A New Year, A New Beginning?


Fidy Says
1st January 2017

A New Year, A New Beginning?

posted in Cat Stories |

It was Sunday November 27th, just over 3 weeks since we had lost Leonard and we were still suffering. Neither Peter nor I were ready to take on another cat so soon after his passing, indeed we had even discussed, albeit briefly, the notion of never having a cat again given our grief and proximity to a busy road.

I’d been considering the possibility of adopting a blind cat, having read the heartwarming story of Homer, a blind kitten who went on to live a long, happy and influential life, because deep down I couldn’t see my life without a cat in it at some point, but I wasn’t yet ready for that commitment. Then the universe stepped in.

It was teatime and I’d just put the wheelie bin out for the following morning. The only cat I was thinking about was Leonard and the fact that I no longer had to check over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t following me on to the road.

(Despite this and his many other foibles, I would have welcomed him back in a heartbeat.)

As I walked back towards the house I saw a small black cat sitting at the side of the garage watching me. I vaguely remembered having seen it a couple of days earlier but, as it had run away as soon as it saw me, I hadn’t given it any further thought.

I was expecting the same reaction this time, but when it didn’t run I said ‘hello’ and it replied with a pitiful little voice that would have melted the sternest ‘no more cats’ resolve (and let’s be honest, my resolve wasn’t that stern).

Even during the brief spells when we haven’t owned a cat, I always have some cat food in the house, and so I offered her a snack. She was very, very hungry.

She was waiting for me the following morning, and every morning since around 7.30am as I put out the bird food, she has appeared from out of the bushes, and at regular intervals throughout the day. I put a post card in the village Post Office after a couple of days to try and find her owners, bought more cat food and some worming tablets.

A successful hunter, as the mice in the garden are discovering to their cost, she’s an independent little soul with a free spirit and a mind of her own. In short she’s not Leonard.

But why would she be? If I’ve learnt anything in 40 years of cat ownership it’s that cats, just like people and dogs, have their own distinct personalities. Leonard was a big, cuddly, teddy bear who thought he was a person. This little girl knows exactly who she is, she’s a cat.

After three weeks and no response to my advert, there was much discussion as to a suitable name for our new friend. Suggestions ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, calling at bizarre and ludicrous on the way.

My first idea had been to call her ‘Snowdrop’, but on reflection decided that might constitute mental cruelty, so went instead for ‘Ebony’, but Peter said that sounded pretentious.

Now I’ve been accused of many things over the years, but being pretentious hasn’t been one of them. Best not start now.

Peter liked ‘Marmite’, which is OK in principle, but as it’s the spread you either ‘love or hate’, and I fit firmly into the second category, I didn’t think it was a good way to start a relationship.

By December 22nd we still hadn’t decided, but then the universe stepped in again. I received a reply to my ad in the Post Office.

To be continued – – – – –

Happy New Year!

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