Needles Rosenthal (a.k.a. Needy, Needos, Ratface, etc.) was born as a feral stray in New Orleans, Louisiana, in early November 1999. His birthday is celebrated on November 1st to coincide with the nearest Catholic holiday (All Saints' Day). Kay acquired Needles on a trip to New Orleans on December 31, 1999. Lucky for Kay, Needles is a temperamental traveling cat as he went from New Orleans to Tulsa, Oklahoma, on January 2, 2000, and then from Tulsa, OK, to Scottsdale the following week. While openly affectionate with Kay, Needles is a skittish cat that does not like strangers.
In September 2008, Needles fell ill with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (a.k.a. Fatty Liver Syndrome). He had an esophagostomy feeding tube inserted, which required six daily feedings for at least six weeks.
Pins Von Finkelstein (a.k.a. Penny, Penelope, Retard, etc.) was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2000. His birthday is celebrated on March 17th to coincide with the nearest Catholic holiday (St. Patrick's Day) and Kay's first nephew was born on Pins' third birthday. Kay acquired Pins in October 2000 through a close friend whose friend had to get rid of his six-month-old kitty because he was moving somewhere that did not allow cats. Pins suffers from abandonment issues from living in four different places with three different owners in the first six months of his life. Regardless, Pins is openly affectionate with all people (in fact, he even visited Emily once in a dream) but he does not like any animals other than Needles.In January 2003, Pins ran his head through a glass window, which required an anti-inflammatory shot from the vet. Otherwise, Pins has remained healthy.
Despite many similarities, there are a few differences between the cats. For starters, Pins has longer fur with a lighter tone whereas Needles has very short fur with a dark tone.
Also, Needles used to be a phenomenal hunter when he was younger & lighter, having nabbed over 10 birds despite being an indoor cat whose only freedom outside is on the patio. Kay once saw Needles catch a bird, and what happened was that an obnoxious bird flew down and landed on the ledge, where Needy jumped up in a weak attempt to catch the bird. The bird flew away, but then after Needos jumped off the ledge, the bird returned. Again, Needles jumped up but the bird flew off as if to taunt him. Needles jumped down again but then immediately jumped back up onto the ledge as the bird was returning, so the bird flew right into his mouth. Unfortunately, Needlist now weighs over 20 pounds, so his days of stealth hunting birds are most likely over.
Pins often acts like a dog. In addition to being far more excited when Kay arrives home than most cats would be, Penelope will obediently follow him to the mailbox (unlike a dog, he has mastered the "heel" technique without even knowing its command). Additionally, Penny likes to play fetch. If you throw a small toy mouse across the room, he will bolt after it. Then he will retrieve it, walk back to you with it in his mouth, and drop it near your feet with the expectation that you will throw it for him again.
When outdoors and wanting to come back inside, Ratface used to climb up the screen door until it was taken down for having too many tears. Pins would always paw at the door as if he were knocking. Nowadays, Needy will just yell until you let him back indoors. Having seen the effectiveness of yelling, Pins has taken to that yelling habit as well (if his "knocking" doesn't work).