Happy Tails: Henry and Maja (formerly Curry and Bonny Barrow)

“Life is so happy and relaxing with Henry and Maja,” says Hilary. “We were looking to adopt one cat once we moved into our new house.” As a welcome distraction to packing their belongings they frequently checked the online profiles on Annex Cat Rescue’s website. “It was a kind of stress relief, not thinking we would actually adopt so soon!” Then one day, Hilary saw Curry’s little face peering back at her. “He seemed so charming.”

kittens Bonnie and Curry

But Curry needed to be adopted with his sister Bonny Barlow. “It actually seemed like a good idea to get two cats since we are both out at work during the day,” Hilary remembers. Not wanting to miss out on a chance to adopt them, they emailed ACR right away. A volunteer interviewed them and approved a visit to see the kitens at their foster home. “As soon as we saw them, we were in love,” says Hilary. It was “so sad that they were found wandering around a park in Toronto’s east end all alone. The foster carers had done such an amazing job with them and they were such sweet kittens. So, we adopted them four days after we moved into our new house!”

Henry and Maja

The 10-week-old kittens adjusted very quickly into their new home… except for a few bookcase hideouts. “They are still getting braver and gradually they are less scared of visitors and kids,” Hilary says. But the kittens underwent a name change. “I have always wanted to have a cat named Henry ever since I was a kid. Specifically, an orange cat. My husband Voytek got to choose the name for the female cat (Bonny Barrow).” Maja is a name in Voytek’s native country of Poland. They both wanted to have two names that were different and distinctive in sound. The name worked in English and Polish. “And we just liked it!” Hilary says.

Best friends Maja and Henry

Hilary and Voytek don’t regret their decision to adopt two cats. They are good company and “really love each other and spend a lot of time chasing each other and wrestling.” She and her husband also wanted to adopt rescues “because there are so many kitties out there who need homes and they are so special.” And, they didn’t believe in buying purebreds.

Hilary believes their lives have been changed since adopting Henry and Maja.

“We actually are surprised at how much we love them,” she says. They always talk about them and look forward to seeing them when they get home. “They bring peace and tranquillity to our lives; when you are petting a cat, you are really living in the moment, just enjoying the sound of their purrs and the feeling of their fur.”

Maja “has incredibly soft, silky fur” and “is a very elegant, gorgeous kitty who loves to lie with her back legs stretched out.” She isn’t much of a lap cat but will chirp greetings and stretch out for a belly rub. And will come and check on what Hilary and Voytek are up to in the house. “The only time she is super-cuddly is when we are in bed,” Hilary coos. Maja will lie on her back and purr like crazy.

Henry on the other hand is the more comical one. “He doesn’t have great balance and wiggles his bum when going down the stairs” and “has a particular love for sitting on shoes,” Hilary recalls. Henry is the lap cat and likes to sit on or under blankets. “We call him our ‘little sausage’ because that is what he looks like when he is all wrapped up in a blanket.


“He has gorgeous, extremely thick fur that is delightful to pet,” she adds. Henry likes to think he is helping Hilary do laundry by jumping into a full basket and purring with delight, she says. “Even as you remove each item to fold it, Henry simply stays there as the ‘water level’ gets lower and lower, until he is left in the empty basket. We find this super-charming of course!” Together, Maja and Henry are very playful and fun. “And, although they don’t really like guests, they really love us and are always hanging out in whatever room we are in.” But Henry recognizes Maja is the dominant one and lets her play with his toys first.

Hilary and Voytek’s new home is happy and relaxing with the addition of Henry and Maja. Hilary couldn’t relate a lot of funny stories but her and Voytek laugh at the quirky little things they do. She just believes they are sweet and lovely. “We love watching their interactions with each other”. Hilary believes Henry and Maja have made them more loving and open to all animals. “A dream come true!”

–Gillian Semple

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