Monday, 17 August 2009

The Tale of a Cat - Fluff

I have loved cats for as long as I can remember. Many people prefer dogs. I like dogs and particularly admire working dogs but it is cats that give me a glow of pleasure when I see them and make me smile. I love their grace and agility, their own special way of communication, their purr. Watching a cat washing its face, with particular attention to its ears, is wonderful and so relaxing. They can be predictable and unpredictable, give an air of superiority one minute then overwhelmingly curious about the slightest movement the next. Sometimes playful and loving, other times haughty but always, seemingly, all-knowing!

Cats were a part of my life for quite a number of years, sadly no more. All wonderful characters, they brought me and my family a lot of affection, fun and amusement.

One of my first books when I was a small child of about 1 or 2, was "Curly Kitten". I still have it. Such a pretty little book with some sweet verses about the day to day adventures of a kitten. I wonder if that is where my love of cats stems from.

I have seen some of my cats grow from tiny kitten, all curiosity and playfulness, to elderly and arthritic geriatrics. Some have lived with me for only a relatively short while, others a full life but all have been loving, each in its own special way, and, at times I believe, we have needed and helped each other. All have been very much loved and I wept tears of farewell for all of them. Here I will tell some of their stories - beginning with Fluff.


Fluff the cat was the first pet I remember; unfortunately I don't remember a lot. I was probably 5 or 6 years old when he came to live with us. White with ginger patches, a long haired Tom cat who must have detested his name. Perhaps it was because of his name that he was a bruiser - a bit like "A boy named Sue"! He was very affectionate with us though, my Mum and Dad and me. I used to like to sit on the floor with my books open in front of me and he would come to sit on my books. I still wonder why cats like to do that!

Being a "real" Tom he had his lady friends and one day came home with a young kitten in tow. According to my parents the youngster must have been his offspring because it was the image of him. Had he brought the kitten to meet us? - it is a lovely thought - we only ever saw it that one time.

Although Fluff was very loving to us he did not much like visitors to the house and one evening when a friend came to call, rushed to the door and stood there growling so that our friend decided to wait on the doorstep and would not venture inside.

When I was about 12 years old we moved house and went to live in another village about 10 miles away. We kept Fluff in, hoping that he would soon settle but one day he managed to escape and we never saw him again. There was farm land all around us and we liked to think, indeed we hoped, that he spent the rest of his days somewhere on a farm, hunting and keeping lady cats company. We searched and searched the area and asked our former neighbour to keep an eye out for him just in case he tried to return to our old house, but sadly we had seen the last of him. Dear Fluff, we still think of you fondly.


Denise said...

I loved reading this post Anne, thanks for sharing it. We had mostly dogs growing up but there was one cat called Binky who lived to around 20 years. I always thought of him as 'my cat'. Years later when my sister and I were talking about him, we laughed when we discovered that she always thought of him as 'her cat'. Have a great week.

Mara said...

My eldest ones were eleven this year and they are the first cats I ever had. Wuppie is a very big tomcat who just adores to be cuddled and sleeps next to me at night, Mathilda is a lovely black-ish cat who has a fondness for milky coffee, being petted and licking my arms(?). I got them as kittens and I will keep them until the day they die! That's the plan anyway...
Lovely to hear about your first cat!

Winifred said...

I loved this post. You've recorded all my feelings about cats. I was always dragging stray cats into the house when I was little. I had a dog too when I was young but when he died I never wanted another to replace him.

My last two cats are twenty and nineteen years old. One is sitting with me now as I type. I dread the day I lose them. My husband says no more because they'll outlive us. Not sure what a house without a cat will feel like. However I'm sure a vacancy sign goes up when a home has no cat and another will probably appear.

Cezar and Léia said...

Oh my sweet Anne!
This post make my eyes fill with tears!So beautiful, so lovely...I just love your writing style, you are so sensitive and it's wonderful!
Thanks dear friend

rosiero said...

So sad. Do hope Fluff did end his days on the farm, snoozing in the barns and chasing the chickens! You write so beautifully about him.

Maggie May said...

The worst part is not knowing what happened to him.
Lovely story.

Titania said...

A lovely story about Fluff; sadly you lost him when you moved. It is so good to have memories of ones pets we loved and cherished. I would say your books, when you were so tiny, must have had an influence, you must have bonded with the cats. We had a tom called Tommy, he was a Manx, died a long time ago but is still fondly remembered.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Denise - Glad you enjoyed it, one of my cats lived for about 18 years. Lovely that you and your sister had shared the same thoughts! A

Mara - Your cats sound lovely, not all cats want to be cuddled! A

Winifred - we did have a dog and he was lovely but cats have always been the favourites. A

Leia - so pleased you liked reading about my first pet. A

Rosiero - I like the picture you paint of Fluff's later years. A

Maggie - it is the worst part - we still wonder. A

Titania - pleased you liked reading about him. I plan to gradually write about all my cats. A