Can You Ever Love a Cat?
In the spring of 2008 our home was over-run by mice, we had long grass in the fields surrounding the cottage and we had started on the major renovations. There was a lot of disruption and I think that the local mice saw it as an opportunity to invade. We were returning home after one of our daily trips to the builder merchants and I stopped the car and few hundred meters from our house. I asked my wife to open her door and have a look in the hedge. Someone had abandoned a litter of kittens.
We took a small ginger and white cat home with us. It turned out that this kitten was so young it had not been fully weaned so we had to feed it little bowls of kitten milk. Every day I had to walk to our neighbors and milk their cat to provide sustenance for this stray. It grew strong and became the mouse killing machine that we had hoped for. Each day he would please us by arranging a pile of dead mice on the backdoor step of the house. He was never supposed to be a house cat, he was supposed to be a working animal. From time to time people asked us what he is called – we were never really able to answer this. No name ever stuck and I have never seen a cat come when it was called so it seemed like a pointless exercise. We have applied various titles – Pure Evil, Stuart, Banjo and most recently due to a nasty habit of lying on the top step of the stairs in total darkness – Trip Hazard.
I can’t say for certain if I ever really got on with Kitten, we seemed to have an uneasy relationship throughout our time together, a sort of mutual hatred coupled with a grudging respect. He always had time for a little photo shoot. If I tried to pet him or engage with him on an emotional level he would run off and moan in an a way that suggested he did not want to be my friend. This of course inspired me to torment him at every opportunity. Normally my wife would rush to his rescue and he would sit still and contentedly in her lap. He wandered through our house like ninja which tended to give the impression that he was always there and never there at the same time.
Last night Kitten was outside the kitchen window, he has a little routine where he announces his arrival home by rattling the cat flap to annoy the dogs, the dogs bark and one of us angrily gets up from the sofa to open the Kitchen window to let him in. As soon as I looked at him I could tell he was in a bad way. His left foot was just swinging freely from his leg. It was like his paw was being stored in a little fur lined purse. I picked him up and he wailed. For the first time ever our cat just wanted to be petted and held. I rang the emergency vet and we drove straight over. There was very little that could be done and at 11.55 last night Kitten was put to sleep.
First shot was F100, and Neopan 1600, other are D90
This post was originally written in March 2013 and for various reasons I only wanted to post it now with a bit of distance.