Tuesday, August 04, 2020

My Life In ... Cats

The fourth in an occasional series of alternative Curriculum Vitae because no-one on their death bed says "I wish I'd spent more time in the office".

My life has been considerably enriched by the companionship of these furry monsters. Each one had its own unique personality, behaviours and personal foibles; I could write a whole, separate post about each and every one of them.

Max (1962-?) and Squidge (1963-?): The original family cats when I was a child and lived with my parents. Max is the black cat and was acquired prior to our move from Southbank Road to Barford Road in Kenilworth. Then Dad succumbed to my younger sister Jane's entreaties and bought her a grey kitten which she christened Squidge. This photo taken in 1969.

Cleopatra "Cleo" (1990-2007): The first cat of my own was acquired much later in life. Cleo was the offspring of a cat called Gollum who belonged to our friend Ian Jenkinson. It was a small litter and I was persuaded to adopt the all black fluff ball. 
She was a lovely cat although a little timid. She was also the longest lived of all our cats, living to 17 years.
About 8 weeks after adopting Cleo I was sent to work on a project in Bingley for a well known building society. What to do about the kitten who needed feeding three times a day. Dilemma solved by relocating myslef and the kitten up north. For years after her basket had a British Midland airline luggage label on it.

Spielberg (1991-1992): Was the offspring of a cat belonging to our friend Sue Moller. I originally thought he was going to be called Fred using Cockney rhyming logic, as in "Fred and Ginger" because he was a ginger tom. But no, Mary was joking, so for reasons to long to go into here he ended up as "Spielberg" after the director of "Paws", "Close Encounters of the Furred Kind" and "The Color Purrple". 
He was a robust cat of great character and much loved by my lodger Neil. He and Cleo got on fine.  
A picture of Spielberg caught mid-meow looking like a satanic cat.
Sadly after a couple of years he simply vanished. We never knew what became of him despite Neil putting up notices all around declaring that Spielberg liked cheese and dribbling. Mary thinks he might have been adopted by a neighbour, I am more gloomy and fear an RTA.

Cristal (1992-1994): The only cat we bought rather than adopted. She was a pedigree, silver Persian and seriously cute. 

Sadly she only lived until two and a half because of a tumour on the heart. She and Cleo were the best of friends, here observing a bird on the lawn.
Oscar (1995-2004) and Oliver (1995-2003): Adopted from the now defunct Shirren Rescue Centre in Sturminster Newton that specialised in Persians. They were the cutest of cats and super friendly. Oscar, the black and white, was the favourite of all my cats. He loved to roll over and have his tummy rubbed at which he would turn into a boneless bag of fur. Oliver was a docile tube; if you saw him in a toy shop you would declare that can't be real, no cat is that fluffy.
They, however, were really mean to Cleo and despite all the advice from the animal psychologist we ending up having to keep the two of them apart from Cleo.

Living in the country Oscar not only brought birds but baby rabbits in the spring. He would wait until you were in the shower then present you with your present, usually headless. The bathroom carpet got so blood stained it eventually became unclean-able and we had to chuck it.
The only way to stop Oliver dancing on the keyboard was to fool him with the PC bag and the sit-in-a-box instinct kicked in.
There is so much more I could write about this pair, they were lovely. Sadly they both eventually passed and Cleo outlived them both. When Cleo eventually had to be put to sleep we waited two years before visiting the Cat Protection adoption centre.

Peaches (2010-2015) and Blue (2010-2016):
We adopted two older cats as we knew we planned a retirement to Italy. They have trouble re-homing older cats, we knew we would not have them as long but could give two older cats an graceful retirement. We were told these two were brought up together but I am not convinced that they were actually siblings. They were like pastel repeats of Oscar and Oliver, the stolid ginger and the vivacious dark one.
Peaches would never meow or sit on your lap but was always nearby, usually on the back of the sofa purring away.
Blue however was much more in-your-face. Always wanted to jump on the bed at night, purr madly for ten minutes and then retreat to the foot of the bed. In the morning she would jump into the warm, post-shower bath and shout for attention.

Jungle cat:

Over the years our cats have given us so much love, enjoyment, pleasure, entertainment. I remember them all with great fondness.
Read more about the individual cats on the blog: http://blog.mmenterprises.co.uk/search/label/cats

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