Squirrelly: merci for your comments. mr. buddy chou (his full name) is quite the beauty-boy, though he has a big white splooch on his belly and tabby stripes on his arms which i think are pretty, but apparently would disqualify him for show in his breed category (somali). which suits him just fine: he's a very skittish indoor cat with no ambitions beyond the next tin of tuna -- he freaked out so much during his last visit at the vet that they told me that so long as he's healthy he never has to come back. my partner found buddy when he was 5 months old (and a mere 8 pounds), all alone under a bush on U of T campus 9 years ago. we never saw any "lost cat" posters, so we kept him and fattened him up (pretty good return on our investment: we have almost twice as much cat now!). he's quite big boned, but he does have the jelly-belly from being neutered (it's tucked away in that photo of him). when he was little he liked to sleep in the pie boxes i brought home with my day's work from college.
p.s. do you have a cat dancer toy for your little ones? it is the BEST! great cardio for kitties!