They were born in Masjid Ikhwa in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in the masjid until they were given to me as a gift. Their mother lives in Masjid Ikhwa. I've had the honor to have had numerous cats as companions in my life, but these guys are special. They're Muslims!
From living in the masjid, they're used to hearing the Adhan. They come running whenever it is called. They wait for the prayer rugs to be spread out and they, too, take their place. When they hear Qu'ran being recited, they curl up contently to listen.
Cats enjoy a special place in Islam. It is well known that the Prophet (saw) was fond of cats. His companion, Abdur-Rahman (ra) was known by the people as Abu Hurayrah, which translates as "father of the kitten" because he, too, often enjoyed and played with cats since his childhood.
There are numerous hadiths about cats:
"Yahya related to me from Malik from Ishaq ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Talha from Humayda bint Abi Ubayda ibn Farwa that her maternal aunt Kabsha bint Kab ibn Malik, who was the wife of the son of Abu Qatada al-Ansari, told her that once Abu Qatada was visiting her and she poured out some water for him to do wudu with. Just then a cat came to drink from it so he tilted the vessel towards it to let it drink. Kabsha continued, "He saw me looking at him and said, 'Are you surprised, daughter of my brother?' I said, 'Yes.' He repled that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, cats are not impure. They intermingle with you.'" Yahya said that Malik said, "There is no harm in that unless one sees impurities on the cat's mouth." (Malik's Muwatta)
Narrated Asma' bint Abi Bakr: The Prophet once offered the eclipse prayer ... On completion of the prayer, he said, "Paradise became so near to me that if I had dared, I would have plucked one of its bunches for you and Hell became so near to me that I said, 'O my Lord will I be among those people?' Then suddenly I saw a woman and a cat was lacerating her with its claws On inquiring, it was said that the woman had imprisoned the cat till it died of starvation and she neither fed it nor freed it so that it could feed itself." (Sahih Bukhari)
Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: "Abu Zubayr quoted the authority of Jabir ibn Abdullah for the statement that the Prophet forbade payment for a dog. Ibn Abdul Malik said: to eat a cat and to enjoy its price." (Sunan Abu Dawud)
I also found some internet references about cats and Islam on some cat websites. One of them quotes a story of a cat who saved the Prophet (saw) from being bitten by a deadly snake. In another tale, the Prophet (saw) had a cat named Muezza. When the Prophet (saw) was called for prayer, the story goes, he saw that Muezza was asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturb the cat, the Prophet (saw) cut off the sleeve. When he returned, the cat awoke and bowed gracefully to thank the Prophet (saw) for his consideration. The Prophet (saw) stroked the cat three times. However, I cannot find any valid Islamic references for these tales. If anyone knows of any, please leave a comment with the source!