the house.

When I bought the house my parents had lived in for two decades, I made a visit to talk to the former owners while they were packing to move. They were taking a break on the patio with friends. Making himself at home on a basket of linens was a sleek black cat.

I asked them who the cat belonged to and there was a long pause before they told me, "Ummm, he goes with the house." Fred was a stray cat they and the next-door-neighbor had been feeding.

As soon as I moved in, Fred joined me. When I moved my other two cats in, Fred told them it was his house and he was king. Ralph ignored him. Laura, sadly, didn't live long enough to contest his rule.

While he goes by Fred, his full name is Fredrick Tomo Spawn.

Though he's now neutered, Fred still thinks he's the big tom of the household. Ralph still largely ignores him while Clyde views him as a big brother who's always ready to play. That's Fred and Clyde wrestling to the right. And he's gallant towards little Alice. Unfortunately, Fred and Ned just don't get along -- Fred, to tell the truth, picks on Ned.

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Fred & Clyde