I have decided I need some light relief and thought a blog post about a somewhat sentimental topic – that of the cats I have known and lived with – would suffice and make me smile. I know that Jerry Coyne is an appreciator of the kittehs as well and I love trawling through his blog WEIT for his Caturday posts and felid contests. Jerry likes kitteh photos and short (hair) descriptions so that maybe I will cross post someday down the track. But not today.
Ahem, I also read WEIT posts for other reasons of course.
I have been sans kittehs for over three years now and who knows when this drought will end?
I do have some 60 years of memories and funny stories and over that time developed a knack for naming kittehs which I will share with you as I post the photographs that I have. The photographs that I do have are of later occupants of my bedroom – the early occupants were never really captured on the old celluloid. I know there were some photographs but they have been lost in the interminable moves that we have all made over the decades.
The first cat I remember was Judy. She was black and a stray and hung around the bottom of our street where there was the corner grocery store of the old kind (we are, after all, talking about 1955). My mother forbad me to feed Judy with milk or scraps (what scraps? I only knew milk and porridge).
Of course, Judy stayed and was eventually accepted by my mother. The two other kids were complicit in all this anyway. I didn’t yet have my Kodak camera so there are no photos of the beautiful Judy. Neither are there any of her very beautiful daughter named Slinky. Well, she was Slinky because she wound her long, black, lean body through the rose bushes and, of course, those slinky metal lazy spring helical toys were all the rage at that time.
Then my brother and my mother played around with rhyming couplets about Slinky and rubbish bins and she became known as Plipilsium. I thought that was the bestest name ever, for a cat! My brother rose in my opinion and became the Namer of Cats.
Well, in due course Plip had babies and on my bed! How good was that! Three little moggies – my mother was not amused and insisted that Plip plus babies be relocated to the outside laundry.
Plip was smart though. She would pick up one baby by the scruff of its neck and then climb up the fly wire door and push her obviously hard, strong cranium against the wall until the door unlatched its spring catch. Then, with the smugness that only cats are able to express, she would slink her offspring back into my bedroom (this time under the bed where I had bunched some soft clothing for this precise purpose). We stayed stumm, she and I, at least for a while. My sister, with whom I shared my bedroom, was sworn to silence on pain of death.
In the event, we ended up with two of Plip’s baby boys both of which stayed with our family for nigh on 16 or 17 years. My brother named them as well but less grandly and not a hint of Latin to be heard.
My precious was Blackiewack the Drumstick – I have no idea why. He was obviously black. He did use his right paw in an attempt to redirect my loaded fork sideways towards his mouth thus depriving me of sustenance. To achieve this trick, he almost always sat at the back of my chair so he could keep an eye on the fork as it was stabbing his food.
His brother was a tabby lad and named Sir Wabble Coeur de Lion of the Most Ancient and Honourable Order of the Stripe. He was pretty nifty at being able to use his left paw to reach up to the table edge where there would be peas arranged in a row well, more like a curve (it was a round table). He was skilled in dislodging one pea at a time and swallowing it whole.
He was normally referred to as Wabbie.
We all grew up and left home and left Blackie and Wabbie to the tender love and care of my parents as is the wont of all children who seek the wonders of the world at large and tend not to look back.
Wabbie died first which was sadness personified. Blackie hung on for a year or two, I think and then old age took him as well.
Here endeth the first set of memories.
All photos are from the internet and not of my kittehs but of other very lovely felids. Just a necessary feast for the eyes, really. In looking for black cat photos, I have discovered that October has almost always been known as Black Cat Month. So this photo is of a sleek black cat and I will call him Blackie anyway.
And the brown tabby will stand in for Wabbie. Bless their cotton socks.
Wow – looking at the recommended links I discover Lolcat! Excellent. Plip is only one letter in excess of the other kitteh character. She made the grade years ago.