well, all blogs are really about cats aren’t they? In honour of Animal Week and Debbie, I will relate some stuff about the cats I have known.
I grew up with two cats: Thomasina (called Tommy) and Balinor Beau Brummel (Bowie).
Tommy was a Tortoiseshell and White shorthair that we had since I can’t remember so I must have been very young. She was generally considered to be my sister’s cat, they had a real bond. Even if Tommy was comfortable on your lap, snoring away and with all the stroking she could desire, if my sister sat down in the same room? Tommy would move to her lap. It was a whole thing.
Bowie was a pedigree chinchilla persian, which means he was a long hair, but not with the squashed in I’ve-been-hit-in-the-face-with-a-brick look that some have. He was white with grey and red tips to the fur on his back and tail. His eyes were an astonishing blue-green.
As you can probably tell from the extended description, he was more “my cat” and man, did he suffer for that. He was never a lap cat though, I think Tommy had a fight with him early on and taught him that laps were her territory. He would sit next to you though, and he didn’t mind cuddles. We got him when I was about four years old. I remember going to pick him up and there being teeny wee white fluffball kittens all over the place. We got a deal on him, he was expensive but not as expensive as a proper pedigree because his markings weren’t perfect, so we got him a bit cheap on the condition that we never put him into a fancy cat show.
Bowie and Tommy didn’t really get on, she was generally the boss cat and bullied him a bit. He was tougher around the neighbourhood, beating up all the local cats and keeping their shared territory clear, but she could always intimidate him inside. She’d steal his food and everything.
Tommy was a neurotic cat, very skittish and weird. She didn’t trust people and was easily provoked. My mum used to have this ‘game’ of bugging Tommy, poking at her while she was sleeping until Tommy got fed up and scratched her. Mum would then complain about beings scratched and get no sympathy at all. In about 1994 Tommy was diagnosed with a hyper thyroid condition which meant we had to give her two sedative-type pills a day or she’d tear around the house at warp speeds and try to climb the walls. If she hadn’t had her pill she could go from sleeping to down the hall and out the catflap in about two seconds. Impressive.
Two pills a day doesn’t sound like much unless you have ever tried to give a cat a pill. Tommy got smart to tricks real fast. Mum tried to put the pill into the jellimeat and Tommy would carefully eat around it, leaving a sticky pill. Mum would put a ball of mince with a pill centre out next to the jellimeat, and after the first time when she ate it, pill and all, Tommy would eat around the pill. Mum tried to trick her by using three balls of mince in a row and only one had the pill in it. Tommy knew which one had the pill, and left it and then Bowie ate it. He slept for days.
Eventually it was grab the cat, pry the mouth open, shove the pill in, squirt water to enforce swallowing. Not fun for us or the cat.
Bowie was stupid. I mean this in a loving way, you understand but he really was inbred and it manifested in stupidity. First of all, he liked to be outside, in the mud, crawling through the compost and playing in the rain. He’d come in (a white cat, remember? A white, long haired cat) bedraggled, muddy and more often that not with a bug or spider hanging off him. He liked to be towelled dry so in really rainy weather, he’d come in wet, get towelled off and then go out and get wet again and then come back in for more towelling. We’d lose patience and just leave a kitchen towel draped over him. He’d walk around all afternoon with a towel on his back like a little camel sometimes.
Bowie also had a habit of forgetting he’d eaten. He’d demand more food and when no more was offered, he’d go out and get his own food. He was a great little hunter but he also liked to eat dead things that he found. Imagine if you will: white, long haired cat with diarhea? Dad would have to give him a bath to clean off the dags, and man Bowie hated that. There’d be yowling and crying and swearing (from my Dad) and then Bowie would be produced in the lounge, a sad white rat with a big head and a folorn expression, waiting to be towelled dry again.
Bowie died in late 1999 of kidney failure. He’d been famished for a few days, eating and then asking for more straight away, complaining around the house and messing up the litter box. Dad took him to vet after he started limping and he was put down straight away. Dad came to pick me up from work, I asked about the cat and that was it. Bowie was gone. He was cremated and put into a nice little kauri box which we kept on the shelf for a while. I think Mum and Dad have put him into their garden up the coast now, under a tree.
Tommy lasted a few more years, reaching a grand old age before slowing down and just kind of stopping. I was more affected by Bowie’s death than Tommy’s. I think because I was living with Bowie when he died but I’d moved out and Tommy had been alone with my parents in her last years.
My parents have a new cat now: Bilbo, he’s pretty neurotic but in a sort of anti-social way from living with just two adults all his life.
PoF: pink layers
CO: aww, reminiscing is fun.