Time for a cat story

We had a minor cat drama last night. At 11.30pm youngest daughter comes down to our room to tell us that the Little Cat, known as Nina to some, Ploddy to others, and Mongolita to one unkind brute, has jumped out through the roof window and is fighting with Otto the big unloved Turkish Van cat.

When we go back upstairs to look, there’s no sign of Little Cat or Otto but there’s a whole string of moggies at the edge of the roof staring down into the street. Daughter runs downstairs in a panic, but there’s nothing in the street except the usual. Meanwhile the sound of a cat fight starts up again but a couple of roofs away. All we can do is leave the window open and hope she finds her way back.

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Little Cat is the sweetest little cat ever. But she has several issues. We found her abandoned in the street outside when she was about six months old, emaciated, full of worms and with a ruptured bowel. She couldn’t walk properly and kept falling over because the extreme intestinal problems and malnutrition had affected her brain.


In time, after two operations and intensive deworming, the intestinal stuff was sorted out, but she still has no sense of balance and falls over for no reason. She will always be nutty as a fruitcake, will never walk normally and will always thud about like a small elephant. Branwell, who is three times her size is wary of her. When she plays, she plays to win, and she beats him up mercilessly. The great wimp squeaks like a small rodent and hides under a bed when she gets it into her tiny little head to hurtle, around like a furry meteorite, knocking over everything in her path. The other day she sent a full laundry basket bowling down the stairs and into the door at the bottom.


Needless to say she isn’t allowed out. She’s fallen out of a second floor window twice with no ill effects, but if she wandered off and fell off a wall or a roof we might never get her back.


I had a bad night, woken several times by nothing, just listening for the sound of her clopping across the ceiling. She wasn’t back when husband got up at five. I had just dropped off into an anxious sleep when I was woken by an almighty crash on the veranda roof. I knew it was her. Before I had time to get out of bed she had barged her way through the shutters and flopped through our window ready for her breakfast. Her tail was all bushed up and she had a few stray tufts of loose hair. Other than that, nobody would have known she’d spent all night out on the tiles fighting, and had just dropped two floors from the roof. Talk about drunks.

Microfiction: The golden dog


The dog lies, her golden head resting on her front paws, watching the passers-by. She is tired. For four days she has trotted back and forth along the route she knows best, between the two campsites, the park and the bridge, the bridge and the park. She and the man slept together in the same sleeping bag, sometimes under the bridge, sometimes under a tree. Now he has gone.
She waits and she watches, and she trots back and forth, back and forth. But she is hungry and tired. She plays with other dogs but won’t go near people. Her eyes search for a single man in the whole mass of humanity. Her fur is muddy and she is tired and hungry. But she waits and watches and trots back and forth.
I would catch her if I could, the golden dog, and bring her home. But she won’t be caught. I would take the place of the man who went away and didn’t come back. But she has more faith than I, more hope. She will watch and wait and trot back and forth, back and forth, forever.

Branwell: the cat who came in from the cold

Some of you who I know from Face Book might remember me mentioning Branwell, and you have no doubt been having sleepless night wondering how he’s doing. For those of you who haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, Branwell is one of the many moggies that hang around our secluded little backwater. About ten of the locals (cats), all black, white and ugly belong to the neighbour. The rest are wild. We used to get a lot of visitors, cats that obviously had a perfectly good home somewhere, but just liked slumming it with the neighbour’s mean gang. The nice cats don’t come round anymore, too many third generation wild cats for their liking I suspect.

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Branwell though is a lost moggy, possibly the apple of some distraught pensioner’s eye; possibly some little girl has cried herself to sleep many a night over her lost pussy cat. Branwell purrs and sits on your lap, rolling in ecstasy. He’s a big neutered tom and very soft and easy going. He even hung around with Otto who is not the easiest of cats to get on with. Anyway, husband took one look at Branwell and said that if he wanted a home he could have one.

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I call him Branwell because I think he looks like a Branwell. The name hasn’t stuck though. Son insists on calling him Cromwell, and the girls call him by a variety of names: Branston, Brandon, Brownwell, Bromley (?) with Brommie or Brownie for short. Not much chance of him every responding to his name.
Finbar is not happy about us adopting another cat. Nor, must it be said, are the other cats. Finbar just can’t stop himself chasing cats (except Trixie) and generally, cats don’t appreciate his attention. So we are on constant cat patrol/dog alert, to cries of: “Where’s Branwell? Finbar needs the toilet. Can he come downstairs?”

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The funny Little Cat goes into paroxysms of fury when she sees him. She used to be very friendly towards other cats until the Mean One fell through the skylight and chased her all round the top floor. I had to corner the wretched creature in the toilet and chase it out into the garden with a broom.

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Trixie just hates everything indiscriminately. She growls and slaps if Branwell gets too close, lies across doorways to stop him getting past, lounges on windowsills to stop him getting back into the house, the usual sort of unfriendly gestures. Like lying on Finbar’s blanket if Branwell looks as though he might be tempted to test it.

To date there has been no bloodshed. Branwell can stay as long as he can stand it. At least it has to be better than sharing a chicken coop with Otto.