Cats I Have Known
As I mentioned before, my second most popular Pinterest board is ‘Cat Illustrations’. There are a lot of cat lovers around! At this point, would it be professional suicide to mention that I am not strictly speaking a ‘cat person’. I like cats but I couldn’t let myself ‘own’ a cat as I would be too worried about the cat not coming home again.
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The house next door to me is rented out and once a family moved in and brought three cats with them. That summer they added two beautiful kittens to their cat collection – one a soft grey and one white and black. The first I knew of this was when I got home from the office job on a hot summer evening and I went to sit on my patio. Suddenly a little ball of black and white fur jumped up onto my lap without any introduction and proceeded to go to sleep for an hour, snoring gently. The kittens kept us busy all summer. It seemed their main aim in life was to entertain us and they did this by constantly climbing up into our apple trees and then pretending that they couldn’t get down. They would miaow piteously until we went to stand under the tree – then they would summon up their courage and hurl themselves in a death defying leap down into our arms.
I also made acquaintance with a large tabby cat while I was at art college. He must have lived next door but he had the habit of coming in to our student accommodation every morning. If we made the mistake of sitting down he would immediately jump into our laps and refuse to move until he was sure that we would be late for college. He was a violent cat and any attempt to dislodge him would be met with hissing and scratching.
Rosie the Stable Cat
One of my favourite cats was called Rosie. She was a stable cat and had been born in a barn. Her mother was not domesticated and would not allow herself to be touched by a human. Rosie never entered a house in her life and her job was to keep the mice population at an acceptable level in the stables. However, she was the friendliest cat I have ever known. When you arrived at the stables she would literally bound up to you, climb up your legs and, more often than not, she would somehow manage to get down the neck of your coat and then turn the right way up and lay there inside your coat with her head nestled against your face. Whenever we went out on a hack, she bore this desertion with fortitude and would sleep on a car bonnet until we returned.
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Then there were Tigger and Blacka…. oh well, maybe I am a cat person after all.
© Michelle Le Grand