Eighteen years ago, when my parents were mere spring chickens of 65, the most recent in a long line of family moggies padded off to the big litter tray in the sky, and they swore off cats, they said, for good. 'No, no,' my father said when it was suggested they might get another. 'We're too old to start another cat.'
Shortly thereafter my sisters trundled back to my folks' place from the RSPCA with a large and rather scared grey tabby who'd been brought in by a man whose father had died and left his cat, then age 2, to be dealt with. 'Ah,' said my friend D when informed of this new development. 'An adult cat. With habits. And eccentricities.'
Tiger saw my mother through her last six years, and my dad through three bedridden months after he fell off the roof, then widowerhood, then remarriage and finally divorce before he and one of my sisters finally took her off on that last sad trip to the vet a couple of months ago.
I went to visit him today. 'Come and see the Christmas present I bought myself,' he said, and opened the door to his bedroom. A small, lithe kitty, cafe au lait, chocolate and white with bright blue eyes, leapt up off the bed and came to meet us, twining and purring.
Cecil is a rescue cat, who'd been brought in as a stray and had had a hard time before that, brought back to health and condition by the dedicated people at the Animal Welfare League. He's a snowshoe cat. Cecil is seven. My dad will be 84 in February.
In which the pond turns to the Caterists and Dame Groan ... - The pond is never sure whether the reptiles are mocking the Donald, or mocking themselves for admitting that they're the Donalds of down under journalism...
16 minutes ago