Posts Tagged ‘black cat’

Cats are like kids in the 1940s and ’50s.

Out to play after breakfast–not seen again ’til tummies rumble, early evening.

It’s what our tribe are like–not sure kids can do that these days.

A couple of days ago young Shadow came into the kitchen all–

“Hey fiddly dee, a kitty’s life for me! Just stopping by for a couple of spoonfuls, before hopping out.

“Uh-uh!–why no food bowls?”

Instead, the trusting little guy faced one of the less pleasant experiences of a young cat’s life.

Being neutered.

We reckon he’s about six-months-old–and it’s time.

Heartbreaking moment to see him jauntily enter the kitchen, ready for another day in Paradise, only to find no food and a strange looking container with a grill door sitting on the kitchen table.

“HELP! this isn’t how it should be, how it normally is.”

Driving to the vet, I felt recurring surges of emotional upset at what we were putting the poor mite through.

That old schoolmaster’s lie as he beats his pupil: “This is hurting me more than it hurts you!”  came to mind.

A few hours later, after the simple procedure, Meredith picked him up and drove him home.

Not visibly distressed–simply exhausted and still drowsy from the anaesthetic, he slept through the night–but slipped out of the house in the early morning.

As the day developed, we realised he was not around.

He didn’t react to our calls. We started to worry.

He’s gregarious by nature and is always trying to engage the others in “conversation” and play–victim of the “third child syndrome”(Meredith knows about this; Jack too)–where the “others” are too busy to bother with “junior”.

High and low–house, cemetery, field, hedgerow–we searched; no Shadow.

The church was locked and windows newly-mended but then Meredith remembered that years ago one of our other cats, Peanut,  when still semi-feral, found shelter in the church, beneath the wooden floors of the vestry, through a ventilation conduit.

Beau rues the fact that this conduit is too small for him now!

She located the opening and called. No reaction.

She bent down low–Ben was with her–and peered into the black hole.

There, peering back dubiously at her, were a pair of green eyes.

She managed to coax him out (perhaps reassured by Ben’s presence) and together, the newly formed trio set off on a tour ’round the church.

His confidence and trust in us were shaken by this traumatic experience–and it has taken a few days to win him back.

Last night he snuggled up to Meredith on the couch to watch a bit of “Scandi noir” on TV (the denouement of a Norwegian series)–followed every word, he did!!

Then he scared the daylights out of me by chasing a small ball across the floor exactly as he would a mouse.

“It’s a BALL for heavens sakes,” shouts an unsympathetic Meredith.

(I take care of the spiders, she takes care of the mice.)

Feels like he’s fully back in the family now. 














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For the past few months–it seemed to us to date roughly from the unexpected arrival of the youngster Midnight–we’ve been concerned about Ben, our mercurial black cat.

He licks and cleans himself obsessively and has rendered the back of his long wonderful legs almost furless.


Ben is a busy boy–


–on mole patrol this morning…

and when he’s not busy he can be perfectly still and seem to be meditating.


He can also be loving


appearing out of nowhere to curl himself round your neck as you lie in bed.


He comes into the kitchen at his customary fast trot–pit stop for fuel– looking shiny sleek from the front.

A black thoroughbred:

 “…always on the move that man–never without ‘is passport.” *


Always in the moment.

He never demands food; he clocks what’s on offer and circles, letting his nose make the choice and when he likes the message it’s sending he settles back on his haunches, leans forward, head close to the bowl and starts to eat.

He has a penchant for sleeping black on black–disappearing into the material; you can walk past him and not notice he’s there.

But after the fluffy bundle arrived around midnight one night…

midnight with a touch of entitlementIMG_7572

Midnight exhibiting a certain entitlement.

…Ben took umbrage and started to sleep in the garage. It seemed he couldn’t deal with the playfulness of the newcomer who just wanted to rumble.

I worried that he might be depressed. The traveling vet, who comes to the house, thought it might be anxiety and prescribed pills.

Big Beau just stood his ground and let the youngster bounce off him.


Beau “sitting his ground”!

Beau and Ben had bonded and I missed their wild chases over and under the furniture.

The mad leaps, the somersaults and the arched backed stand-offs.

By retreating, Ben had lost his playmate. His thunder had been stolen.

He protested all the way to the new vet–but now we know what the problem is.

It’s a wretched little mite called michrosporum canis (round worm).

I’m relieved to learn it’s not the wretched little fluffy mite I suspected.

We now wrap Ben in a towel, then TRY to syringe a tasteless liquid between his gritted teeth– which can cause a smidgen of spousal tension–of minor importance when the goal is to get the magical Ben back on top form…


ps; Things have calmed down down between Mr Midnight and our Ben…


*Mick’s speech from a favorite play: Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker.

“You remind me of my uncle’s brother. He was always on the move, that man. Never without his passport. Has an eye for the girls. Very much your build. Bit of an athlete. Long-jump specialist. He had a habit of demonstrating different run-ups in the drawing-room round about Christmas time…”






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We had a visitor night before last–towards midnight, scarcely visible in the dark but crying a pitiable cry.

She was small and furry black with a kink in the tail.

She was distressed and hungry, a exhausted refugee searching for sanctuary.

Meredith was immediately on hand with a plate of food and some water.

“Don’t feed it,” I heard myself saying.

“I definitely am feeding it!” retorted an indignant wife.

In a flash, I had run through all the drawbacks that might occur in the coming days and weeks. (There were precedents.) The effect on the resident cats; the fact that maybe we had enough cats (three indoor and three outdoor) to be going on with etc…I quickly came to the conclusion that the mite was more a problem than a gift.

Then I saw the little black bundle and backed off knowing it was a done deal–we were a four” indoor “cat family!

The following day the vet said HE–for she is another he–is about three-and-half months (milk teeth still in place), of good character and in sound shape–and gave him his first vaccination.

Lundi? Sidney? Gaston?–names on the list of possibles.

Pippa does her usual hissy fit and we’ve seen little of Ben.

Beau is wary but tolerant from the comfort of a strategic chair.

The little mite–not a bad name–slept through his first full day in the wicker basket Meredith had “made nice” for him.

“What-a-ya-gunna-do?”! ? Here I am! Nice lady! Comfy basket. Food in the dish–go for it! “

There’s a lesson for us worry guts…










*french for monday)






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