Before long, the kittens were born. I chose a black-and-white one (who proved our guess as to the father). When I took her to the vet, though, I discovered I'd made a mistake - my kitten was a boy! I shortened Anastasia to Anya and decided that name would work for a male cat.
Right from the start, Anya was unique. He had a funny cry - part bark, part Siamese yowl - and he was very sociable. I regularly babysat for neighbors who acted in Masque and Staff, a local theater group. When Anya was a few months old, they started casting a play called "Everybody Loves Opal." It featured a cat - Mr. Tanner - and Anya won the part.
Anya posed for an 8x10 glossy photograph that was displayed along with all the other cast members photos. (I still have that photo and once I remember where I put it, I'll share it here.) Anya even had a write-up in the program: