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.
The thin end of the wedge
3 days ago