18 June 2015

about the cats

Since you've been asking. 
We have had a couple of cats to date but we are cat-less at the moment - or as R calls it, cat-free.

First, there were Kieran & Donal, two black-ish toms, wild and vicious. The idea was that they would keep down the number of rodents in the basement of the big crumbling mansion that was our communal home in the south of Ireland - they didn't or maybe the rodent population was too big. We were a very poorly organised crowd with endless house meetings and an activist agenda but little time for pets. S would occasionally try to pull either of the two misfortunate animals by their tails up the grand staircase. As a result, both cats went into hiding when kids were around. And since I spent most of my time with S attached to me, I had little cat interaction. Before you think too badly of us, somebody did take care of them, incl. food and vet etc. But I have no memory of what eventually happened to them.

When we lived in paradise, we soon found out that local people disposed of kittens the same way they disposed of old car batteries or broken transistor radios. Also, the kids in our neighbourhood liked to play with kittens the same way kids in Europe play with teddy bears. This being a small island, cats - and dogs for that matter - are highly inbred with a poor life expectancy. 
But all this could not stop us from saving Minnie from a fate worse than death, or so we thought. Yet, Minnie was a lost cause. Not only did she pass on to us a huge variety of parasitic worms, she also made it her aim to attack us at any given moment, especially while asleep. It's not easy impossible to cat proof a small bungalow in a tropical location. Take my word. I am not going to tell you about Minnie's fate. But we had a couple of really nice dogs there.

Back in Europe, things improved. We got Molly. We picked her up from a friendly home where she had been the tiny runt of the litter and for the first three years of her life, she was an indoor cat in a city apartment. When not climbing up the xmas tree and sitting on top of the tv set with her tail swishing across the screen, she was polite and generous. And shy. 

Then came Ronia. She was an emergency. Friends hat discovered a tiny abandoned kitten, almost dead, in their barn and, well, put two and two together. We did. But those two hated each other. From day one and for ever. Lucky for them and for us, we were about to move into the house with the garden in this quiet suburb with cat-friendly streets and neighbours. Plenty of space to get lost in, trees to climb and be unable to come down from, mice and moles and squirrels to present as early morning gifts and so on. Soon, both cats had developed into fierce outdoor creatures with a busy nightlife away from us, winter or summer. Molly became huge and pompous with an occasional mean temper. Ronia was always slightly daft, and I mean this in the nicest possible way.  
I believe they were both extremely happy.

Molly died four years ago at age 16, Ronia was 17 years old when she died last November. We gave away all the cat's things only last month. But the basement doors are permanently fitted with cat flaps. You never know.



JO said...

You might not have cats with you at the moment, but I bet if a stray moggie dipped her toes through your cat flap you'd make her welcome!

Ms. Moon said...

As my old dogs grew close to death, I swore never to have another pet that didn't lay eggs.
Then of course Maurice showed up.
Now she is the boss of us. What can you do? Submit. Love.

Elsewhere said...

I think I do know. Or at least hope.