Slightly Bemused writes:

I think I was adopted by a cat.

Every day a black and white male cat wanders through my garden. On several days, an offering is left on my back doorstep. This little fellow has lived around here for a number of years. I remember one time, when he must have been little more than a kitten, watching him try to stalk a number of crows on the green outside where I live. He was really good, low to the ground, stealthy, creeping forward.

But his tail was up, the end twirling gently. And of course the crows knew he was there. As he got close, they simply hopped a little further away. I think between them, it became a game. He was learning to hunt, they were not the hunted. But crows are very smart. They were in no danger, but it was no harm to teach a young hunter to hunt. And so I think it is he who leaves the offerings.

Why is it important to say he is a male cat? Well, recently a female cat has decided to wander my back garden. I watched one day as they passed each other, one coming in, one going out.

They walked very slowly past each other, pretty much keeping eye contact. Until they had passed by, and each just went on about whatever business cats do. Both tails were up, so no aggression intended, but I think they liked each other.

The new lady is a ginger cat, and I think I know who her ultimate father was.

My now sadly departed aunt used come over, and stop off with us. Often she was heading up to the big smoke to visit other relatives, but a haven, and to be honest a bathroom, before making that part of the journey was something she enjoyed. She usually spent at least a night, and my Mum and she would be up all night talking. I often wondered what they could talk about for so long, now I am starting to understand.

But this one time she came, and she asked for help from us young ones. She had her cat in the back – she did not want to leave him alone while she was gone, and intended to ask us to look after him. His name was Teddy. So we all stood along the back of her car as she very gently opened it. She had made a lovely bed for him for the journey, and had made water and food available. And a ginger streak of lightning whizzed out of the back and made for the trees at the front of our garden.

My aunt’s reaction was pretty much ‘Oh no, not again!’ He did not come back, but ever since then there have been a large number of ginger cats in my town where previously there were none.

So I am kind of curious to see what happens between the black and white, and the ginger. Will Teddy’s legacy live on?

And it makes me curious. Which one is actually leaving the offerings?

Slightly Bemused’s column appears here every Wednesday.

Pic posed by model

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10 thoughts on “Tread Gingerly

    1. benblack

      Enjoyed reading that.

      Would recommend to the author of this piece and all cat lovers:

      Felidae – Akif Pirinçci.

      Read this over 25 years ago when my then girlfriend had a very clever Persian and a beautiful but, relatively, stupid, albeit the largest cat I’d ever seen, white Maine Coon.

      I could tell you stories.

      She loved them. I loved her, therefore, I loved them. It was so simple.

      But, over time, I really did love them. When I called years after the relationship finished, I always asked after them.

      Book not for the faint-hearted – adult themes!


      1. Slightly Bemused

        Thank you, I will definitely follow up on that. I have a reading chair. But I will take your health warning into consideration :-)

        A friend had a Maine Coon, although not white. Beautiful animals, and a purr you could probably hear from the other side of town. She liked to sit, maybe still does, and let him purr in her lap as she read or watched the tv. She said that when she felt unwell, the purr made her feel better.
        Maybe it did, but maybe it was also simply the presence of a friend

  1. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

    Delighted you have a regular piece here, a welcome respite from the usual going around in circles ( that I suppose is a reflection of most people’s lives now ) :)
    The cat who adopted me is currently licking himself in my chair by the fire after finishing up my egg and crumpets, he gave me a half dead crow in exchange, thoughtfully placed in my basket of clean laundry.
    I have always been a dog lover but the little pyscho is creeping into my heart.

    1. Junkface

      Ha ha! Its a sign of love if they bring you half of a dead animal. I love cats and dogs and their little routines.

        1. Slightly Bemused

          My next door neighbour has a Jack Russell. Between her and the cats, I can tell you I most definitely do not have a rat problem. I think they have made it a competition.

          1. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

            Deadly ( see what I did there haha )
            I once got a bottle of red off my bill at lunch because my Jackie picked up a wee mouse under the table for the waitress ! She got a nice big lamb bone too.

  2. Bebe

    Thanks for that Slightly Bemused

    Love the story – aunt’s sigh ‘oh no, not again’.

    And the pic …. posed by model !

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